Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In Bloom: Kingidium deliciosum

Kingidium deliciosumKingidium deliciosum, also known as Phalaenopsis deliciosa, is a miniature species. The name 'deliciosa', which means "delicate", refers to the appearance of the flowers. They have a very crystalline, thin appearance. They are typically born singly or twos on an inflorescence in sequential fashion, much like Paph. Pinocchio, and can have more than one inflorescence at a time. Individual flowers don't seem to last long, but the plant does produce many over time. Also, the leaves are interesting thanks to a slightly ruffled margin.

I find it to be easy to grow and flower. This one lives on a cork mount and seems quite tolerant of the occasional drought.

RHS uses the name Kingidium for registration purposes. Only a few hybrids are attributed to the species. Many of the small species have been left behind for hybridization, probably because of a combination of size (little ~ not impressive or easily overlooked?) and in some cases difficulty of growing and breeding them. For this one, there is also the somewhat undesirable characteristic (for a Phalaenopsis) of not carrying many flowers at once. I have no idea how easy this one is to breed, but I'm going to give it a shot using the Phal. equestris alba from my previous post. If it works, we'll get little plants perfect for windowsills, and more flowers than deliciosum, though maybe not as many as equestris. That's ok, equestris does produce an obscene number of flowers! I pollinated the plant today. Let's all cross our fingers!

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