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My Neo shrine

This is a discussion on My Neo shrine within the Orchids of Other Genera IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Kirstie's recent post on her lovely pink Neo kicked off a flurry of Neo hunting ...

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  1. #1
    Piper's Avatar
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    Default My Neo shrine

    Kirstie's recent post on her lovely pink Neo kicked off a flurry of Neo hunting (primarily Qing and me.) I've always loved their delicate beauty in other people's collections, but no one ever said they came in colors!

    Qing went the yellow route. I was smitten with the pinks. So I bought three representative pink forms.

    A bit of nomenclature:

    Neo. falcata is a monotypic species; that is, it's the only species in the Genus Neofinetia. The names you see associated with different Neos are the traditional Japanese names for each variety. In the botanical latin we use to name orchids in the west these names would be shown as Neo. falcata var. Shutenno, as opposed to the Japanese name of Shutenno or Shu Ten Nou, which means 'Red Emperor.'

    A bit of history:

    Neos have been cultivated for centuries in Japan, typically by the ruling class: the daimio the feudal lords, the samurai, and other wealthy citizens of influence. As most things Japanese, asthetics are everything. The foliage is as varied and prized as the color, form and scent of the flowers.

    A bit of culture plant culture:

    Neos are traditionally potted in open pots with a mound of sphagnum moss, often hollow in the space just under the roots. This allows excellent aeration, which they demand. They enjoy intermediate to bright, indirect light. They want to be kept evenly moist, but be sure no water collects in the leaf axils - that's where good air circulation will help. They can tolerate cooler temps (above 40 F), but are very sensitive to salts, so they require little fertilization.

    Awa Ai is a traditional Japanese art of dyeing with raw indigo dye or sukumo, from the leaves of the Tade indigo plant. Awa Ai has been an art form in Japan since at least the early 1300's.

    I wanted a representative sampling of the pink forms of Neo falcata, so I purchased three: Benisuzume, Sho Ten Nou, and Toyozakura. Sho Ten Nou, which Kirstie has already posted, is primarily white, with a lavender to cherry stem and nectary. Benisuzume is a much more strongly pink flower with flaring petals and a small patch of white in its center. Toyozakura would be a coeruela, or blue form of Neo.

    I display mine on a traditional Awa Ai cloth. This spot doesn't get enough light, so I move them onto my dining room table in the morning so they can drink up the light. Come afternoon/evening, my Neo shrine is restored.

    I wanted small dishes to protect the Awa Ai cloth, but they needed to match the deep indigo hues. Asthetics, after all! I had one shallow ceramic dish with a deep blue glaze that I'd gotten a year or so ago with an artisanal cheese. It was perfect! So I ran down the street to the local gourmet food shop with my Awa Ai to buy two more of those cheeses. Of course Lois, the cheese lady, had to hear the full story of my Neofinetias and the Awa Ai! I proudly came home with two more dishes that I quickly washed and employed - the shrine was perfect!

    McJulie San
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  2. #2
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    Default

    Beautiful Julie. I recognize the Awa Ai I also think I recognize the center Neo.
    I am hiding from orchid temptations, but if anyone EVER finds great deals on variegated leaved ones, or colors, or even a great white flowered one.... PLMK!!!! :c)
    Glad I started an obsessed run for a particular orchid lol

  3. #3
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    Very nice, Julie! I love the neos too. They grow so easily and bloom every year in the GH.

    Cheers!
    BD

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    lovely setup and great history!

  5. #5
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    Here are all my neos. From the left, 1 - Shu Ten Nou, 2 - Tamakongo (bean leaf type with white rounder flower), 3 - regular white, 4 - Kikuotome. # 3 have two new growths (could be spikes, too early to tell). If they are spikes, this plant can bloom twice a year (it came with bud to me in May).

    Kirstie, is $10 a white flower Neo considered cheap to you? But I don't know if this is blooming size.

    Qing
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    Oooh. These are really cool plants. I love oriental style, and I can see why you guys are so enchanted with this genus. McJ--is Awa Ai related to the art of shibori? It kind of looks like it.

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    Mehera,

    I'm not an expert in this at all, but I believe that Awa Ai is the dyeing of cloth with native indigo dyes, while Shibori is a specific dyeing technique (as in, art form.)

    This site has some interesting information:
    http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/whatso...pan/index.html

    I only studied Japanese briefly, but their complex conguations of adjectives and adverbs would make me suspect that Aizome and Awa Ai are based on a related root word.

    McJulie San

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    Honor to your orchids, McJulie San. You too, Qing. Nice tribute to the beautiful 'wind orchids'.

    Tmai

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    Arigato gozaimasu, Tami San!

    McJulie San

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    Bless you!

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