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Thread: A bit of a mystery...

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  1. #1
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    Geoff Hands
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    Default A bit of a mystery...

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    I was øn a visit to one of the well-known South American orchid nurseries, and saw this plant, looking very out of place, ( and out of flower) and was told that it was Oncidium oncidioides.I bought it, and when it arrived ( being sent through the proper CITES channels) it came with a note saying that they had discovered the correct name, which is Anacheilum allemannioides.

    Now Ancheilums are the plants we used to call Epidendrums, with upside down flowers ( the tech' term is resupinate) and with a cockle shell like lip. Epi cochleatum is the well-known one, but there are a lot of others - see the pretty pics in Jay's Internet Encyclopaedia - so I was very happy with that. The cochleatum one is well known to me, and as its happens i don't have one in my collection currently, although the plant did not look quite right for that.
    Now that it has flowered , I can see that the flowers are resupinate, but they are actually lipless.
    They have the requisite number of petals and sepals, but the column sticks out into thin air. Very odd. A weird mutation ? And not very attractive to my eyes.

    And there is no such Anacheilum - at least in Orchidwiz, or in the Kew list.

    I rather think it will be a raffle prize, when we have orchid society meetings again, labelled "Anacheilum weirdo".

    Well, you win some, you lose some - so they say. And they are right.

  2. #2
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    Leigh
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    I think it's interesting Geoff.
    Sometimes that's what makes an orchid good.
    Heck, look at the story that comes with yours.
    To me that's part of the fun.

  3. #3
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    Jack
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    That is certainly different and a mystery

  4. #4
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    Ray Barkalow
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    Well... It's certainly not Ana. allemanii or allemanoides.

    Hard to say from photos, but it's either a nice Ana. pachysepalum, a hybrid made with that, or an undescribed species.

  5. #5
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    Geoff Hands
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    Well... It's certainly not Ana. allemanii or allemanoides.

    Hard to say from photos, but it's either a nice Ana. pachysepalum, a hybrid made with that, or an undescribed species.
    I am impressed, Ray. Looking at the pics in IOSPE, you have got it, spot on. Anacheilium pachysepalum, beyond ( almost) the slightest doubt.
    I have to say "almost" because of what Jay says at the beginning of the section on this genus - "The inflorescence emerges from a spathe which can remain green or become brown, can be large or almost insignificant but they are always there which separates this group from Encyclia".
    So I look for this spathe - and .... ( don't hold your breath) - no spathe. At least not in the way we see the spathe on a cattleya ; nothing the spike emerges from. The first inch or so of the flower stem is distinct, is fatter, and has a definite end where the rest starts , and maybe that is a spathe, although the stem does not appear to grow through it ; maybe I'll try a dissection when the flowers start to fade.
    But I find it curious that there is no mention anywhere of this missing lip ! Actually, on (very much) closer inspection, there is a lip but it is so insignificant; I looked at the other species shown in the genus ( in IOSPE) and their are a few similar . It makes me wonder about the pollinator for these orchids. The lip is usually their landing platform/guide. A humming bird ? or a moth ? which does not need to land ?
    Ain't nature wonderful !

    p.s. If you happen to be passing by Christchurch, Dorset, Uk, and a a bit of Ana allemannii or allemannioides happens to be in your sponge bag, and fall out, that would be great ! Or if you happen to know of anyone listing them ; the cost of a CITES would be worth it - both are very beautiful - and I don't think anyone this side of the pond has them available.

  6. #6
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    Bruce Brown
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    A fun story indeed. Do you think it will bloom differently next time, Geoff? Maybe part of the issue was due to how the plant was fed before you got it?

    cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
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    Ray Barkalow
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    I am impressed, Ray.
    Don't be. My wife was ill this morning (not COVID-19)so we wook up about 4 a.m.. Searching through IOSPE photos was a good way to kill time.

  8. #8
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    Susan
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    I think it is a really cool plant with an interesting story.



    Susan

  9. #9
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    It is a good story Geoff! Very interesting looking flower!

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