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 Post subject: Old-school purple Cattleya
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 9:25 am 
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Location: Floridana Beach, Florida, USA
My memory is not great anymore, but I think I posted a different flowering of this plant before. I apologize for the redundancy, if such is there. It is STILL raining here in Florida, so please forgive me for a lengthy escape from the frogs falling from our sky...(anyone got any *new* recipes for Frog Chowder?...I've lately tried all the best known ones... :lol: )

This particular flowering is a low-light, cold-weather flowering of the hybrid of Blc. Raye Holmes 'Mendenhall', AM/AOS (C. Bow Bells x Oconee) with Blc. Mem. Crispin Rosales 'Pine Knot', AM/AOS. This Blc. Raye Holmes plant is the same as the cultivar awarded as 'Elise', AM/AOS. When flowered in non-high-montane forest temperatures for the upper reaches of Ecuador (in this particular flowering, the weather must have been chilly...), this cultivar is much more vibrant purple and more full in shape. The good news is that, in any setting, it is reliably about 8" in natural spread and breaks multiple leads so fast that it is best to pot even a small division, like 3 bulbs, in a 10" bulb pot … or wish that you had done so in about 18 months. It is one of the most fragrant cattleyas I have ever met and it reliably flowers twice each year.

A lot of history behind this plant from both sides of its heritage:

The C. Bow Bells pod parent of Blc. Raye Holmes (the Bow Bells that is the grandparent of the plant in the photo here) was from a selfing of Bow Bells 'Honolulu'. The original cross was from England and, if verbal traditional history is correct, a person could not call themselves a proper local if they could not hear these particular bells of the local church tower at their own home residence. Some time later, not long after the end of WWII, a mass purchase of this selfing by Bill Carter and Owen Holmes from the McDade family in Tennessee was arranged. The only problem at the time of the agreed purchase was that Bill and Owen … had no place to put the plants! They looked at each other and said (I do not recall who said the actual words...), "It looks like we're in the orchid business!" Rather quickly, two glass greenhouses were added to the Florist Shop property that they already owned and the result was...Carter & Holmes Orchids, Inc. The other parent of Blc. Raye Holmes is Blc. Oconee 'Mendenhall', no introduction necessary (note: it WAS in the pollen position in this cross).

As to the pollen parent of the plant in the attached photo, this was Blc. Mem. Crispin Rosales 'Pine Knot', AM/AOS. This particular cultivar came from the original strain (not from the many, many remakes to follow) made by Ben Bracey. It first flowered in a 3" pot and was awarded an AM/AOS in a 4" pot. It is still one of my favorite orchids. All crosses with it tend to flower for the first time in a 4" pot, even though both parents may be fully-sized, "standard" cattleyas. 'Pine Knot' imparts a pinkish-plum tone to everything it is bred with, along with ridiculous vigor. Jinx alert: the next generation, using the plant in the photo in the pollen position, could be on its way soon and, trust me, if there is any Cattleya more vigorous than the one in this photo...it is the other parent with a pod swelling now.


Best regards,
Walton

Photo credit, Bridget Uzar


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 Post subject: Re: Old-school purple Cattleya
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 11:00 am 
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Location: Carter and Holmes, SC
In an interesting addition to your background story Walton, I found out this winter a bit more about that first offering of Bow Bells. I was always told 'it was a little ad that ran in the back of Southern Living magazine'. Alas that is not so true but probably just mis-remembered after so many years. I spent not so little time combing through back issues of Orchids magazine on the AOS site until I hit paydirt. C&H ran its very first offering in April 1956. The famous Southern Living magazine is at least ten years younger.
The original ad from 1956 is shown below, along with a few others I found. Back then they only advertised every so often.


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 Post subject: Re: Old-school purple Cattleya
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 3:58 pm 
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Location: Floridana Beach, Florida, USA
Thanks, Bridget; I remember that AOS ad and have a copy of that edition in my library. I believe that was also the first time that C&H ran an ad with the AOS, although they were indeed very active in Southern Living as well, so maybe...

