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No ID - about to bloom - what should I expect?

This is a discussion on No ID - about to bloom - what should I expect? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a plant that I had assumed was oncidium alliance. It's in a 6 ...

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  1. #1
    EllenGST is offline Member
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    Default No ID - about to bloom - what should I expect?

    I have a plant that I had assumed was oncidium alliance.

    It's in a 6 inch pot, many pseudobulbs, lots of strappy leaves that are not thick and leathery. I have no idea what this is - it was given to me in the fall by a member of my garden club, who had received it from a friend of hers. My friend never had it bloom - she gave me this and a phal. The plant in question is in a 6 inch pot, very crowded, about to grow over the pot's edges.

    I was examining it - questioning whether to report, when I was surprised to notice a flower spike. It looks as thought there's a sheath - shaped somewhat like an early bud of a paph inside the folded leaf. I don't think this looks like an oncidium after all - though I haven't bloomed one of those since getting back into orchids.

    I know I'll have a better idea when this actually blooms, but I am impatient, and am wondering just what sort of lower to expect on this. I'm attaching a picture of the flower spike, and of the plant's growth habit.
    If anyone has any idea what this might be, I'd appreciate hearing from you.


    Name:  orchid spike.jpg
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    Name:  no id orchid.jpg
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  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    Definitely an Oncidium Alliance orchid.

  3. #3
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
    Chris in Hamilton is offline Senior Member
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    Agree with Harvey. It looks as though the spike is stuck. I've had this happen a few times. Sometimes they get out on their own but they can break as well. You can release it if you want to by very carefully spreading the fold in the leaf. You won't have to spread it too much.

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    EllenGST is offline Member
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    That is good info. I was surprised to find the flower stalk. Even though I trust the friend who gave me this plant, I had it segregated - on a table in our dining room. Bay window - east facing, but with light shade even in the AM. I was only interested in keeping it alive - and hoping to give it more care starting this spring.

    When i found the spike today, I did carefully spread the leaf to look at the end of the spike. I'll do that again, and see what I can do. How long will it take to bloom once the spike is released?

    I'll post another picture when it blooms. I took Chris's advice and carefully releaset the flower bud - it didn't take too much effort. Would be thrilled if this turns out to be a brassia or an odontoglossum. Am amused at myself about this - I was perfectly fine with not having it bloom, expecting nothing from the plant until I repotted it and took it out of newcomer's isolation. Now that I know there's a spike, I am impatient to know what it is!

  5. #5
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    Agree with the above and maybe Odontoglossum hybrid as the leaves darker and tough looking.

  6. #6
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    Oncid for sure. Some Brassia species have long bracts that wrap around the developing spike and buds and could appear like a sheath. The leaves here seem very broad though. Keep us posted as it develops.

  7. #7
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    I grow lots of oncidium alliance plants - maybe 300 ? I have never seen a spike this white colour. Looks more like a root to me.

  8. #8
    EllenGST is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    I grow lots of oncidium alliance plants - maybe 300 ? I have never seen a spike this white colour. Looks more like a root to me.
    It is definitely NOT a root. I first posted this because it wasn't looking like an oncidium spike to me. I saw a picture this morning (elsewhere) of a miltoniopsis with a flower spike that looks very similar to this. I'm not certain that's the identification - leaves seem a little broad to, but I haven't found a photo of one that's outgrown a 6" pot.

    After releasing the trapped spike, it has straightened out a little and looks like this. Name:  noid spike resized.jpg
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  9. #9
    Dorsetman's Avatar
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    Certainly looks more like a spike now. And maybe its starting to turn green too. Maybe it was in the dark when trapped, and that was why it was white ; but I still can't remember seeing a spike as pale as this !

  10. #10
    EllenGST is offline Member
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    I think it photographs paler than it looks in real life - there appears to be a bract or sheath over the flower end of the spike. I can see that it is greener underneath this tissue thin layer. Whatever it turns out to be, will be fine with me. It's a big healthy palnt, other than signs that there were a couple of short periods of underwatering. There are a few leaves with a little corrugation. Other than that it looks robust, and will probably need to be repotted after blooming. I'll post pictures when it does bloom.

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