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  #1  
Old 05-23-2020, 03:26 PM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Default Cattleya orchid 'eyes'

This thread just comes out of some interest from this thread here Click Here about an orchid having no roots and deteriorated leaves etc.

The thread eventually has a mention about 'eyes' of cattleya, which raises a couple of questions - about eyes.

I did some searching, but haven't yet found details for answers.

Anybody know if a cattleya can run out of 'eyes' for cases where all the existing eyes are taken out by rot etc?

For example - if a cattleya is somehow able to become stabilised after rotting (eg. rot treatment successful), and supposing it still has a leaf and some roots that can still function, and assuming all 'eye's are destroyed or not existing -------- then can the cattleya possibly generate new 'eyes' from which to grow new bulbs?

Or is there a condition (?) where if all the life-lines (eyes) are gone, then it's a one way ticket to ......... not good.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:01 PM
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"Eyes" are places where the plant is "programmed" to branch the rhizome. It's a longshot, but if there are no remaining eyes, the plant conceivable could create a new one, if it has the conditions and resources amenable to doing so.

A phalaenopsis has but one such meristematic apex, but if that rots, it is fairly common for a plant to reroute a new one out of its side.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2020, 04:11 PM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Thanks very much Ray! I had been wondering about whether catts could just 'run out of eyes' or not ------- but now knowing that a catt can potentially generate new growth points if the catt can hang on and suitable conditions provided ------ is definitely a good thing. Thanks again Ray. Very much appreciated.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:06 AM
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Orchid Whisperer Orchid Whisperer is offline
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SouthPark, I am going to over-explain a bit, for the benefit of readers that might know less than you do about the eyes on orchids.

Orchids either have apical meristems dominant (monopodial, e.g. Phalaenopsis), or lateral meristems dominant (sympodial, e.g., Cattleya).

The "eyes" on a Cattleya are the locations of lateral meristems. These can be dormant, or start actively growing. Usually, the lateral meristems on a Cattleya look like a scale (like a reptile scale, NOT the insect) and are at the base of a pseudobulb, more or less at the same level as the rhizome. However, Cattleyas also have smaller lateral meristems (eyes) that occur within the first inch or two above the rhizome; there are lines that circle the pseudobulb where sheathing bracts grew, encasing the pseudobulb during development, the smaller eyes develop along those lines. I have had a few plants that developed new growths from these smaller eyes.

My experience is that, if the regular eyes are damaged, the small ones can take over. If both the regular and small eyes are damaged, my experience is that nothing else grows, and the plant eventually dies. That is my experience, others may have had different experience when the same thing happened to those eyes.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:20 AM
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Excellent explanation OW! And thanks for adding those great details.

This is definitely very relevant information - helping to determine what happens if those regular eyes and the back-up ones are all destroyed. Beyond that - whether there is the possibility of the orchid to generate more eyes if the orchid is able to hang on for a long enough time.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:47 PM
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In addition to the eyes, I've had a Cattleya hybrid that made a rhizome? deep in the bark mixture that was separate from the main rhizome. It looked like a thick root mass. A new growth appeared from this mass after I divided the mother plant.

I'm not sure how common that is with Cattleyas. I've seen it with Dendrobiums a few times.

In cases where the plant is stressed or damaged, I don't know if this is an alternative route a plant can take to produce new growths.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:05 PM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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Here is a teachers aid...

the circles are eyes

Eyes by J Solo, on Flickr
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:01 AM
farley101 farley101 is offline
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Yes, very nice DC! Luckily (or not?) all those eyes don't choose to activate all at once! There would be a lot of very, very, very nice plants out there if so. 😂
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