Sunday, January 25, 2009

In Bloom: Paph. wardii and Hsinying Alien

Paph. Hsinying AlienI'll admit this Paph. Hsinying Alien has lovely, but actually somewhat average flowers. They have good size and clear markings. The real charm of the plant is in foliage, shown in the next photo.

Paph. Hsinying Alien foliageThe foliage has striking contrast between a light yellow-green background and a lovely emerald green foreground. I honestly purchased the plant just for this wonderfully marked foliage. I'd like to breed some paphs specifically for striking foliage. I think they would make great windowsill plants, looking fancy year round. Many paphs have great foliage, so I should have no problem putting together a good genetic palette.

At the moment, I have a couple Paph wardii plants in bloom as well. They also have lovely foliage, they are not high contrast, but do have interesting markings. As an added bonus, they are compact, have wonderful color and shading in the flowers, and great lasting power. I have one listed in my shop that has been in bloom for two full months already, and its just a first bloom seedling! I think I might cross the wardii onto the Hsinying Maru. It should yield exciting foliage on vigorous plants, and flowers with stronger color. I'm also tempted to take the other pollina from this wardii and stick it on my Paph. primulinum flavum, for no particular reason, so probably won't do it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In Bloom & Update on Paph Protocorms

Hi kidz! Sorry I've been out of touch. New job, still workin' old one on a part time consulting type basis, and trying to survive the lack of sunlight that is December. I think I might be a little photosynthetic. I hate short, cloudy days.

Anyway, I'm trying to get back on track. So for today we have an in bloom:

This is Blc. George King 'Southern Cross' AM/AOS. Yeah, I knew I kept that plant around for a reason. Such a lovely flower. There are actually several nice clones of George King. It is compact growing, and fragrant like cheap liquid soap.

Now, I didn't take any photos, but the paph protocorms mentioned in an earlier post are doing well. A week or two after that post, the protocorms in the light started to look a bit more green. I moved the ones in darkness to light and they greened up too.

Now, someone on OGD suggested they would be too difficult to transfer them at a young age, but its actually not that bad. Also, lets remember that my germination media had no complex sugars added, so there was not really enough there for them to grow any more. (Frequently germination media has a small amount of some complex ingredient to get them started, but not so much that it might stunt them, but I did not have the appropriate stuff for paphs). They couldn't stay on that media for long or they would die.

But for anyone interested, it is not actually that hard to do. Using a sterile spatula like this one, I simply scrape little piles of protocorms off the mother flask media with the spoonish end, then spread them onto replate media. I have done this before. Its a great opportunity to spread and thin out your protocorms so they are not so stacked on top of each other. In this case, I transferred each of the 10cm petri dishes onto 2 or 3 pint size containers with the media on the long side (like the photo in the previous blog post that shows the phals, but with a LOT more protocorms).

Later on down the road, when they have itty bitty leaves, I'll pluck the paph seedlings with forceps to another set of flasks for them to grow up large enough for deflasking. In many cases, this three stage system results in bigger, happier seedlings anyway. I have high hopes for a quality output here.