Sunday, April 27, 2008

In Bloom: Paph. armeniacum

Paph. armeniacumThis is my plant of Paph. armeniacum. Please note I am VERY prideful about blooming this.

I bought this plant a little over a year ago from someone at the local orchid society. He had several pots of it, all from the same origin, and complained that it grew well for him but he'd had it 10 or 15 years and not once piece had ever bloomed. I got a sweet deal. If I'd had more cash I would have snapped up all of them, but since I never carry cash I borrowed some money and bought the biggest one. For $15 (about $1.25 per growth!).

The species is not hard to grow, but in cultivation people often complain that it never blooms. I once heard someone from a large nursery comment that in a population of 100 plants you were doing well to bloom 5 per year. I suspect this is because of incomplete habitat information for the species, and many people grow most if not all paphs warm. I recently found an article about this species here.

I have a few armeniacum primary hybrids, and one thing I've learned is that it seems they prefer to bloom on 2-3 year past maturity growths. Also, I've noticed that they bloom better as they get bigger, so I advocate not dividing until they're really big, and making sure to keep big pieces. Last, I suspect, and the article mentioned above also suggests, that armeniacum requires a cool winter. After all, parts of China where this is most likely native have both high elevation and pretty chilly winters, and not allowing for a chill could easily be a reason noone blooms the darn things. Fortunately, most of my paphs live in the basement where it easily averages 50F in the winter.

And look at that! It bloomed for me! Pardon me while I do a happy dance.


fluffnflowers said...

I love the yellow paphs. They're such a nice distraction from the vini guys that are so popular. I wish I weren't such a slipper killer, sometimes. :)

swamprad said...

I am in awe. Fantastic! Wonderful! I wimped out and got a near-primary cross, Wossner Gold Egg, which brought lots of yellow joy this winter. I do applaud you for blooming the species, good show, great show!

SapphireChild said...

Awww, shucks. :) Thanks!