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Next Meeting: October 5th 2003 at the Museum of Natural History at 7:00pm. J&L Guest Speaker for October! The October meeting will be held a week earlier than our usual meeting to accommodate our guest speaker Cordelia Head. She will be bringing the J & L plants for anyone in the society who pre-ordered. As usual, guest speakers are one of our favorite meetings to attend so be sure to remember to mark your calendars so you don’t forget to come to this one. Inside you will find an article that may change your mind on what new orchid to next add to your collection. A raffle will also be on the agenda. Tickets will be on sale at the meeting and for those of us who pay their annual membership on that night, a free raffle ticket will be given out for a chance to win one of a number of great prizes. In This Issue: Renewal Plant Raffle !! Executive member list…….………….……....pg 2 PAY AT THE MEETING AND MAYBE WIN A PRIZE FROM THE RAFFLE!!! We Member’s Corner…………………………..…pg 2 will be holding another raffle at the October meeting. Members who pay for their Dates to Remember………….…….……...….pg 4 membership will get a free raffle ticket for Things to take note of……….…...…….…..…pg 5 the draw. Good luck. Information Corner……………………...…....pg 5 Plant Table for September meeting…………pg11 Mailing address: Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3A6 The O.S.N.S. was founded in 1981 and incorporated under the Nova Scotia Societies Act. Website: http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Recreation/OrchidSNS 2 OSNS Executive & Committees 2001/2002 President: Doug Hart firstname.lastname@example.org Past President: Margaret Blewett email@example.com Treasurer: Wayne Ward firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary Karla Kulkis email@example.com Membership: Wayne Ward firstname.lastname@example.org Newsletter Editor Linda (Josey) MacDonald email@example.com Assistant editor Jean Ikeson firstname.lastname@example.org Social Coordinator: Jean Hartley Assistant Social: Julia Watt email@example.com Joyce Chew firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer MacKenzie Publicity: Valerie Layne email@example.com Table Display: John MacDonald Library: Karla Kulkis firstname.lastname@example.org AOS/COC Rep: Jean Ikeson email@example.com Show Chair: Gail Schwarz firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Show Chair Wayne Ward email@example.com OSNS next General Meeting The Orchid Society of Nova Scotia will be having its next regularly scheduled meeting on Sunday October 5th at 7:00 pm at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax. Just so you know, the doors open at 7pm with the meeting starting at 7:30pm. The October meeting will be moved to the first weekend in October ,on the 5th, so that we may have the pleasure of the COC guest speaker Cordelia Head who is co-owner of J&L Orchids from Connecticut, USA. She will be bringing plants to members that pre-ordered earlier this fall. J&L is specializing in miniature species and hybrids. The title of her talk will be: How to do a selection of miniature species and hybrids that will grow well under your conditions. Those could be under lights, on windowsills, in a greenhouse, in a wardian case, under cold, cool, intermediate or warm conditions. See everyone there. Members Corner: Membership Gives You Benefits !!! Free Raffle ticket with membership Payment. For those of us who didn’t get to the September meeting, don’t forget to pay your membership so that you don’t miss any of the newsletters for the upcoming year. There will be another plant raffle at the October meeting and for those who pay their membership, they will get a free raffle ticket for the draw. The annual fee of $20 entitles members to a number of benefits. Being a member of the society allows you. 1. Receive the monthly newsletter. 2. Attend the monthly society meetings with guest speakers and vendors. 3. Buy and sell plants at the monthly meetings. 4. Access the club library resources. 5. Purchase raffle tickets. 6. Participate in society plant orders 7. Vote on society business at general meetings. 8. Attend annual orchids shows with free admission. This same $20 also rents the hall each month, pays for guest speaker expenses, finances show costs, purchases books for the library, and many other expenses that the society has. You can mail your membership directly to Wayne Ward, 165 Pereau Rd, Canning, Nova Scotia B0P 1H0 or pay at the next meeting. Membership forms were included with the September newsletter, can 3 be found on the OSNS website that is listed on the front page of any newsletter, and will be available at the next general meeting New Member Welcome!! A warm welcome is extended to some new members who have joined our society since the last meeting. Welcome to Rob Ireland of Sackville, NB, Betty MacDonald of Prospect Bay, NS and Manuel de J. Escobar of Halifax, NS. We hope you get everything you need to know about orchids by joining our society and talking with the experienced people at the general meetings. ********************************************************************************************** What’s New at Windsor Greenhouse WHAT’S NEW AT WINDSOR GREENHOUSE11 — Check out the latest arrivals! 