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  #1  
Old 09-29-2017, 07:03 PM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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Better Than A Reed-Stem Epidendrum? Male
Default Better Than A Reed-Stem Epidendrum?

[update] Trouble seeing the photos in this post? Try this link to my Google Photos album. [/update]

In terms of hybridization, here are two different goals...

1. Create a better reed-stem Epidendrum
2. Create something better than a reed-stem Epidendrum

As I've already mentioned a few times, the common reed-stem Epidendrums grow easily from seed... no flasking required! Reed-stems usually aren't the most exciting orchids though. So I've been really interested to learn whether their crosses with more exciting orchids can also easily grow from seed. Quite a few such crosses have been made but most of them really aren't easy to find.

I've managed to find a few and recently added a couple more to my collection thanks to Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids. Here's my haul from a recent visit...
  • Brassocatanthe Booth Lee (Bc. Maikai 'Lea' AM/AOS x Lc. Jalapa 'Florence Lin' AM/AOS)
  • Cattleya Button Top (Cattleya Angelwalker x lundii)
  • Epidendrum Little Miss Sunshine (Epi magnoliae 'SVO' x Epi xanthinum f. compactum 'Resplendens' CBR/AOS)
  • Epidendrum Red Mini x self
  • Epidendrum xanthinum f. compactum (keiki)
  • Epidendrum Yellow Magnolia (best one, keiki)
  • Kirchara Georgie (Cattlianthe Golden Wax x Epidendrum O'Brienianum)

Epi Yellow Magnolia and Epi Little Miss Sunshine are both crosses with Epi magnoliae (Northernmost occurring epiphytic orchid in the US). In both cases the reed parent is dominant. Here's a pic of Epi Little Miss Sunshine and Epidendrum Red Mini...



Epidendrum Red Mini is on the left. I've never seen a reed-stem blooming so small. I wonder how old it is?

Kirchara Georgie is another cross between a reed and a non-reed. Here's a picture of the main plant...



Here's a close-up of the flowers...



In this case it really doesn't seem like the reed was very dominant in the cross. For reference, here's a not-so-great pic of what I'm guessing is Epidendrum Obrienianum...



It is really leggy even though it's in nearly full sun.

I'd say that Epi Red Mini is a better reed-stem Epidendrum while Kir Georgie is better than a reed-stem Epidendrum.

The big question is whether Georgie can grow as easily from seed as Obrienianum.

My division of Georgie isn't in flower but it's blooming size with a small new shoot. For most orchids outside in Southern California it's not the best time of year to have a new shoot. They aren't going to have adequate heat for the shoot to mature. It wouldn't be an issue for Obrienianum but I'm not sure about Georgie. Just because it's superficially better than Obrienianum really doesn't mean that it's substantially better. Time will tell.

I haven't had much luck pollinating Obrienianum with pollen from non-reeds. I'm guessing that they were too distantly related so I decided to get some orchids that are hopefully more closely related...



The first is from eBay (phuan45) and the rest are from SLO Nursery.

1. Dimerandra stenopetala

2. Epi pseudepidendrum x polyanthum

3. Epicattleya Rene Marques x Epi mirabile

4. Epicattleya Rene Marques 'Flamethrower' x Epi ilense

5. Epi nocturnum x pseudepidendrum

The form of the last one is rather surprising. Its leaves are narrower than its parents and it has less of them. If I didn't know better I'd have guessed that it was a cross between Brassavola and pseudepidendrum. Rudy made the cross himself though. He agreed that the plant's form is unexpected.

Hopefully the pollen from these orchids will be acceptable to Obrienianum.

Around a year ago I helped my neighbor repot his NOID reed-stem. Not too long ago it started blooming...



Here's a close up of the flowers...



Some of the flowers are wilted because I tried pollinating them with pollen from Psychilis macconnelliae, Psychilis krugii x Broughtonia lindenii and Broughtonia sanguinea. It might be my imagination, or wishful thinking, but this reed-stem seems to be more responsive to the pollen. The relatively fast ovary swelling makes me cautiously optimistic that it's more compatible with non-reeds than my Epidendrum Obrienianum.

If I counted correctly there are three other spikes in various stages of development. So I should be able to continue trying to pollinate this reed-stem into early winter...

Quote:
An ovule is successfully fertilized by only one pollen grain out of (potentially) many thousands. If fertilization is performed at a sufficiently low temperature, the growth of chilling-resistant genotypes of pollen will be favored over others. These will reach the ovule first so that their genes will appear in the resulting seed. At no other stage of development can selection be made on such large numbers of genotypes. - Brian D. Patterson and Michael S. Reid, Genetic and Environmental Influences on the Expression of Chilling Injury
During Fall and Spring there are substantial fluctuations in temps. One day it's warm the next it's cool. So in theory now is a good time to pollinate outdoor orchids because you'll be selecting the individuals that grow in a wide range of temps (hercuthermal).

