Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Bloom: Moth Diner

Following much personal change and a good deal of procrastination and total distraction with mad knitting, I've decided its time to start posting to the Plant Geek Chronicles again (and, uh, paying more attention to the plants...yep, had some survival of the fittest experimentation).

I'm starting easy, by showing you some goodies in bloom. First, we've got a lovely variegated Neofinetia falcata, tagged as 'Higashidemiyako'.

I'm very pleased with it. It might not be an extremely rare form, but I still think its awesome. Neofinetia falcata is a Japanese species, and all the most interesting plants are still Japanese in origin or recent ancestry. These plants are also easier to grow. I've had trouble with the ones that have been bred in the US for several generations. Likely those are all horribly inbred. But so far I have four that I believe to be of Japanese origin, and not only are they of more interesting varieties, they're so adaptable and easy to grow!

They're also sweetly fragrant, somewhat reminiscent of honeysuckle. As the flower form includes a long spur and the plant displays increased fragrance at dusk and dark, I suspct the plant is probably moth pollinated in its natural habitat. I don't know this for sure, if you have any data on this please chime in.

The other goodie I have to share is a Brassavola acaulis, which I am sure is moth pollinated.

This plant is also cool, and surprisingly sturdy. The 'leaves' are long, sticks in appearance. Almost based on the appearance and the placement in genus Brassavola you'd assume *Super High Light!* But nay. On the advice of the ever knowledgeable Al, I've kept it with the large mounted phalaenopsis plants, so low-medium light (by orchid standards, mind you ::shakes finger::), and decent watering. Though, to be fair, through the winter I tend to not water enough. The phals were a little crabby about that but they're still alive. Some sources suggest 3-4 hrs light for this species, but mine lives in an East window just fine. It is possible it will adapt to either situation. In any case, it bloomed.

Here again, like most moth pollinated species, it isn't very impressive in the day. As soon as it gets dark, though, you can smell it from across the room. It has a vaguely citrus-y rose-y scent. Very pleasant.