3" POTS, $14; 4" POTS, $20: DENDROBIUMS: Latouria type: hang their flower heads, often marked on back side of flower, very long lasting blooms that rebloom on nondeciduous pseudobulbs–cast last up to 4 months: Dendrobium Stephen Batchelor (alexandrae x johnsoniae) Upright clusters of 4" whites, purple striped lip; 3" pot Dendrobium Bill Takamaksu (Roy Tokunaga x johnsoniae) Clusters of 3" whites, green in lip, fine purple striples, easy bloomer; 3" pot Dendrobium Roy Tokunaga (johnsoniae x atroviolaceum) spectacular clusters of 3" whites, green in lip, fine purple striples, very showy; 3" pot Dendrobium Green Elf x convolutum Sprays of very long lasting lime greens, small purple spots, on easy growing plants; 3" pot Dendrobium Andree Millar (atroviolacium x convolutum) Many spikes of 1" firm chartreuses, purple striped lip, blooms twice a year; 4" pot Dendrobium Green Elf (alexandrae x convolutum) sprays of long lasting lime greens, small purple spots, easy growing. 4" pots Dendrobium atroviolaceum - white with spots, very long lasting flowers, 3" pots Nobile type: flowers appear along the canes (pseudobulbs) and are often cattleya shaped; canes can lose their leaves before flowering, so don’t remove them!!!!: Dendrobium Memoria Margaret Ummer (Yukidaruma x Nagasaki) Clusters of fragrant pinks, darker pink flares and lip, on upright canes, 4" pots Dendrobium Super Ise ((Super Star x Ise ‘Pearl’ 4N) 21/2" light pinks and whites, bright pink flares, Sweet scent!! 4" pots Antelope type: Clusters of curly flowers )at the top of the canes) whose petals often extend upward like ‘antelope horns’ Dendrobium Blue Trinkle Multiple spikes of small dark curly blue purples on compact growing plants. I saw a mature plant of this two years ago and had to have them. Very showy and brighten your early spring days!!!. 3" pots Dendrobium Garnet Jewel (Jewelite x Blue Twinkle) rich purple on compact plants 3" pots READY OCTOBER 2003 CATTLEYAS: 19866 Pot (Bob Pero ‘Irene’ x Blc Goldenzelle ‘September Song’) - gold art shade, may have a bit of red on lip 3 or 4" pot 69906 L. purpurata var carnea ‘Unforgettable x ‘Carmen’) white with beautiful veined lip, large showy flowers 3" pot 195180 Bc (C. Gail Gerber x Sir John Templeton ‘Heartthrob’) soft pink, large full flowers, 3" or 4" pots 195072 Bc (Chesty Puller ‘Semper Fidelis’ HCC/AOS x C. Ruth Gee ‘Mount Everest’ AM/AOS) pink frilly lip 3" pots 198304 C.(Bow Bells ‘July’ x Ruth Gee ‘Diamond Jubilee’ FCC/AOS) - two of the nicest large whites crossed for a reliable white cattleya 3" pot 19561 Blc Sweet Sensations (Bc Pink Sensation ‘In the Pink’ x Pamela Hetherington ‘Coronation’ FCC/AOS) - large pink with large frilly lip 3" pot 196046 C. Hybrida (loddigesii x guttata) - dark lavender flowers with purple spots 3" pots 19604 Slc(Painted Cave ‘Mojave Eve’ x Lc Drumbeat ‘Heritage’HCC/AOS) art shade with base colour of red lavender, summer blooming. 3" pot 19842 Bc(C. Candy Tuft ‘Fairy Floss’ HCC/AOS x Mount Hood) Pink but the odd white could turn up. Blooms winter or spring. 3" pot 196045 Blc(Hong Wei ‘Tibet’ x C. Ruth Gee ‘Everest’) Huge white should bloom in the winter. 3" pot 196064 Blc[C. Horace ‘Maxima’ AM/AOS x (Gold Country x Lc Amber Glow)] Art shades similar to Goldenzelle should result from this cross–should be lots of yellows, a few oranges and the odd lavender with a red lip. Spring bloomer. 3" pot 196111 Blc(Murry Spencer ‘Amroy’s Dark Star’ FCC/AOS x Tribute ‘Independence Day’) Rich large 6" purple. Winter bloomer. 3" pot 198172 Blc(C. aurea ‘Sweet Lemon’ x Canyon royal ‘Crown Royal’) Large purple flowers bloom on young plant winter or spring. Could easily have very interesting red veining or patterning on lip) 3" pot A8618 Lctna Peggy San ‘Cynosure’ AM/AOS Blush white flowers overlaid with lavender and accented with strong fuchsia flaring. Some of these delectable delights have already been blooming! 3" pot 198233 Lc[C. aurantiaca(‘Red’ x self) x Lake Cachuma ‘Aurora’)] This could be like a larger more vibrant version of Chocolate Drop with clusters of flowers with heavy substance. Should be early blooming flowers. 3"pot A9431 Blc Jitra ‘Royal Yellow’ Vibrant yellow flowers with a red lip of nice size and quality–full shape. A real eye catcher! 