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A Minicatt Goes Haywire

This is a discussion on A Minicatt Goes Haywire within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi again everyone- I tried to post this earlier but things were too busy, so ...

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  1. #1
    Pindar's Avatar
    Pindar is offline Senior Member
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    Default A Minicatt Goes Haywire

    Hi again everyone-

    I tried to post this earlier but things were too busy, so here goes again!

    Name:  Prosrhynvholeya CGR 'GJ' 11.2012.JPG
Views: 430
Size:  124.5 KBName:  Prosrhyncholeya Chief. Gr. Ri. 'Gr Ji' 11. 2012.JPG
Views: 369
Size:  107.0 KBName:  Prosrhyncholeya Chief Green River 'Green Jiangnan' 11.2012.JPG
Views: 517
Size:  133.1 KB

    Well here's a thing. The growing buds of this miniature cattleya of mine have ruptured the back of its leaf. Just this afternoon I sat down and took a good look at what's going on. And as you all can see the front of the leaf has failed to open fully, and so the buds got trapped inside what was now a partial tube. Fortunately the back of the leaf opened up by phimosis along a length of its midrib. I never realised that phimosis (splitting along a line of weak tissue) was present in orchids. (I have noted orchid blooms opening by phimosis of conjoined sepals... but never thought their leaves exhibited the same mechanism.

    To be sure, palms famously develop their leaves by phimosis of tightly pleated (but entire) leaves. Well palms and orchids... both families are monocots (Asparagales, or Liliales as they were called in my earliest youth...) and I get to thinking: grasses, banans, gingers and so on... do they operate by phimosos too. Seems likely. Is this a widespread characteristic of monocots? We should be told!

    Has anyone had this kind of thing go on among their orchids? Or anything else cute and weird?

    (BY THE WAY: this tiny plant has the heavyweight name X Prosrhyncholeya Chief Green River 'Green Jiangnan'. One of the complex modern Cattleya hybrids that do not produce sheaths.)

  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
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    That is interesting. None of mine have done it yet, although mine tend to do other weird things. Just not this one...yet.

  3. #3
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    Hey Connie! You know what- I have just realised what is up with my Encyclia vitellina that always has these bell shaped flowers that never open: Their sepals never complete their phimosis but stay conjoined for half their length. Now the question is WHY?! (But wouldn't it be awful if we knew ALL the answers at once...
    Quote Originally Posted by Cjcorner View Post
    That is interesting. None of mine have done it yet, although mine tend to do other weird things. Just not this one...yet.

  4. #4
    pavel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pindar View Post
    Fortunately the back of the leaf opened up by phimosis along a length of its midrib. I never realised that phimosis (splitting along a line of weak tissue) was present in orchids. (I have noted orchid blooms opening by phimosis of conjoined sepals... but never thought their leaves exhibited the same mechanism.

    Has anyone had this kind of thing go on among their orchids? Or anything else cute and weird?
    Hey I learned a new term today!

    Lot of flowers for such a little plant -- just the type of thing I look for.

    So would phimosis then be the correct term to apply when a phal's root splits the leaf?

  5. #5
    Pindar's Avatar
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    Hi Pavel!

    Yes it is a lot of bloom for such a little tiddler! Like you say, just the thing for building a large collection on a windowsill or two, or for anyone running out of space (= all of us! ) March 2011 at the London Orchid Show there was a stand of a nursery from Taiwan specialising in minicatts where I got this one and some others.

    Pavel: you are THE MAN: Of course- PHAL ROOTS! You see something often enough and you stop seeing it...I remember the days long ago when I used to stop and think: that's a perverse way to grow... why not just keep root buds BELOW the leaf axil like all other plants??? It is so irrational, I guess my brain stopped bothering with it and just accepted Phals and their endearing ways: their whole growth pattern is sort of provisional and casual... almost careless.

    So yes of course- You have identified another everyday example of phimosis. It seems so obvious now that you point it out! Thank you SO much- it has made my day!
    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post
    Hey I learned a new term today!

    Lot of flowers for such a little plant -- just the type of thing I look for.

    So would phimosis then be the correct term to apply when a phal's root splits the leaf?

  6. #6
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Can Not Wait to see the blooms! Very cool!! (And thanks for the new vocab word! - phimosis)

    cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the term, Igor. I always thought it only affected little boys. It happens quite often to my cattelyas especially when there is a drastic change of weather conditions.

  8. #8
    Pindar's Avatar
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    Me too! And Pavel was great in reminding me of the regularlu seen phimosis in Phals! Imagine- I had a look at mine yesterday, and on one of them the new spike has broken through a leaf base the way roots so often do. Never a dull moment in the conservatory.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer View Post
    Can Not Wait to see the blooms! Very cool!! (And thanks for the new vocab word! - phimosis)

    cheers,
    BD

  9. #9
    PetSlayer is offline Senior Member
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    And me who thought phimosis was an affliction reserved to the mostly male part of the animal reign . Now I know that if something looks funny on one of my plants I should have a surgical blade at the ready.

    Soooo maaany flowers!! Give us a picture when they open!
    Cheers!
    /L

  10. #10
    Pindar's Avatar
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    Yes Laura- I am very curious to see all the flowers! I bought it as a virgin plant in March last year, so I cannot remember what it looks like (it was from a Taiwanese stand.) You can be SURE I shall post a photo when the event happens! And I shall be thinking of you !
    Quote Originally Posted by PetSlayer View Post
    And me who thought phimosis was an affliction reserved to the mostly male part of the animal reign . Now I know that if something looks funny on one of my plants I should have a surgical blade at the ready.

    Soooo maaany flowers!! Give us a picture when they open!
    Cheers!
    /L

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