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Epidendrum ¿?

This is a discussion on Epidendrum ¿? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi! I have this orchid since about 6 months and I've been told it's an ...

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    Question Epidendrum ¿?

    Hi! I have this orchid since about 6 months and I've been told it's an Epidendrum radicans with orange flowers. I don't know much about orchids yet, but looking around on the Internet, it looks like it's not an E. radicans since I can't see any root growing on the stem (which is supposed to be a behaviour of E. radicans). Instead, all the roots are from the base of the stem as you can see in the picture. I know it might be hard to tell until it blooms, but which type of Epidendrum could it be? E. ibaguense? The new growth started to appear like 4 months ago and the roots are growing like crazy. New leaves are still growing from the top of the cane. I'm giving it water almost everyday and balanced fertilizer once a week.
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    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    The lack of aerial roots isn't significant. With a single maturing cane and one new growth just coming it could just be by chance, or conditions might not be right for it. Unfortunately, even when it flowers it may not be easy to determine species from a picture. Is there another reason you doubt the identification?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    The lack of aerial roots isn't significant. With a single maturing cane and one new growth just coming it could just be by chance, or conditions might not be right for it. Unfortunately, even when it flowers it may not be easy to determine species from a picture. Is there another reason you doubt the identification?
    I thought that the aerial roots were always present for this type of orchid under any coindition, that was the only thing that made me doubt about the ID besides that here in my country most people doesn't care about putting an ID tag on the orchids, so we can't be 100% sure. Do they need to grow a few canes before blooming?

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    Aren't Epi. radicans and Epi. ibaguense synonymous?

    There is no, single factor that determines blooming. A plant needs to be healthy, and able to "know" that its energy stores plus production of them is adequate. Under ideal conditions, a single growth may very well bloom, while under lesser cultural parameter, the plant may need to be a fairly large colony before it is comfortable enough to bloom.

    And then there is the situation wherein a plant may be in such poor shape that it blooms in its final death throes in an attempt to carry on the gene pool...

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    Epi. radicans should typically have relatively abundant roots along the stem, and most other reed-stems will be more limited to roots only at the base - a relative difference, not absolute, and a one growth division just isn't enough to say for sure. No matter what species or hybrid, this may be able to bloom on the new growth, but that doesn't mean it will.

    Ray - I don't see any reputable sources that considered radicans and ibaquense the same species. I wouldn't be surprised if genetic analysis found the accepted classification of this Subgroup of Epidendrum to be complete fiction, but I haven't heard of it. There are certainly many nurseries and hobbyists who don't differentiate then though.

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    It still may be E. radicans even with out keiki's and roots on the stem. I think the stem looks thinner on E. radicans, though. If not E. radicans, it may be a hybrid with thicker growth. I've seen some of those that don't have many roots on the stem.

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    Other than the flowers appearing similar, I don't know where I got the idea of synonymy! Wow! I guess the memory IS one of the first things to go as you get old!

    I did a little comparative digging, and found that E. radicans has a slightly unevenly bifurcated leaf tip... I don't see that in he photo.

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    [QUOTE=raybark;429051]Other than the flowers appearing similar, I don't know where I got the idea of synonymy! Wow! I guess the memory IS one of the first things to go as you get old!

    Unfortunately that is so very true, but it happens to the best of us Ray, welcome to the club!

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