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New Updates to my Native Orchids Gallery (11/19/04)

This is a discussion on New Updates to my Native Orchids Gallery (11/19/04) within the Orchids of Other Genera IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; I just updated my Florida native orchid gallery with some additional images of Platanthera nivea ...

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  1. #1
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    Default New Updates to my Native Orchids Gallery (11/19/04)

    I just updated my Florida native orchid gallery with some additional images of Platanthera nivea and a brand new page on Corallorhiza wisteriana, a leafless saprophyte haunting the woods of the southeastern US.



    ---Prem

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    Prem, do you go out to the field to find these, or are you growing them all yourself? Helluva collection, if you're growing them.

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    Louis,
    I do grow a few native terrestrials that I have rescued from development or lawnmowers...but Corallorhiza would be next-to-impossible to cultivate. The plants are in delicate symbiosis with their associated mycorhizal fungus...any disruption to their root system usually means death (either of the orchid or the fungus, either of which would be mean death of the plant).

    These particular plants grow about a half-mile (as the crow flies) from my home on a bluff overlooking Lake Talquin in north Florida.

    Other orchids that share this woodland are Tipularia discolor and Listera australis.

    ---Prem

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    Is there no way to cultivate the mycorhyza along with the plant, if one took a sample of the surrounding earth? I've heard these were difficult--why does the fungus die off in cultivation?

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    I guess if you took a huge ball of earth, perhaps, but maintaining the right moisture levels and such might be difficult. These tend to grow in a zone that's not too wet and not too dry.

    I've had difficulty getting too many of the woodland species to survive transplantation at all...with the exception of Tip. discolor and Listera australis. The bog orchids are much more amenable to transplantation.

    ---Prem

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    I wonder if supplemental feeding with a sugar solution wouldn't help, since that's essentially what the fungus produces to nourish the plants. In that regard, many Paph growers deflasking don't use fungicide in the process whatsoever, believing that beneficial mycorhyza would be destroyed. Instead, a 10% sugar solution is used in which to soak plants prior to compotting. If you could legally get hold of a Platanthera to cultivate, I'd be really interested to see if sugar suplementation doesn't keep it going just fine (neat experiment, if you can manage to get hold of a plant...)

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    Well, Platantheras seem to be one bog orchid that does well when transplanted. I haven't attempted any of the woodland plats, however.

    ---Prem

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