Phalaenopsis Newsletter

Issue 1

February 2011

Talking Orchids from Peter Lin

Peter Lin and Phalaenopsis giganteaGreetings! This week seems like an opportunity to start this newsletter. North Texas is experiencing a record ice storm with below freezing temperature for days.

It has been years since I put together a newsletter. I have a lot to say about phalaenopsis in person - but I found myself lost for words when it comes to write them down. 2011 is a new year and I am looking forward to new and different projects. I have scheduled a few orchid talks this year. It is not an easy feeling leaving thousand of orchids behind, even for just a couple days. But I am looking forward to visiting with fellow orchid growers and talking phalaenopsis. Please see my speaking calendar and ask me about placing a pre-order and get 10% off.

I like to say thank you to my orchid friends and customers for your support these past years. While I enjoy my daily interaction with many of you who visit our phalaenopsis forum, my plan for this newsletter is to reach out to growers who do not visit our forum regularly. We would use this newsletter for information exchange on phalaenopsis, and update on what's new with my company Big Leaf Orchids. As phalaenopsis gain its popularity and become more affordable, there are many growers who enjoy phalaenopsis more than just coffee table plants. I like to encourage more hobbyists to pickup a toothpick and make a new hybrid.

Your feedback and suggestion is welcome and appreciated. This newsletter is live in that corrections and updates can be made electronically. An updated copy will be kept online.

Good Growing,

News from Big Leaf Orchids

Phal Gigabell (gigantea x bellina)Year 2011 is great so far. We are featured in our local newsletter

We are excited about receiving new flasks from our orchid lab. 7 new phalaenopsis flasks have been added to our online catalog, with a few more new crosses due to arrive in couple weeks. These are crosses that we pollinated in 2009, and sent off the seedpods to orchid lab in early 2010. We are excited about a remake of Phalaenopsis Gigabell using a selected cultivar 'Texas Beauty' with flower that measured 6.6 cm NS and 7.1 cm NSV. Looking ahead, we will be receiving flasks of Phal Joy Spring Tina 'Anaconda' x Dragon Tree Eagle 'DT#1' AM/AOS. This is a speculative cross but should be fun to flower in a few years. Additionally, there will be Phal Ambotrana 'Blood Diamond' x Yungho Gelb Canary 'J. Wu', Phal violacea 'Joy' x 'Lavender', Phal David Lim 'CR' x Passion Fawn, etc. We will notify our customers by email when the flasks are received. Email us if you are not already on our mailing list.

Our orchid lab uses easy screw open cap that makes it easier to deflask. This should help us making community pots available to our customers faster. We were not successful in keeping seedlings happy in pot size under 4 inches. This is mostly due to our inability to keep up with watering when pot size are smaller. What seem to work well for us is to keep between 8-10 seedlings in a 4 inch compots. We realize from your feedback that most of you do not want many seedlings from one cross. What we hope to do is to grow these larger and faster in compots then make them available in groups of 3 or 4 seedlings in 3.25 inch pot.

Next orchid import from Taiwan is planned for end of March when weather is warmer. We will keep you updated in our newsletter on what new plants are available from Taiwan.

Updates and Corrections

Spring 2010, Several of you have purchased a plant labeled YP5 Phal (Gelbliber x (Yungho Gelblitz- bellina) X sib). This name has been corrected by Yaphon nursery as YP5 Phalaenopsis Yaphon Image (Phalaenopsis Chang Maw Jade x Phalaenopsis Yaphon Lover). The original nursery cross number is RW33.

We are starting to see more of this hybrid coming to bloom. A number of these are flowering with heavy markings/blotches - see flower pictured below. It is our opinion that flowers with heavy markings should be YP6 Phal ([Gelbliber x (Yaphon Gelblitz-bellina)] X (Gelbliber x Macassar)). This is because Macassar = amboinensis x mariae. We would expect YP6 hybrid with more influence of amboinensis and mariae to have heavy markings. This is consistent with pictures of YP5 Phal Yaphon Image that have less markings due to the influence of Phal micholitzii of Phal Gelblieber.

It is difficult to separate the seedlings of YP5 and YP6 base on their foliage appearance because of the similarity in their parentage. But we can tell by the flower appearance / markings when they flower.
Phal Yaphon Image
YP5 Phalaenopsis Yaphon Image - few markings because of Phal micholitzii
Phal ([Gelbliber x (Yaphon Gelblitz-bellina)] X (Gelbliber x Macassar))
YP6 Phal ([Gelbliber x (Yaphon Gelblitz-bellina)] X (Gelbliber x Macassar)) - heavier markings from influence of Phal amboinensis and Phal mariae

Phalaenopsis amabilis or aphrodite

I was asked if Phal amabilis var formosana 'Orchid Konnection' AM/AOS is Phal amabilis or Phal aphrodite. The correct name for this flower is Phal aphrodite subsp formosana 'Orchid Konnection' AM/AOS.

Variety formosana is used to describe the species from Taiwan (known as Formosa in the past means "beautiful island"). Phal amabilis var formosana is not a valid variety for species phalaenopsis amabilis. Quoting Eric Christenson's book on phalaenopsis, he said "One ongoing confusion with P. amabilis is the application of the name to white-flowered plants originating from southern Taiwan. Those Taiwanese plants are correctly a subspecies of P. aphrodite. No true P. amabilis has been recorded from Taiwan or its neighboring islands."