3" pot 19866 Pot(Bob Pero ‘Irene’ x Blc Goldenzelle ‘September Song’ ) Large fragrant flowers. Parents are yellow to yellow-orange so either colour could occur with red marking the lip. 3" pot 69906 L purpurata var. carnea (‘Unforgettable’ x ‘Carmen’) Large open flower, white with a pink lip with some veining. Hard to find. 3" pot 195180 (Bc(C. Gail Gerber x Sir John Templeton ‘Heartthrob’) Blush to pink with frilly lip. 4" pot 196072 Bc(Chesty Puller ‘Semper Fidelis’ HCC/AOS x C. Ruth Gee ‘Mount Everest’ AM/AOS) Large pink flowers, full shape, frilly lip. 3" pot 198304 C(Bow Bells ‘July’ x Ruth Gee ‘Diamond Jubilee’ FCC/AOS) Huge white flowers from two of the most famous and most widely hybridized varieties. If you like whites, this is the one!!! 3" pot Window Greenhouse, Jean Allen-Ikeson; 345 Gabriel Rd, Falmouth, NS; firstname.lastname@example.org http://users.eastlink.ca/~greenhouses tollfree: 866-798-0514; always a good idea to let us know you are coming!! Jean Allen-Ikeson, Windsor Greenhouse email: email@example.com RR 2, 345 Gabriel Rd; Falmouth, NS B0P 1L0 902-798-0514 Toll free: 866-798-0514 web: http://users.eastlink.ca/~greenhouses 4 Dates to Remember: Events and Flower Shows (from the NS Association of Garden Clubs-August 2003) Oct 3rd – Wilmot G.C., Annual Harvest Sale 10am – 12 noon Greenwood Mall Oct 18th – Charing Cross G.C., Bake Sale, New Ross School involved. ********************************************* 2003 (Below is taken from the from the COC Newsletter for March 2003.) • Oct 4-5: The Foothills Orchid Society (Calgary, Alberta), Winston-Mountview Community Center, 520-27th Avenue NE, Calgary, Alberta. Contact Lynn Kasper at phone number: 403-208- 2285, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or LynnK@cnrl.com • Oct 18-19: Eastern Canada Orchid Society at the Days Inn Hotel in Downtown Montreal • Nov 8-9 Niagara Region OS Queen Elizabeth Centre, Facer St. (QEW and Niagara St), St Catherines 2004 • March 13-14: London Orchid Society Orchid Show, Wonderland Gardens, 284 Wonderland Road South, London, ON. For show information: "http://los.lon.imag.net/losshows.htm" • April 3-4: The Regina Orchid Society annual show and sale at the Core Ritchie Community Centre, 445 14th Avenue, Regina. Contact Charles Eisbrenner, email: email@example.com, phone: (306)545-2185 • April 17-18: Les Orchidophiles de Montreal Show, College de Maisonneuve, 2700 Bourbonniere St., Montreal, Quebec. For information: André Poliquin Tel/FAX: (450)653-9590 "http://orchidophiles.qc.ca/" e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • April 29-May 2: The Vancouver Orchid Society will be hosting this year's COC annual meeting in conjunction with its annual show. The Show will be held at the Richmond Curling Club on Hollybridge Way, Richmond BC. Contact the Show Chairperson, Jennifer Smith, at jsmith@LMLS.com for more information about displays, sales and tickets. "http://www.vancouverorchidsociety.ca/" *********************************************************************** 5 Things to take note of: OSNS fall meeting schedule: The following is a list of our scheduled meetings for the next few months. October 5th @ 7 pm– COC guest speaker Cordelia Head from J & L Orchids November 1st & 2nd – Fall Display with Guest Speaker Chris Helleiner – talk and slide show on “Tropical Orchids in their Native Habitats”. December 14th @ 2pm - Auction /Christmas Social ******************************************************************* Oak Hill Gardens – www.oakhillgardens.com The website has a current and comprehensive list of the plants (plus photos) and supplies available from Oak Hill Gardens. Most Plants listed in that retail catalogue (if we have them available in sufficient quantity) can be purchased wholesale at a 25% discount from published prices when five (5) or more of each variety are ordered. A “special wholesale listing” has been sent to our society. Should anyone desire to see the listing, please contact Linda MacDonald (newsletter editor) for a copy. It features varieties that they have in large quantities at very special prices, reflecting even deeper discounts from their normal wholesale policy. Prices listed are wholesale net and are available only when (5) or more of each variety is ordered. **************************************************** Information Corner: “Orchids ‘Back-to-School’” (taken from “LOS” News, September, 2003 issue) Did your orchids spend the summer outside? If you do not plan to open an insectarium in your house, remember that your plants need a special treatment before you bring them in. The treatment is given in three applications at weekly intervals. Plants come inside the house 1 day after last treatment. For example: 1st application on August 22, 2nd application on August 29, 3 rd application on September 5, and plants inside on September 6. Warm growing orchids should be brought inside mid-September (minimum night temperature 12 C (54 F)). Most cool growing orchids an stay out until the end of September (beware of frost). The nobile type Dendrobium and most Cymbidium can stay outside until mid-October. The treatment contains Cygon 2E that does not suit some plants like Aerangis, Aeranthes, Angraecum and Angrecoides, Pychopsis (Oncidium) papilio and some Cypripedium, Lycaste, Coryanthes, Anguloa and Catasetum. In case of doubt, use Malathion instead of Cygon 2E. 6 Treatment 25 ml (1/8c.) dicofol 3.9% (African Violet Spray) 10 ml (2tsp.) Cygon 2E (or 15 ml Malathion) 2/5 ml (5/8 tsp.) Safer’s/Trounce Insecticide Sap mixed in 5 liters of lukewarm water. Protect yourself properly (eyes, nose and skin – see your local hardware store for a good mask with a filter). Proceed early in the morning (away from sun). Submerge the pot and as much of the plant as possible. Spray the balance of the plant. Protect flower buds. This is the way I do it – there are other ways, but in any case do not bring new ‘pests’ in your house. -Thanks to Marie-Claude Salembier, ECOS, via SOOS newsletter and COC. Masdevallia – Dozens of options exist for anyone whishing to try these colorful orchids. By Marguerite Webb Masdevallias have been in cultivation for more than 200 years, but in the last 10 or 15 years their popularity has soared. The genus is composed of more than 360 species representing a colorful array of lovely and fanciful flowers. Masdevallia is the most popular and showiest member of the subtribe Pleurothallidinae; the Masdevallia flower is characterized by fused sepals that elongate into whimsical tails. The recent production of a wonderful variety of Masdevallia hybrids, many of which are easier to grown than their parents, adds to the allure of cultivating this genus. The tufted plants range from 1 inch to 1 foot, but the vast majority are a compact size of about 3 to 8 inches, offering the hobbyist economical use of space. Many of these plants are ideal selections for windowsill or under-light culture. In 1779, Ruiz and Pavon, two Spanish botanists who had been sent by their government to search for medicinal plants in Peru and Chile, discovered Masdevallia uniflora in the Peruvian mountains near Huassa-Huassi. They erected the genus Masdevallia and named it for their friend and fellow botanist, Dr. Jose Masdeval. Today, beyond the terraced hills above the village of Huassa-Huassi, Masdevallia uniflora still grows. Masdevallia is the New World genus that is distributed from southern Mexico to southern Brazil with the heaviest population of species are found in the Andean cloud forests of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Masdevallias span a range in altitude that is quite remarkable, with species occurring from sea level up to about 13,000 feet. Masdevallias are sympodial orchids without pseudobulbs for water storage. In nature, they usually grow epiphytcally on the shaded bottom part of a tree, either on the mossy trunk or the lower branches, not too far from the ground. They may be found growing terrestrially in the loose, well-drained substrate at the base of the tree. In most cases their environment is fairly shady and moist. Although the high-elevation species require a cool climate, the majority of the species occur at a moderate elevation of about 6,000 feet. These species and their hybrids will tolerate a greater diversity in temperature and are appropriate for growing in the home. Meeting the Plants’ Cultural Needs. In determining which Masdevallias are well suited to your growing conditions, you must consider several cultural factors. Select plants that are appropriate for you temperature range. Stay away from the high-elevation cool growers unless you can provide the cool winter nights and the protection from summer heat these plants require. Choose Masdevallia species, or their hybrids, that are found in nature at altitudes of 6,000 feet or below. These plants are considered to be intermediate-temperature growers. Begin with robust plants that have at least six medium green leaves and are well rooted in the potting medium. Better to start with blooming size or near-blooming size, seed-propagated plants. Light Light is an important consideration in cultivating all orchids since its availability and intensity will help determine which genera you will grow successfully and where you should grow them. Masdevallias are not particularly demanding when it comes to light requirements. In cultivation, about 1,000 to 1,500 foot-candles of light is adequate. Leaf color is the best indicator that your plant is receiving sufficient light to flower. The ideal color should be medium to light grassy green. Too much light quickly produces yellow leaves, and too little will result in dark green elongate foliage and poor flowering. For windowsill growers, an eastern exposure is ideal, but direct sun should be filtered with a curtain or possibly other plants. 7 More protection will be necessary if a south-facing window is chosen, or the plants can be positioned an appropriate distance from the window to further diffuse the light. Experimentation and observation will help determine the ideal location on your windowsill. Under-Light Culture Artificial light culture is a popular alternative for hobbyist orchid growers. Masdevallias are particularly well suited for this mode of growing due to their compact size and minimal light requirements. There is a wide selection of specially designed light fixtures and tubes available, but for Masdevallias, a two-tube shop-light fluorescent setup is the simplest way to provide adequate light. Place the plants anywhere from 10 to 15 inches beneath the tubes. Masdevallias with tall flower stems will require greater distance as they begin to flower. A timer will be needed to regulate the light, and other equipment such as a fan or humidifier if desired. Most