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Excerpts from

VOLUME 77, NO. 2—April, May, June 2013

 

ECOLOGY, CULTIVATION AND HISTORY OF PENKIMIA NAGALANDENSIS
GAB VAN WINKEL
6 pages, 17 photos


Front view flower of Penkimia nagalandensi, flower diameter about 1 cm (1/2 inch).
©Gab van Winkel

New orchid species—that is, new to science— are nowadays not only discovered in the wild but often also in cultivation, where they were “hiding” for years under a wrong label. Often, such a new orchid species found in cultivation comes from an unknown or questionable origin, which limits our understanding of its ecology and distribution. Its cultivation, however, is quite well understood. The origin of a wild collected novelty, on the contrary, is well documented but typically such a plant just exists as one or two specimens grown in a botanical garden with the aim to produce herbarium material, photographs and a scientific description of the new species, and to teach students and the general public about biodiversity. However, by law such a novelty cannot be made available to orchid hobbyists, which limits our knowledge about its physiology and cultivation needs.

Rarely, we get the best of both worlds when a new orchid species comes to light. This happened with Penkimia nagalandensis, a small, attractive monopodial orchid that was discovered seven years ago in the wilds of India and China, and at the same time in cultivation in Europe. This article reviews what we know about this rare species, and how a few orchid hobbyists made a difference in its conservation...

   
 
VALIDATION OF A NEW SPECIES FROM PERU:
LEPANTHES INCA

(Pleurothallidinae; Orchidaceae)
LISA THOERLE
4 pages, 10 image
s



A flower from clone #2 of Lepanthes inca, cultivated by Thomas Ditlevsen, Sweden.
©Thomas Ditlevsen
A showy, rarely cultivated species of Lepanthes Sw. has appeared in a number of collections in the United States and Europe. This species has been informally known under the name “Lepanthes inca,” although it has also been confused with others. Here, the species is formally described as Lepanthes inca...
 
BATEMAN, SKINNER, AND THE KIDDIES
CAROL SIEGEL
12 pages, 18 photos



Cuitlauzine pulchella used to be known as Odontoglossum pulchellum.
©Ron Parsons

Trader Joe’s sells orchids for $9.99. With a ceramic pot. And decorative moss. Sometimes with two spikes. Wrapped in cellophane. With a bow. You can put them in your shopping cart right next to your toilet paper and pork chops. They are pretty, meant to be disposable, and, to most shoppers, no big deal. It was not always that way.

There was a time when orchids were stunning and glamorous and thrilling, when men risked everything to have the exotic, the mysterious, the rare new orchids. There was a time when Victoria was Queen, but orchids were King, and England was seized with orchid mania. By 1837, the rich were exchanging fortunes for just one rare orchid, and fearless collectors were braving terrifying dangers to bring them back.

This is the story of one such rich man, James Bateman, and one such fearless collector, George Ure Skinner, who for thirty years formed a partnership that changed the orchid world. Together, they introduced at least 100 new orchid species to cultivation and taught the world how to grow them. Theirs was a friendship devoted to the “kiddies,” as painter Edward Cooke called them, the orchids that set the Victorian world on fire...

 
BULBOPHYLLUM PLUMATUM, BULBOPHYLLUM THIURUM AND THE NEW BULBOPHYLLUM TRESCHII
RUDOLF JENNY
6 pages, 17 photos



Bulbophyllum plumatum in cultivation.
©With permission from Anton Sieder

Bulbophyllum plumatum was described in 1915 by Oakes Ames in Orchidaceae, The Genera and Species of Philippine Orchids. The plant was collected in Mindanao, Philippines in July 1913 by L. Escritor. Ames wrote: “This is an ally of Bulbophyllum ornatissimum and B. collettii, from both of which it is quite distinct. The very odd, feather-like processes on the petals (which are brilliant carmine in color, nearly 2 mm long, and shortly stalked) are found in no other Philippine species. They look exactly like little feathers, or like the divisions of the plumes of Celosia plumose, and are about twenty in number on the upper margin of the inconspicuous petals.”

 
ORCHIDS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?
CINDY COTY
5 pages, 7 graphs/illustrations

Serious orchidists are very aware of the major issues surrounding orchid conservation and many are actively involved in programs to save orchid habitats and limit collection. One topic that is very rarely considered, however, and may have the most profound effect on orchid species’ long term preservation, is the global climate. Regardless of anyone’s beliefs about the “why,” it is hard to ignore, much less refute, the fact that our climate is changing. Temperature, drought, and rainfall records are being shattered all over the world. The intensity and annual number of tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms, and the damage they create, is unprecedented in modern record keeping. The human impact is displayed on newscasts whenever these events occur, but very little attention is paid to the impact on the planet’s wildlife...