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  • 2 Post By pk93
  • 1 Post By Jose R. Nieves

Epidendrums growing wild in my backyard

This is a discussion on Epidendrums growing wild in my backyard within the Breeding & Hybridization forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; so today while i was watering everything in my garden I noticed something that looked ...

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  1. #1
    pk93's Avatar
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    Default Epidendrums growing wild in my backyard

    so today while i was watering everything in my garden I noticed something that looked like reed stem Epidendrums growing in a pot where some dormant lily bulbs are in, upon further inspection i noticed that they indeed had standard epiphytic orchid roots... Of course i am quite excited to have some orchids growing as wildly in my lily pot, I find myself asking how is it even possible... because 1. orchids need to form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus in order to germinate, 2. the orchid is epiphytic and growing in soil (although i know of many people that grow reed stems in ordinary soil), 3. how would one of the specific types of fungus needed for epidendrums to germinate find its way into my garden, and actually survive in potting soil, and 4. how in the world haven't i noticed them until now >_< .. the seeds themselves must have drifted from my mounted reed stem that last year developed a seedpod.
    What i am deducing from this event is that orchids aren't as picky about which fungus they form symbiotic relationships with as we once thought (or at least i did).
    I'll probably post some pics tomorrow afternoon.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pk93 View Post
    so today while i was watering everything in my garden I noticed something that looked like reed stem Epidendrums growing in a pot where some dormant lily bulbs are in, upon further inspection i noticed that they indeed had standard epiphytic orchid roots... Of course i am quite excited to have some orchids growing as wildly in my lily pot, I find myself asking how is it even possible... because 1. orchids need to form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus in order to germinate, 2. the orchid is epiphytic and growing in soil (although i know of many people that grow reed stems in ordinary soil), 3. how would one of the specific types of fungus needed for epidendrums to germinate find its way into my garden, and actually survive in potting soil, and 4. how in the world haven't i noticed them until now >_< .. the seeds themselves must have drifted from my mounted reed stem that last year developed a seedpod.
    What i am deducing from this event is that orchids aren't as picky about which fungus they form symbiotic relationships with as we once thought (or at least i did).
    I'll probably post some pics tomorrow afternoon.
    Cool. I would love to see the photos.

    cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    Cjcorner's Avatar
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    How cool! The reed stem epidendrums are one of my favorites. Bright sunny flowers...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pk93 View Post
    so today while i was watering everything in my garden I noticed something that looked like reed stem Epidendrums growing in a pot where some dormant lily bulbs are in, upon further inspection i noticed that they indeed had standard epiphytic orchid roots... Of course i am quite excited to have some orchids growing as wildly in my lily pot, I find myself asking how is it even possible... because 1. orchids need to form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus in order to germinate, 2. the orchid is epiphytic and growing in soil (although i know of many people that grow reed stems in ordinary soil), 3. how would one of the specific types of fungus needed for epidendrums to germinate find its way into my garden, and actually survive in potting soil, and 4. how in the world haven't i noticed them until now >_< .. the seeds themselves must have drifted from my mounted reed stem that last year developed a seedpod.
    What i am deducing from this event is that orchids aren't as picky about which fungus they form symbiotic relationships with as we once thought (or at least i did).
    I'll probably post some pics tomorrow afternoon.
    Actually, that isnt true. Not all need to form the symbiotic relationship, infact, most will germinate without the fungus. The only ones that NEED it are the saprophytic types like Gastrodia, and those that have no chlorophyll. Most terrestrials will have a reduced germination rate without fungus but still will, and most like Cymbidium, Zygopetalum and Epidendrums will happily germinate without the need for fungus, the conditions only need to be right (which is not an easy task!). Check out the Te Puna Quarry Park at http://www.quarrypark.org.nz/botanical.htm , as there has been huge orchid growth here without the symbiotic fungi, because the species of those fungi are not available here.

    Congrats! on your find too! and may they perform a great show for you when they bloom!
    Last edited by kiwiorchids; September 24th, 2011 at 12:17 AM.

  5. #5
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    I would be as curious as yourself as to how this all happened. You could call it a quirk and probably not be wrong, or you could also look at it as a one in a million chance of happening that turned into a wonderful reality and who is to say you wouldn't be right? AL

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiorchids View Post
    Actually, that isnt true. Not all need to form the symbiotic relationship, infact, most will germinate without the fungus. The only ones that NEED it are the saprophytic types like Gastrodia, and those that have no chlorophyll. Most terrestrials will have a reduced germination rate without fungus but still will, and most like Cymbidium, Zygopetalum and Epidendrums will happily germinate without the need for fungus, the conditions only need to be right (which is not an easy task!). Check out the Te Puna Quarry Park at History Frame , as there has been huge orchid growth here without the symbiotic fungi, because the species of those fungi are not available here.

    Congrats! on your find too! and may they perform a great show for you when they bloom!
    wow that is really fascinating, i always thought they needed the fungus in order to take up nutrients, I kind of want to go pollinate some orchids now >_<

  7. #7
    kiwiorchids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pk93 View Post
    wow that is really fascinating, i always thought they needed the fungus in order to take up nutrients, I kind of want to go pollinate some orchids now >_<
    lol, if the epis are doing well, try some cymbidiums, they might work! Dendrobium kingianum is a proven performer too

  8. #8
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    Sorry for the late post, i couldn't manage to get any decent photos >_< .. sorry for the mess in the pot, unfortunately I don't really pay much attention to the lilies other than watering them.
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  9. #9
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    There are many kinds of Mycorrhiza. There are some orchid species that only germinate with one kind of Mycorrhiza but others can and do germinate with different types. In my experience I have seen "spontaneous" germinating of Epidendrum (reed type), Arundina (bambusifolia), Dendrobium (crumenatum). Mycorrhiza is not found not only in orchids but in other plants. The subterranean species Rhizanthella gardneri has only been found associate to shrubs of Melaleuca uncinata whose roots are already infested by a fungus. T those interested I recommend "Orchid Biology, Review & Perspectives, vol V".
    Jose

  10. #10
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    I have the strangest things come up in pots, too. Anything from achimenes, sinningias, episcias, begonias...Some of mine have an explanation and some don't. I have a pile of soil that comes from the plants under lights. I use the throw away soil to repot outdoor plants like palms and such.
    Very interesting! What area are you in?

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