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This is a discussion on satisfying oncidium in spike within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...
Aliceara. . . . Wow! You would not believe what I am learning from examining this genus.
(1) I have to a better understanding with the progeny of Aliceara: Brassia x Miltonia x Oncidium. I have studied each genus as progeny to Aliceara in some detail now and feel I have a decent understanding of each. Certainly my estimation of each genus has but only increased with interest. The prospects of cultivating each seems to have increased at the expense of Ada, Miltoniopsis, and some members of Oncidium. Their cool growing tendencies would never allow me to cultivate them here in Virginia Beach, VA (USA). Certainly this is the case with respect to my present growing conditions and with regard to the greenhouse I am anticipating building.
(2) Over the past few days, I have labored over what started as a post for the forum to a full fledged essay on Aliceara and warmth tolerance. I am not sure what to do with this essay. It is way too long for a post, I should think. But I think orchid enthusiast and growers alike would enjoy reading it, if the technical natural of it did not impede a fondness for it. At any rate, I am still working on this essay. I anticipate some interesting conclusions, I hope!
In the process of writing for the past several days rather intensely, I have gained many insights into the malleability of a non-naturally occurring genus like Aliceara. Its three variables--Brassia x Miltonia x Oncidium--remarkable alone, are intriguing when put together genetically. What amazes me more is that Aliceara is regarded as a limited genus to only cool-intermediate growing conditions. I would suggest that if one examines the strategies in which one crosses Brassia x Miltonia x Oncidium one can clearly see that Aliceara is clearly capable of intermediate growing temperatures, as you commented Derek. Yet, here in Virginia Beach, Aliceara has to be able to take another step forward into a tolerance of warm growing conditions. I think it entirely possible, especially with a strategy that has produced Aliceara Sunday Best ‘Muffin AM/AOS. Again I will explain this conclusion in whatever I do with my written document on Aliceara.
What I find most striking in your comment, Derek, is the following quote:
"With 10ish Miltonias, 30ish Brassias and over 600 Oncidiums, there are a lot of combinations and different individual species that can be the dominant cultural requirements of any given trigeneric/multigeneric cross."
I found this comment most insightful and quite astute. Now I am discovering that, with these variables listed in your own words, it is, indeed, exceedingly difficult to judge a genus alone on one hybrid. For it seems that Aliceara Sunday Best ‘Muffin AM/AOS is a different plant--yet still remaining an Aliceara--from Aliceara Hilo Ablaze 'Hilo Gold' HCC/AOS. Aliceara Pacific Nova (Brassidium Shooting Star x Miltonia clowesii), using a breeding strategy similar to Aliceara Sunday Best ‘Muffin AM/AOS, is an orchid that I think genetically is nothing but a warm tolerant Aliceara. Just look at the growing temperatures of a Brassidium and the species Miltonia clowesii! There is warmth tolerance in that cross for sure! All told, I will explain how the two different strategies in breeding these hybrids has led to possible different tolerances with regard to warm growing conditions for the genus Aliceara.
I think, Derek, you have anticipated much that I am learning now. Still I think you will find the analysis of Aliceara to be interesting to read. I still think that if you are successful with your breeding of your Aliceara 'Unknown' (Aliceara Sunday Best ‘Muffin' x Brassidium Gilded Urchin) you should give it a proper name! Have you not strengthened this Aliceara by "selfing" the progeny Brassidium Gilded Urchin x Brassidium Gilded Urchin?
In many ways, a new world awaits for the prospects of estimating the genus Aliceara as an orchid that is quite capable of warmth. That is something I never understood about the current recommended general culture requirements for Aliceara as being limited to cool-intermediate growing conditions. I should it a different story altogether! Perhaps, there are Aliceara that have been breed currently and maintain a different recommended cultural requirement, a condition of warmth. Furthermore, I think it entirely foreseeable to hybridize Aliceara by manipulating Brassia x Miltonia x Oncidium into a into an orchid that not is capable of warmth tolerance, but is comfortable with it too. Regrettably I do not have the knowledge and resources to breed this type of Aliceara.... But I sure would like to see it happen. My written document will explain much . . . .
Many thanks for reading!