Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gold Coast Cymbidium Grower's Annual Show

 Yesterday was the Gold Coast Cymbidium Grower's annual show ( The exhibits provided examples of Cymbidium species, primary hybrids, colors (combinations and concolors) across the rainbow, sepal pelorics, petal pelorics, feathered patterns, bi-color patterns, spots and stripes, flower spikes either upright, arching or pendant, fragrance, and foliage variegation.

Antique hybrids were represented by two different clones of Dryad (insigne x parishii) (1914) and Swallow (Alexanderi x Pauwelsii) (1916), whose flower conformations could be compared with a modern, more complex hybrid such as the first bloom seedling of a presently unregistered (Joan's Charisma x (Lone Star x Winter Wonder)), whereby Joan's Charisma represents at least eleven generations, Lone Star represents at least six generations, and Winter Wonder represents at least nine generations of hybridizing.

One example to illustrate the differences between ploidy levels, 2N vs 4N, was provided by two different plants of floribundum 'Alpine' to be compared with floribundum 'Alpine Giant', a tetraploid variant of 'Alpine' which received a bronze medal by the Cymbidium Society of America (B/CSA), exhibited by Jeff Trimble.

Barry Zimmerman exhibited a wonderfully grown clone of the primary hybrid Scallywag (floribundum x suave).

I thought the show provided a good study on the variations between different species and hybrid clones. There were three different, separately exhibited, clones of the lowianum species: 'Green Oaks' (green segments with red V lip), 'James Drysdale' (chartruese yellow segments with red V lip), and 'concolor' (chartreuse green with yellow V lip). I counted over thirteen different (x devonianum) hybrids, including Devon Gala 'New Horizon' (below), which allowed the public to see what traits devonianum confers onto its offspring. Similarly, there were six different (x Fifi) hybrids, evidencing the recent popularity of Fifi itself and as a desirable parent. Barry Zimmerman's display provided yet another educational opportunity with, side-by-side, three different Vogelsang hybrids: (x Candy Floss), (x Brandy Wine), and (x Via Arcadia Rincon).

As for variations within a grex, I counted four different clones of Memoria Amelia Earhart, three of Dorothy Stockstill, and three of Street Tango.

Below is a nicely grown specimen plant of a second generation, complex devonianum Miniature cymbidium hybrid: Nickelodean Queen.

Variations of color combinations and flower development were represented by the bi-color Tower of Fire 'Sunset Flame', the sepal peloric Freaking Flame 'Windermere', the petal peloric Hot Devon 'Bird of Paradise' (not shown), and the feathered Pia Borg 'Splash', AM/AOS.

This curiosity is Pepper's Fire 'Carnival', which is somewhere in between a feathered and a petal peloric.

And finally, this is Cattleya amethystoglossa 'Sea God', HCC/AOS. It caught my attention because the plant had two inflorescences with 23 and 24 flowers each on a well-grown plant. As of today, there have been 65 American Orchid Society (AOS) awards to C. amethystoglossa, including 6 cultural awards, 17 highly commended certificates (HCC) and 40 awards of merit (AM). The 'Sea God' clone had been awarded by the  back in 1979; however, since then, there have been only three awards to amethystoglossa having as many as, or a slightly higher, flower count. However, this clone might not be elevated to an AM today because of the advances in the standards for flower conformation, whereby the judges are typically looking for flat flowers with wide segments, e.g. increased petal width which now averages above 3.6cm, and increased natural spread which now averages above 8.5cm.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cym. Chocolate Chip Mint

This is my first blooming of Cymbidium Chocolate Chip Mint (sinense x Tiger Moth), a gift from John Dunkelberger ( This plant is a true Miniature Cymbidium because it is the product of all miniature cymbidium species, to wit, sinense, tigrinum and floribundum (aka pumilum). It produces fragrant flowers, per sinense and tigrinum. The 'type and breeding', of course, results in porrect petals per all of the parent species.

As for flower count, this is an interesting mathematics exercise to calculate the geometric mean (the square root of (A x B)), and thus relate the actual value with what one might expect from such a hybrid.

The awarded [plant] has as many as #, average of #, flowers per inflorescence:
tigrinum has as many as 8, average of 4; 
floribundum has as many as 46, average of 27;
sinense has as many as 21, average of 12;
Tiger Moth has as many as 21, average of 17; and
Chocolate Chip Mint has as many as 13, average of 12.

So, if one calculates the geometric mean flower count per species alone, one might expect, per the respective maximums about 20 flowers per inflorescence ((square root of (46x8)=19) x 21) and per the respective averages about 11 flowers per inflorescence ((square root of (27x4)=10) x 12).

So, if one calculates the geometric mean flower count per the Tiger Moth parent, one might expect, per the respective maximums about 21 flowers per inflorescence (square root of (21x21)=21), and per the respective averages about 12 flowers per inflorescence ((square root of (12x12)=12).

My first bloom plant has six flowers and one bud on a single inflorescence, so this inflorescence is substantially less than the previously awarded clones of this grex, as well as what one would expect from the geometric means. Perhaps next year, now that the plant is becoming established from the prior move across the country, it will produce more flowers per inflorescence. Nevertheless, I find this to be a wonderful Mini Cym hybrid, and a definite keeper.