Simon & Schuster's Guide to Orchids (Nature Guide Series)

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9780671677985: Simon & Schuster's Guide to Orchids (Nature Guide Series)

Brimming with intriguing and practical details and illustrated with 250 beautiful color photos, Simon & Schuster's Guide to Orchids provides everything the enthusiast needs to know about this most colorful and elegant blossom.

An informative introduction gives such useful information as morphology of the flower, ecology, classification, and cultivation. The individual entries that follow describe over 160 cultivated species and offer visual symbols for the temperature and light necessary for optimum growth, as well as whether a particular species has a scent. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Orchids is a spectacular and authoritative reference to this exotic and fascinating flower.

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

ENTRIES

1 ACACALLIS CYANEA Lindl.
(Maxillarieae, Zygopetalinae)

Synonyms Aganisia coerulea Rchb. f., A. tricolor Batem.

Origin Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela.

Description Medium-sized plant with visible rhizome. The pseudobulbs are fusiform, compressed, and slightly rugose, often covered with dry bracts; they are generally equipped with a single elliptic leaf, glossy on the upper side, and normally measuring a little over 8 in (20 cm) long and at least 2 1/2 in (6 cm) wide. The curved inflorescence sprouts from the base of the mature pseudobulb and has a variable number of flowers that open in succession. The flowers, 1 1/2-2 in (4-5 cm) in diameter, never open fully; they are periwinkle blue, almost white near the base of the petals and sepals and have a bronze or reddish-purple lip. They appear in summer.

Cultivation The plant is usually grown on rafts of tree fern or on cork, but can also be kept in a basket or pot, preferably one that is broad and shallow, in which case the compost must be enriched with sphagnum. A. cyanea needs humidity, both in surroundings and growing medium, and does not like being repotted or divided; such operations should therefore be carried out only when absolutely necessary.

2 ACINETA SUPERBA (HBK) Rchb. f.
(Cymbidieae, Stanhopeinae)

Synonyms Anguloa superba HBK, Peristeria humboldtii Lindl.

Origin Colombia, Ecuador, Panama (?) Venezuela.

Description Large plant. The ovoid pseudobulbs, up to about 4 in (10 cm) long, bear 2-3 lanceolate, plicate leaves, 16-20 in (40-50 cm) long and 3 in (7-8 cm) wide. The pendulous inflorescences 8-12 in (20-30 cm) long, have very big flowers, the color of which varies from creamy white to beige, heavily marked with darkish orange-red spots. The flowers, waxy and long-lasting, never open completely They appear in spring.

Cultivation This species must be grown in a fairly broad mesh basket to allow the inflorescences to protrude in all directions. Sphagnum or osmunda fiber is recommended as a growing medium. During growth the species requires frequent watering; later it is advisable to give it a period of rest at a lower temperature to enable the pseudobulbs to mature, and to stimulate flowering.

3 AERANGIS LUTEO-ALBA (Kraenzl.) Schltr. var. rhodosticta (Kraenzl). J. Stewart
(Vandeae, Aerangidinae)

Synonyms Angraecum mirabile Hort., A. rhodostictum Krzl.

Origin East Africa.

Description This is perhaps the loveliest of the 50 or so species of the entire genus. Medium-small plant, monopodial in structure, with a very short, prostrate stem. The leaves are alternate, linear, slightly coriaceous, 4-5 in (10-12 cm) long, with an unequally bilobed apex. The axillary, curved, pendulous inflorescence, sometimes more than 8 in (20 cm) long, bears numerous flat flowers in two rows, 1 1/2 in (3-4 cm), ivory white with an orange-scarlet column, which open simultaneously. There is a spur of 1 1/2 in (3-4 cm) at the base of the lip. The orchid flowers in winter and spring.

Cultivation This species, together with others of the same genus, prefers to grow on cork, on a block of wood or on a raft to which its roots can adhere and enjoy good air circulation: stagnant water is, in fact, particularly harmful. During the summer, which is also the period of growth, the species needs daily spraying, while in winter it is enough to water it once every 5-6 days. If well cultivated, the stems of this species may branch forming small groups which, while in flower, will make a fine spectacle with their numerous spikes.

4 AERIDES ROSEA Loddiges ex Lindl. & Paxt.
(Vandeae, Sarcanthinae)

Synonyms Aerides williamsii Warn., A. fieldingii Williams.

Origin Sikkim to Assam, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Burma.

Description Plant with monopodial structure, slow-growing, up to 8-10 in (20-25 cm) high. The leaves are opposite, bilobed, slightly carinate, about 8 in (20 cm) long, the basal leaves often drooping. The inflorescence, sometimes over 16 in (40 cm) long, is axillary, pendulous, with large numbers of closely packed flowers, 1 in (2-3 cm) in length, that open in succession; color deep pink flushed with white at base of petals and sepals. The orchid flowers in spring.

Cultivation This species, like all the rest belonging to the genus, prefers to grow in baskets filled with coarse material such as bark and pieces of charcoal, so that the long roots can, after taking a grip, protrude from the container. The plants do not like to be disturbed and should therefore be left in the same container for years. Watering should be regular throughout the year, slightly more frequent in summer.

Hybrids Aerides is commonly hybridized with Vanda, Phalaenopsis, Arachnis and Renanthera.

Copyright © 1988 by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., Milan English translation copyright © 1989 by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., Milan

Language Notes:

Text: English, Italian (translation)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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