growers recommend about 14 hours of light in the winter and up to 18 in the summer. The under-lights grower has the advantage of controlling and extending day length, which windowsill and greenhouse growers do not have. Another popular method of artificial light culture is to grow in a wardian-type case. The growing chamber should be equipped with light and a small fan. The advantage to such an enclosure is that a much higher level of humidity can be sustained. A variety of growing chambers are commercially available or a large aquarium works well. Hobby growers in warm climates have reported success using a growing case in an air-conditioned room. Heat buildup from the light is offset by the coolness of the room. Greenhouse owners should select a location tat will protect their Masdevallias from direct sun. These plants need from 40 to 80 percent shade, depending on latitude and seasons. Shade can be provided with shade cloth, whitewash, slats or other plants. Aside from reducing light, providing shade for Masdevallias in the greenhouse helps reduce summer heat. Temperature Some hobbyists may be reluctant to try Masdevallias as they have a reputation for requiring cool temperatures. There are certainly many showy high-elevation Masdevallia species that do have stringent temperature requirements, but there are many more that do not. The available selection requiring intermediate temperatures has greatly expanded n recent years due to the flurry of activity in Masdevallia hybridizing. A prevailing trend has been to combine the brilliant-colored cool growers with warmth-tolerant low-elevation species. The result has been the creation of many colorful intermediate-growing hybrids, many of which exceed either parent in vitality. Masdevallias, like all other orchids, are categorized based on their temperature requirements. Guidelines are as follows: Warm growers: winter night – 60 to 65 F: summer day – 75 to 90 F. Intermediate growers: winter night – 55 to 60 F: summer day – 70 to 85 F. Cool growers: winter night – 50 to 55 F: summer day – 65 to 75 F. Strict adherence to these ranges is not necessary. For example, many cool growers will thrive in a warmer winter night, but the summer maximum must not rise much above 80 F. Intermediate growers will tolerate higher summer temperatures if the temperature falls at night. Warm growers will tolerate cooler winter nights if the environment is kept slightly drier. Masdevallias need a 10 to 15 degree temperature differential between day and night. In the autumn and winter, this drop in temperature helps reduce heat stress. Providing a lower summer nighttime temperature helps minimize ill effects from excess heat. High humidity is another vital element that will help offset heat. As temperatures increase, so should relative humidity and air circulation. Humidity and Air Movement Because Masdevallias inhabit areas where there are very high natural levels of relative humidity, it is important to provide good humidity in cultivation. Strive to maintain levels of 65 to 100 percent. Creating and sustaining a humid environment for your masdevallias can be achieved in a few ways. Windowsill and under- lights growers can utilize pebble trays with the plants sitting above the water, not in it. A small fan blowing across the pebbles will aid in evaporation, thus raising humidity. The addition of a cool air humidifier will enhance relative humidity of your growing area, if the pebble tray is not adequate. To augment humidity levels in the greenhouse, misting or fogging systems, evaporative coolers, or just wetting down of the floor will do the trick. Air movement is important in the culture of all orchids, but because of temperature and humidity requirements, it is particularly significant for successful masdevallia culture. Adequate air movement will reduce leaf temperature, aid in evaporation (thus increasing humidity) and reducing the likelihood of fungal and bacterial problems. The air movement should be strong enough to keep the atmosphere fresh, allow for drying of leaves and potting medium, and to help maintain an even temperature. Choose a fan that is suitable for the size of the growing area. Water and Fertilizer Masdevallias should be watered often enough to keep the potting medium evenly moist, but not sopping wet. Because they are relatively small plants in small containers, the frequency may be about twice or three times a week in the summer and once or twice a week in the winter. When watering, flush the pots to ensure thorough wetting. Over 8 watering does not compensate for lack of humidity and can cause root rot. If you suspect that you have hard water due to a crusty buildup of salts, consider having it tested. Hard water can retard growth in masdevallias as well as other orchids. Rainwater or distilled water is a good alternative if you have this problem. Masdevallias do not require copious amounts of fertilizer. Apply one-half strength of a balanced fertilizer such as Peters once or twice a month. Overfeeding can cause leaf-tip burn and will accelerate the decomposition