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Phrag. besseae

This is a discussion on Phrag. besseae within the Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium, Cypripedium IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; 'ChiliPepper' x 'Colossal' very large plant (for a besseae) but flowers aren't huge, only 7.5-8 ...

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  1. #1
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    Default Phrag. besseae

    'ChiliPepper' x 'Colossal'

    very large plant (for a besseae) but flowers aren't huge, only 7.5-8 cm. in this heat the blooms are decidedly on the orange side and there's a little undesirable streaking on the lower halves of the petals. ah well.



    The discovery of the brilliant Phrag. besseae in 1981 set off a flurry of phragmipedium hybridization that still continues unabated to this day. For much of the 20th century, a limited color palette and genetic incompatibility issues had all but shut down phrag breeding, and interest in the genus was perhaps at an all-time low. However, the combination of the shocking red-orange color of Phrag. besseae and the extraordinary chromosomal work by the late Don Wimber of the Eric Young Orchid Foundation resulted in a veritable explosion in phrag hybridization and popularity. Revolutionary first-generation hybrids such as Eric Young, Memoria Dick Clements, and Ruby Slippers paved the way for spectacular second-generation hybrids like Don Wimber and Jason Fischer, and these will be used in turn to generate still more advanced breeding lines. It is safe to say that phrags are now more popular than they have ever been, and that this is a truly exciting time to be a phrag phanatic!

    Phrag. besseae is known as a somewhat temperamental species, although successive line-breeding has produced plants that are much easier to grow than the original imports. Plants are still prone to sending off stolons up to 4-6" in length, which virtually necessitate shallow pots or basket culture. Like the long-petalled phrags, besseae is prone to a basal rot in the heat of summer, and constant vigilance is required in order to catch this at an early stage. Phrag. besseae is exceptionally intolerant of fertilizer, and will show its dislike of a rich diet with spotted brown leaf tips that progressively die back. It does seem to appreciate sphagnum moss, however, and a combination of sphagnum and clay pots works well for many growers. Cooler temperatures seem to result in more intensely-red flowers, although the peak of the flowering season is typically during the spring and summer months.

    Phrag. besseae and its close relative Phrag. dalessandroi are native to Peru and Ecuador. In addition to its typical red-orange color, Phrag. besseae also exists in a yellow form, as well as in various shades of peach and salmon. Phrag. dalessandroi is believed by most to represent a distinct species, and can be identified by its short rhizomes, downswept petals, and readily-branching inflorescences.

  2. #2
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    y'know what I like about your pics photos Jason?

    It's the extra added learning that comes with every pic! I love the histories, the stories that come with the beautiful pics!

    cheers
    t

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    I totally agree with Tim! Thanks for the information and the beautiful photos. Do you have a photo of Phrag. dalessandroi? I would like to compare the two so I can see the differences you mention. Fascinating! Thank you, Jason!

    Cheers!
    BD

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    Tim-O, check out Jason's Website - it's like an orchid museum!
    http://homepages.nyu.edu/~jlc314/

    Jason, how many besseae do you have (counting your's mom's)?

    Julie

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper
    Tim-O, check out Jason's Website - it's like an orchid museum!
    http://homepages.nyu.edu/~jlc314/
    Julie, that website is in my favourite

  6. #6
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    I love the color! So for judging perfection this bloom may not make the grade.... but I love it!! Really tempts me to get a besseae, but I don't think I have very good conditions for them..

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    Great piccie/bloom & info.
    I,ll have to have another go @ growing 1.

  8. #8
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    What an incredible color! I, too, appreciate all the history you post with your pictures - thanks.

    I'm new to this, so I have a question. If species orchids are "originals" of nature, how can there be , for instance, a Phrag.besseae 'ChiliPepper' and a Phrag.besseae 'Colossal' ? Do each of those exist in nature?

    Just wondering...

  9. #9
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    The name in single quotes is called a clonal variety or a cultivar. Any plant with the same cultivar name is genetically identical (more or less). That happens either through dividing the original plant, cloning the plant or by crossing (pollinating) it with itself or another plant of the same clonal variety.

    In any orchid sex, the resulting seedlings will vary from one another to some degree, but seedlings do still keep the cultivar name of the parent. There can be self crosses (the plant pollinates itself) no, it won't go blind... or sib crosses (the plant is pollinated by a sibling - another plant of the same clonal variety.) Hillbilly orchid sex.

    These naming conventions apply to all orchids, whether hybrid or species.

    When a plant wins an award (such as HCC/AOS, AM/AOS, or FCC/AOS to name the most common in the U.S.) the owner can assign a cultivar name. This lets other know that any divisions or progeny will have those awarded characteristics. Here's a post that gets into the naming thing a bit deeper:

    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...ead.php?t=4163

    Julie

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    It is still a very beautiful besseae, Jason! And the companion reading piece is very nice as well. Thanks.

    Julie,
    Hillbilly orchid sex ... how do you come up with those ... Hehehhehehhee!
    BTW, your orchid naming piece is great, a classic for this forum. BD should have made it sticky! (Is it already? Can't tell!)
    Cheers. Hoa.

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