The mailing address is, I believe, the old Florist Shop itself on the downtown square in Newberry (not Newbury, as one of the ads lists!!!). The last time I was at the location, the proprietor was a food shoppe specializing in rare-and-choice morsels that would never have been found in the entire county back when...

Walton

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 Post subject: Re: Old-school purple Cattleya
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:50 am
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Location: Hawaii
Thank you all for the history lesson.

Years ago at a Hawaii Kai Orchid Society banquet, I sat on the same table as Masa Otsuji (if you see the varietal name 'Koko Head' that's his plant like Ronald's Canyon 'Koko Head' and Hatsuyuki 'Koko Head', that's from his collection) and Joe Yasuda. Masa is an old timer and Joe was growing way before Masa. Joe told a story about Bow Bells, Bob Betts and Pearl Harbor.

A hui (investment group) bought a large number of plants from Rivermont in the 1940's or maybe early 50's. Joe said they went down to Pearl Harbor to watch the Pan Am Clipper land with the boxes of plants. I think he said they had to buy a thousand plants in thumb pots, so probaby 1 1/2" and 2" pot size. In the hui was Joe, Harry Otake and others. I think Masatoshi Miyamoto was also in this group, but I'm not positive. Anyway, among the plants was Bow Bells and a number of seminal Bow Bells hybrids.

I saw in an old magazine that Ben Kodama Sr. exhibited Bow Bells 'Honolulu', but when I asked him about it, he didn't remember. Ben Jr doesn't remember the plant either.


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 Post subject: Re: Old-school purple Cattleya
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:20 pm 
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Location: Floridana Beach, Florida, USA
RandyT wrote:
I saw in an old magazine that Ben Kodama Sr. exhibited Bow Bells 'Honolulu', but when I asked him about it, he didn't remember. Ben Jr doesn't remember the plant either.


Now, thank YOU, sir, for the history lesson that is entirely new to me.

Perhaps I have news for you: the original plant of Bow Bells 'Honolulu' still exists. I am not either at liberty nor preference to disclose its owner, given my lack of fondness for same, but I do have a photo of their plant. It will take me a few days yet, but I will post a photo of a convincing flowering of the cultivar. It was round, strong growing, and frustratingly crowded on the stem, as are many of its children and grand-children.

Hopefully more soon,
Walton and...
P.S. how special that this thread is on our venerated Peter's...basically Phalaenopsis Forum!!! I LOVE THIS PART of the story!!! Thanks again for your Forum, Peter!

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 Post subject: Re: Old-school purple Cattleya
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:18 am 
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Adding to this hijack of a phalaenopsis forum, I once had a division of Bow Bells 'Honolulu' in my collection, acquired when I lived in Georgetown SC, but not from Carter & Holmes, but as a gift from Merritt Huntington when visiting my folks in DC.

I managed to grow it into a nice specimen in a homemade 18" basket, but - alas - it was lost, along with my entire 20-year collection, to a greenhouse heater failure on a 7-degree night in PA.

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 Post subject: Re: Old-school purple Cattleya
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:50 am
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Location: Hawaii
raybark wrote:
Adding to this hijack of a phalaenopsis forum, I once had a division of Bow Bells 'Honolulu' in my collection, acquired when I lived in Georgetown SC, but not from Carter & Holmes, but as a gift from Merritt Huntington when visiting my folks in DC.

I managed to grow it into a nice specimen in a homemade 18" basket, but - alas - it was lost, along with my entire 20-year collection, to a greenhouse heater failure on a 7-degree night in PA.
I know of a couple of folks with Honolulu. So sad to hear of the passing of Ray’s plant

As for hijacking this phal forum, I always say that any damn fool can grow a Catt, but it takes a certain kind of fool to grow Phals.


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