It's easy to tell the difference between Phal amabilis and Phal aphrodite subsp formosana.  Phal amabilis has longer, slender lip. Its callus has smooth posterior edge.  Phal aphrodite has shorter, broader lip. Its callus has pointed erect teeth. 

Right now I have flowers from Phal amabilis var formosana 'Orchid Konnection' AM/AOS, Phal aphrodite subsp formosana 'Da Wu Mountain' (a stem prop from a wild collected plant from Taiwan), Phal aphrodite subsp formosana (from selected breeding), and Phal amabilis from Java. So I took pictures of these 4 flowers and close-ups of the lips.

Since Phal aphrodite subsp formosana is a subspecies of Phal aphrodite, you will find the callus of Phal aphrodite from Northern Philippines to have more pronounced teeth. A good photo example is available on Alain's site

We will update this section with photos of Phal aphrodite (Fuga) that we took before. This Phal aphrodite has larger flowers than Phal aphrodite subsp formosana.
Phalaenopsis amabilis lip closeup
Phalaenopsis amabilis lip closeup

Phalaenopsis aphrodite subsp. formosana lip closeup

Phalaenopsis amabilis lip closeup

Phalaenopsis aphrodite subsp. formosana lip closeup

Phalaenopsis Pylo's Canary Princess

We made this hybrid Phal Pylo's Canary Princess (Princess Li-Shian 'Peter Lin' X Yungho Gelb Canary 'Joseph Wu') in 2006. Our goal is to use Phal Yungho Gelb Canary that is proven to pass on its rounder form, heavy substance, and fragrance to its progeny. It does not matter that a star-shape Phal Princess Li-Shian is used as pod parent. Our expectation is that Phal Yungho Gelb Canary would be more dominate in flower form.
Working with novelty phalaenopsis require time and patience. This hybrid was offered in 2008. Our customer Jeff Kaine is the first one we know to flower this hybrid. Mike Mims also have a plant from this cross that just flowered. We are pleased to see this hybrid inherited Phal Yungho Gelb Canary's rounder flower form. We hope that there will be some from this group that has darker red-orange markings from Phal Princess Li-Shian. If you have flowered a Phal Pylo's Canary Princess or anyone of our hybrid, we would like to hear from you.

Phalaenopsis bellina fma coerulea

Randy Tajima (of Mid-Pacific Orchids) and I were discussing blue Phal bellina from a Taiwanese nursery Main Show.  From a personal conversation with Mr. Chen (of Main Show Orchids), he got his blue Phalaenopsis bellina from a Japanese nursery. From this group of seedlings - Mr. Chen selected flowers with darker color and made seedlings of Phal bellina ('blue#3 SM/TOGA' X 'blue#2').  I believe that 'blue#3' is the same as 'Blue Wanchiao' pictured below.  This photo was scanned from Main Show color catalog pictured below.

Since I have just received these small seedlings of Phal bellina ('blue#3 SM/TOGA' X 'blue#2'), Randy shared photos of his blue Phal bellina from Main Show Orchids (known as Wanchiao blue strain). Per Randy, all of the plants from Wanchiao strain were blue (See photos below #1, #3, and #120110).  Randy also shared a photo of Phal bellina 'Moon Festival' (Jungle strain) pictured below. 
Phal bellina ('blue#3 SM/TOGA' X 'blue#2')
Phalaenopsis bellina  'Blue Wanchiao' AM/TOGA
Phal bellina#1
Phalaenopsis bellina #1 - photo by Randy Tajima
Phal bellina#3
Phalaenopsis bellina #3 - photo by Randy Tajima
Phal bellina#120110
Phalaenopsis bellina #120110 - photo by Randy Tajima
Phal bellina'Moon Festival'
Phalaenopsis bellina 'Moon Festival' - photo by Randy Tajima

Phalaenopsis Forum Watch

Phalaenopsis speciosa - the true species?? - Read comments and scanned images posted by Olaf Gruss
This is one of my favorite post.  Great work from Olaf and everyone who contributed to this topic.

Phalaenopsis equestris - research worksheet prepared by Royal Daniel
Great work by Royal who put together this research without Orchidwiz or AQ Plus.

Phalaenopsis Growing Tips

This tip is shared with us by Helmut (forum user name: hhartung) from Venezuela. 
For a large orchid collection, we may find it more practical to water our plants first with tap water to clean and to fertilize. We would then rinse the leaves with RO Water. This way we would produce less waste water by using less Reverse Osmosis water.
Have a tip on growing phalaenopsis? Email Us.

Newly Awarded Phalaenopsis

Phal. Salu Black Pearl 'Ching Her#2' AM/AOS 82 pts
Phalaeonopsis venosa 'Melencia' FCC/AOS (92 pts) - 2/2/2011
Congratulations to Ramon de los Santos for his FCC AOS award. This flower is named after his mother Melencia.  This is an unsually large Phal venosa flower, measured at 6.0 cm NS and 6.2 cm NSV.  Visit California Sierra Nevada Judging Center website for a close up photo and description.

Phal. Salu Black Pearl 'Ching Her#2' AM/AOS (82 pts) - 1/8/2011 - pictured on the right
Congratulations to Meir Moses for getting this red phalaenopsis awarded at Dallas Judging Center.  Photograph by David Gould.

Note: all awards are considered provisional until published by Amercan Orchid Society Award Quarterly. Email us if you would like to share photos of your awarded phalaenopsis before it is published.