of the potting medium. Potting and Dividing Masdevallias require a potting medium that is free draining yet moisture retentive. Fine fir bark, medium-grade tree fern, osmunda and New Zealand sphagnum moss are often utilized either alone or in various combinations. A good mix for masdevallias consists of three parts fine bar, one part tree fern, one to two parts chopped sphagnum, and one part coarse perlite. Some growers recommend the addition of one part fine charcoal. Since plastic containers retain moisture n the potting medium longer than clay, plastic is usually preferred for masdevallias. Clay pots may be used in hot regions o cool the roots of the plant and allow for more frequent watering. It is time to repot your masdevallia when it is growing out of its container or the potting medium is deteriorating. Generally, masdevallias should be repotted once every year or two. Early spring is the ideal time because these plants will reestablish quickly before the summer heat. Autumn is also a good time but is best to avoid disturbing the plants in the summer. When plants are repotted, all of the old potting medium and any dead roots should be removed. Pot masdevallias so that the plants are secure in their containers. The crown of the plant (where the leaves and roots emerge from the rhizome) should be level with the surface of the medium, never below it. Those masdevallias that have a climbing growth habit or pendent inflorescences may grow better and look more attractive on a mount. A tree-fern slab is the better choice because it retains some moisture and does not decompose quickly. Cork may be used, but only when the plant will be grown in a humid setting. Place a cushion of New Zealand sphagnum or osmunda fiber around the roots and tie the plant in place with monofilament fishing line. Mounted plants will dry quickly and may need watering every day. Masdevallias grow rapidly and a large plant can easily be divided. Each division should have at least one new growth and about five back growths, but it may not be practical to divide the plant into equal segments. Division is less disruptive and plants reestablish quickly if the separation is done in places where the plant seems to divide naturally. Pest and Disease Problems Maintaining the proper interaction of all the cultural components will help prevent many common disease problems. Keep plants and their environment well groomed and free of any decaying matter. Carefully observe your masdevallias regularly and quickly deal with any problem that may arise before it can have an impact on your collection. Good culture, hygiene, and observation equal the best prevention. However, occasionally problems are unavoidable. They fall into three categories: insect pests, fungal and bacterial diseases, and virus. Masdevallias are susceptible to the pests that commonly attack other orchids: aphids, scale, mealybugs, spider mites, slugs and snails. Aphids seem to be the most frequent visitors. They are small, translucent, soft-bodied sucking insects that cluster on the tender new growths and flower buds of masdevallias. They multiply rapidly and will deform growth and flowers if not checked. Even more sinister is the recent discovery that aphids can spread Bean Yellow Mosaic Virus, a virulent virus that seems to attack only masdevallias and other pleurothallids. Aphid infestation can be treated with Safer’s Soap, pyrethrum- based sprays, malathion and other appropriate insecticides listed as safe for orchids. Mealybugs are soft cottony insects that hide under leaf bracts and in creases of leaves. They are not a common problem for masdevallias but they are difficult to eliminate. Treat a small infestation with an alcohol swab; otherwise spray malathion in three sequential applications, always following the label directions of this and any other insecticide. Scale has two forms. Boisduval scale resembles mealybug with its cottony residue, and brown scale makes brown bubbles on the leaves. Again, scale is not a common masdevallia inset, but can be treated as for mealybugs. Spider mites will thrive only in conditions of low humidity, so they will not be a problem for masdevallias when high levels of humidity are maintained. Spider mites are tiny so their damage, in the form of whitish or silvery scarring on the underside 9 of the leaf, is often visible before the mites are detected. A spider-mite infestation can be treated with Dilthane or other miticides listed for orchids. Slugs and snails are insidious pests that consume flowers, new growth and the green root tips of masdevallias. Dishes of beer left out overnight will attract and drown slugs. If the problem is large, a bait or spray containing metaldehyde will be necessary. Masdevallias are susceptible to fungal and bacterial infestations, usually when the cultural components are out of balance. Ventilation and air movement, fresh potting mix and sanitation help prevent these diseases. Rots are usually bacterial and manifest as soft brown lesions or areas on the leaves. Treat immediately as rot spreads quickly. Cut