Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Neofinetia falcata 'White Tara' x 'Crystal Palace'

This is my other "most reliable bloomer" orchid, (along with Dtps. Kenneth Schubert.) Neofinetia falcata 'White Tara' x 'Crystal Palace' is an older Cal Orchids cross of Neofinetia falcata cultivars. I had emailed them years ago about purchasing another Neo that wasn't listed on their page but I knew they stocked and had mentioned I had this orchid. I remember some of the email they sent back, (quite quickly I might add, nice customer service!) Someone had said that it was not their best and that it was very slow growing, asking if I wanted an updated list of "better," cultivars they were now making too. I'll agree, it is very slow growing for a Neofinetia. In fact the reason I ended up with this orchid was because my aunt had long since gotten bored with it's slow growth rate and gave it to me, knowing how much I love Neofinetias. Every year since I've had this orchid, (maybe 5 years now?) it has bloomed, but never gotten any larger overall, or grown any new fans of growth and multiplied. I kind of liked that it stayed small, but there's something almost spooky about a plant that never gets any larger but keeps showing all other signs of being happy.

Here are some pictures of last year's blooms. It has a very light pink tinge to the spur and smells great, especially in the evening.

Neofinetia falcata 'White Tara' x 'Crystal Palace.' This is as large as the plant has ever been for me for the about 5 years since I've had it.

Close-up of a flower

From the side

I just like how this picture came out
There has been some developments as of recent. It appears to be not only getting ready to bloom again, (it's always been an August bloomer for me,) but possibly putting out a new fan of growth. I say possibly because although it makes sense, (growth coming out of the base,) sometimes orchids do strange things. When Neos start to grow either a new growth or flowers, a leaf like structure grows first that's hard to tell whether it will indeed become a leaf, or if it is the structures these grow around the base of a flower stalk. Picture below of what I'm talking about. I promise it'll make more sense when you see it.

New growth at the base of the plant

New growth between the leaves, this one should for sure be a flower spike eventually.
In the pictures from this year, you can see what I mean about all new growth looking like leaves. If you enlarge the last picture I lightly circled the new growth in red, so it's easier to pick out if you aren't used to looking for such things. To the left of the circle is the last two years old spikes. They've long since dried out and been cut, but you can see that the growth ends up looking like tiny leaves protecting the base of the flower spikes.

I was beginning to think I was having a terrible year for orchids, none of my spring bloomers had even bothered to try. I was happy to see the Dtps. blooming, but if that's the only one out of 30 something, I'm clearly having a bad year. Maybe the summer bloomers will turn things around here, we'll have to wait and see.


  1. Beautiful flowering. Neofinetias usually very slow in development.

    1. Thank you! Yes, they are slower compared to most species, but this cross is exceptionally slow, even for a Neofinetia!

  2. Very beautiful flowers, they look abit like jasmine flowers to me.. The photos are awesome, especially when they're zoomed in. I hope that spike is a flower too. Are most orchid flowers scented?, such a good sell. :-)

    1. I'm not sure if most orchids are scented. Most of the ones that I have are at least. These smell like honeysuckle or jasmine too, scented from the same reasons, to attract insects at night with their white flowers.