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species phal ?

This is a discussion on species phal ? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; so ive recently been on a species (and semi-primary hybrid) phal kick...in a few months ...

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  1. #1
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    Default species phal ?

    so ive recently been on a species (and semi-primary hybrid) phal kick...in a few months time, ive managed to collect 2 new phal bellinas, 1 new phal pallens, and a compot of 5 new phal zebrinas/sumatranas seedlings, not to mention a flask of phal penang girl X phal bellina.

    anyway, ive been reading up on info (especially in orchid digest -- great mag, by the way) and looking at pictures on the web. it seems that the flowers for phal zebrina can look totally different from one plant to another. does anyone know if this has to do with culture? or does it have to do with genetics? im mainly interested in the spotting/barring on the flowers. on some plants, the red barring seems to be thick, while on others, they are very delicate markings.

    can a plant that has produced thick bars one season produce thin, delicate ones the next? my plants are a bit young, so ill have to wait a few years to figure it out myself. i thought that those of you with experience with these guys might help me out.

    oh, yeah...phal zebrina and phal sumatrana *are* the same plant, arent they? i thought that i read somewhere that they were.

    thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
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    it seems that the flowers for phal zebrina can look totally different from one plant to another. does anyone know if this has to do with culture? or does it have to do with genetics?
    It has to do with both. Not only can you often see marked differences between plants of the same species, on some, because the blooms last for such a long time, two spikes concurrently *on the same plant* can have flowers which are vastly different in color and pattern, depending on the temps and nutrients each spike received while it was developing. Many harlequins are notorious for this, producing flowers with broad, Dalmation-like spots one season, or a haze of tiny, pinprick-like spots the next.

    Phal zebrina, acutifolia, sumatrana, and Polychilos sumatrana all refer to the same plant.

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    thanks, louis!

    do you happen to know what conditions cause what kind of flowers? the culture sheets that i have dont really say much - they just say that the flowers vary. i particularly like the delicate spotting/barring on phal zebrina. do you know what the conditions need to be to achieve that? are you growing any species phals yourself? im totally smitten right now!

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    I may have this completely bass-ackwards, but if I remember correctly, warmer temps tend to make the spots / markings hazier and redder, while cooler temps will make them coagulate into thicker spots with a more orangish color. (If I've got this backwards, someone please say so!) It'll be interesting to see what happens when your seedlings get to be blooming-sized and you can experiment.

    Also, trace elements (or the lack of them) in your water supply can affect the flower's color. Liz I think mentioned hydrangeas, which can turn from pink to blue if you add aluminum sulfate to the fertilizer mix. I've never tried this with orchids, but I'll bet you can achieve something similar, if not to the same degree.

    I guess the species bug never really bit me very hard: I've grown several, but have always ended up giving them away or trading them. The only species phal I've got right now is a violacea (old name--I can't remember the new one...) that smells to me like froot-loops cereal, and a Doritis pulcherrima that I'm still growing too warm to get it to bloom. Other than that, I've only got a few odds and ends around the place that are species.

    Wish I could give you more info that wasn't so general, but I hope this helped some.

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    thanks for the great information!

    my little guys are only a couple of months out of flask, so ill be waiting a while yet to experiment.

    thanks again for helping a girl out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lja
    The only species phal I've got right now is a violacea (old name--I can't remember the new one...)
    Are you talking about violacea borneo? I think it's now called bellina, but I don't understand naming issues or why they'd change names... I've got a couple of species (a bellina, a violacea malaysia, and a primary hybrid, a Valentinii (cornu-cervi x bellina).) They're sweet and pretty, smell nice, and have lovely colors, and I like them, but they aren't my favorites.

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    I'm not sure whether this has anything to do with how to impact the color on phal zebrinas, but I just saw an ebay auction for a Perfection Is "Chen" and it said that cooler temps would make the color more intense. For whatever that is worth...

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    Yes, it's violacea borneo: bellina now. I'm not very clear on the why's and wherefore's of naming issues either.... It's something you really have to study, I think, to understand the reasoning behind, and classification / taxonomy was never a part of orchid growing that floated my boat in any big way.... So I rely on the kindness of Expert Taxonomists....

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