away diseased tissue and remove it from the growing areas. Treat with a bactericide such as Physan or Consan 20. A variety of fungi can cause leaf spotting in masdevallias. These should be treated with a fungicide such as benomyl. One recent product that has been recommended for the home grower that is effective is Bonomyl by Bonaide. To identify the exact pathogen that is attacking your masdevallia, send a leaf sample to your local county cooperative agriculture extension service. Usually you will also receive recommendations for the most effective treatment. Tiny spots or pits on the surfaces of masdevallia leaves may not be caused by an organism but may be environmental. Cool wet conditions, especially in the winter greenhouse, can cause mesophyll collapse, particularly on soft new growths. The treatment is to warm up and dry off the growing area. Another condition that is commonly seen in masdevallias that may be environmental and not disease is blackened undersides of leaves. This often is a build-up on darker pigment in the leaf as a result of stress. Trick is to determine the cause of stress and then eliminate it. Many masdevallias flower profusely around the base of the plant. As these flowers die, they may become the host for a fungal infection that can quickly move to the plant and cause rapid leaf drop. Treat with a fungicide; but as a preventative measure, be diligent about dead flower removal on all masdevallias. Cool, damp conditions promote infections that can cause rapid leaf drop. Bean Yellow Mosaic Virus (BYMV) is a disease that all masdevallia hobbyists should know about. Viral infection of an orchid is incurable. BYMV is characterized by necrotic areas on the new leaves. This necrosis appears as irregular yellowish patches that are most apparent when the leaf is held up to a light source. In time, the flowers may exhibit irregular coloration but in some cases the symptoms are only obvious in the leaves. The virus can be spread by improper handling and insect vectors. Be certain not to allow an infected plant into your collection. If you have a virused masdevallia, isolate it or destroy the plant. Getting Masdevallias to Flower Usually, masdevallias will reward the grower with frequent and abundant flowers when the culture is correct. Allow the plant time to acclimate to your growing environment. Even a blooming-size masdevallia may not flower for the first few months after acquisition. When reluctance is encountered, here are a few things to try to coax your plant into bloom. Although masdevallias do not require high light, there are some that need more than average to bring them into flower. Move your plant to a slightly brighter spot. Perhaps the day-night temperature differential is not great enough. Even an increase of a few degrees can make a difference. With some of the cool-growing masdevallias that may resist flowering, giving them a “cool shock” (48 to 50 F night) for about two weeks may cause the plant to initiate bud formation and reward you with a show of color. Kinds to Grow - The Species Masdevallia floribunda from Mexico is a hardy, warm grower, ideal for beginner masdevallia growers. The regular form has perky yellow flowers produced in profusion. Masdevallia floribunda subspecies tuerckheimii from Guatemala has pink or densely speckled purple flowers on short stems near the base of the plant. Most of the Central American Masdevallia species occur at moderate elevations and are vigorous intermediate growers in cultivation. Masdevallia reichenbachiana has 6- to 8-inch leaves and colorful red, white and yellow blooms. Masdevallia schroederiana has lovely long-tailed flowers that are predominately red with a widening band of white on the lateral sepals. For the enthusiast of miniatures, Masdevallia erinacea is a gem. The 1-inch leaves are grass like and can be contained in a tiny thumb pot. The unusual prickly russet and yellow flowers are displayed nicely above the foliage. Masdevallia erinacea is an intermediate grower. 10 A true warm grower, Masdevallia tondizii from Panama has sparkling white and yellow flowers. It grows well in hot climates and has created some attractive warmth-tolerant hybrids. Masdevallia scabrilinguis and Masdevallia collina, also from Panama, are robust. The former gets a halo of white and yellow blooms, and the latter sequentially produces polished deep purple tubular flowers. Masdevallia glandulosa s a lavish bloomer. Bright lavender orange-tailed flowers encircle the plant, making a lovely display. A seductive, spicy-sweet fragrance emanates from these flowers. The plant grows easily in intermediate conditions. Masdevallia infracta ranks among the easiest of masdevallias to grow. It flourishes in warm to intermediate temperatures and will produce flowers on and off year round. The slightly cupped waxy flowers range in color from amethyst to pure yellow and varying combinations in between. Masdevallia infracta has produced about two dozen hybrids that have inherited the free-flowering and robust nature of the parent. Masdevallia constricta (syn. Masdevallia urosalpinx) has unusual white and orange-sherbet-colored tubular flowers. It is another pretty species that grows easily and blooms frequently. Hybrids Expand Your Options Hybrids often possess even greater vigor than their species parents, so that any hybrids utilizing the species listed above are good choices for the new masdevallia hobbyist. There are many from which to choose. Hybrids of Masdevallia triangularis, such as Masdevallia Cooper Angel (triangularis x veitchiana), with its large, flat, copper-orange flowers, grows easily. Masdevallia Copper Angel exceeds either parent in flower production and is teeming with blossoms at its peak flowering. Masdevallia Owen Neils (Copper Angel x sanctaeinesae) blooms with apricot-orange to pure yellow flowers, and, like Masdevallia Copper Angel, grows quickly to specimen proportions. A sturdy and attractive masdevallia with which to begin a collection is one of the early modern hybrids, Masdevallia Marguerite (infracta x veitchiana). The 8-inch plant will develop 12-inch flower stems bearing orange and red flowers. Some plants have pure red flowers and an occasional clone will be pure yellow. Three other Masdevallia infracta hybrids with vivid red blossoms are Masdevallia Redwing (infracta x coccinea), masdevallia June Win (Redwing x decumana) and masdevallia Angel Heart (ignea x infracta). These strong plants will withstand quite a range in temperatures and produce very showy flowers. Masdevallia Lucky Stripe (yungasensis x infracta) is a more compact 4-inch plant that has rosy purple long-tailed blossoms striped with maroon. Masdevallia Peach Fuzz (veitchiana x constricta) and Masdevallia Ted Khoe (constricta x welischii) seem never to be out of flower. Floriferousness as well as easy culture are qualities inherited from Masdevallia constricta. Masdevallia Peach Fuzz has large, frosted, peach-colored flowers, and Masdevallia Ted Khoe, red-orange. Masdevallia tonduzii grows at sea level and does not mind summer heat; nor do its offspring, Masdevallia Angel Tang (veitchiana x tonduzii) and Masdevallia Goldie (Paradise Sunset x tonduzii). The light apricot flowers of Masdevallia Angel Tang glisten with a fine coating of purple hairs. Masdevallia Goldie is a smaller plant with unblemished, pure sunny yellow blooms. That plant never seems to be out of flower for long. Masdevallia Angel Frost (veitchiana x strobelii) created about 20 years ago, has been popular in orchid collections ever since. The luscious light orange flowers are large for the size of the plant, and are minutely coated with either white or purple hairs. Hybrids of Masdevallia Angel Frost are also good candidates. Masdevallia Angel Flow (Angel Frost x Marguerite) is a stately tall-stemmed beauty. The lovely orange flowers are very long lasting and frequent, keeping the plant in bloom for months. Marguerite Webb is a co-owner of J & L Orchids, which specializes in pleurothallids and miniature orchids. Marguerite, who has been growing orchids for more than 25 years, says her favorite genus is Masdevallia. *J&L Orchids, 20 Sherwood Road, Easton, Connecticut 06612. (Thanks you to Orchidata September issue 2003 for this article) 11 Plant Table for September Meeting: Angraecum Lemford White Beauty greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Bc Cindy Angel greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Blc Copper Queen greenhouse Ruth Ann Moger C(Cherry Chip x aclandiae) x Lc Mini Purple greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Den Judith Nakagama greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Dtps Queen Beer greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Dpts(Taida King Sun ‘Rebecca x Phal Green Mist) windowsill Karla Kuklis Encyclia cochleata gigantea window/lights John MacDonald Howeara Lava Burst ‘Puanani’ AM/AOS greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Masdevalia Shinichi Komoda greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Paph charlesworthii greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Paph dianthum greenhouse Jean Ikeson Paph primulinum aureum ‘Blondie’ x Lady Isabel windowsill Barry Langille ‘Dark Beauty Paph Vanguard greenhouse Jean Ikeson Phal Lava Glow ? John Macdonald Phrag Eric Young greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Phrag Hanne Popow greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Phrag Mountain Maid greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Phrag Robert Palm greenhouse Bob & Gail Schwarz Phrag Sorcerer’s Apprentice greenhouse Jean Ikeson Restrepia hertzii windowsill Karla Kuklis Slc Coastal Sunrise ‘Pink Surprise’ greenhouse Ruth Ann Moger Stellis sp. ‘Carmine’ windowsill Barry Langille !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Submissions for the Newsletter: If there is anything any member would like published in the newsletter, the dates for submission are the 25th of each month. All suggestions and comments are most welcome. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
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