So what do you think? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Personally, I think that it would be immensely beneficial for the orchid hobby if there were some really nice orchids that could easily grow from seed. More people would participate in the hybridization/selection process which would result in even more really nice orchids that could easily grow from seed. It would be a virtuous cycle.

Let me know if you have trouble viewing the photos. I'm being lazy and linking directly from my Google Photos rather than downloading them and uploading them to my Flickr.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2017, 09:03 PM
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Several of the photos are not visible.

I am a fan of reed stem Epis too. I have some 15-20 plants, mostly from Cal-Orchids breeding. BS plans range from 8" to 4' in height. I also have Epiphronitis Veitchii, though I have not bloomed this plant yet.

I questioned this type of breeding with Frank Clarke (Sunset Valley Orchids). He told me to forget about it, as they 'all look like reed stem Epis'.
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:06 PM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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Fairorchids, thanks for letting me know about the photos. I posted a question in the group for Google Photos. In the meantime, try this link to my album.

Sounds like you have a nice collection. I have Epiphronitis Veitchii as well and it hasn't bloomed yet either.

In most of the crosses between reeds and non-reeds, the reed parents are pretty dominant. Some of these crosses have been crossed back onto reeds. For example... Epc Fireball is half reed and it has been crossed with other reeds. But what would happen if Fireball was crossed with a non-reed? And what if that was also crossed with a non-reed? It stands to reason that the reed would be less and less influential.

You should try and cross your reeds with non-reeds. If the reed is the pollen donor, then it might be less influential in the cross. However, I'm pretty sure that the seeds will require flasking. If you go the other direction, then the reed might be more influential in the cross, but the seeds probably won't require flasking.

Except, let's say that you successfully pollinate a reed with pollen from Brassavola nodosa. In this case the seeds shouldn't require flasking. All else being equal, we can guess that the reed would be dominant in the cross. But what if the sown seeds were subjected to some drought stress? In this case, the small percentage of more succulent individuals would have an advantage over the large percentage of less succulent ones.

So in theory, when the parents have different cultural requirements, you can adjust the conditions of the sown seeds in order to select the individuals that are better adapted to the conditions that you provide.
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Old 09-30-2017, 02:13 AM
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The variegated Aloe arborescens is a very special plant.
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:08 PM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
The variegated Aloe arborescens is a very special plant.
This one is extra special since I grew it from seed. I wonder how many different variegated Aloe arborescens there are. I'm guessing that they aren't too many since they produce so many offshoots that are really easy to root. Unfortunately, the offshoots aren't consistently variegated.

Do you have a variegated Aloe arborescens?

I have a regular one that is just large enough to attach a smallish orchid to. Aloe arborescens is a relatively fast growing Aloe but I wish that it was a lot faster. It takes too long for it to get large enough to attach decent sized orchids to. Like I mentioned in this thread though, the wild ones do have a really great form for epiphytes.

In this blog entry I talk about Aloes as phorophytes.
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:35 PM
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I only know one other variegated Aloe arborescens clone. It is in commerce. Phoenix summer nights are too hot for this coastal and mountain species. It won't survive outside here, and etiolates badly indoors.

The green variety grows quite rapidly in your climate. A small offset planted in the ground grows into a massive clump 8 feet / 2.2 meters across and high in 20 years.
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Old 06-12-2021, 02:35 PM
SG in CR SG in CR is offline
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I know this thread is a bit dated, but did you have much luck with any of the crosses germinating ex-vitro? I've been playing around with something similar. I have around 15-20 different Epidendrums and have made quite a few crosses and some little orchids that germinated seem like they might be from that (I'll have to wait till they bloom to see what I got), but honestly they don't seem to be germinating as readily for me as some other genera.
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:28 AM
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I can't speak for Epiphyte78, but I have had this experience:

My Epi. calanthum, fma. album, often sets pods by itself. This plant hangs next to a Rhy. gigantea, which grows in a basket filled with spaghnum.

Earlier this year I discovered 3 Epi seedlings growing in the Rhy basket.
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:33 AM
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i find that they are probably able to replicate with other epis.

i have my epi collection in my lath house and there are two (nocturnum and a hybrid from Rogue orchids) that are always pod'ed. the nocturnum has 8 pods now.

so i moved a reed stem near them to see what might happen and the number of pods on the reed stem went way up...i assume from just being near new genetic material and more pollenators but that is a guess.

i places a few dishes of sphag around them to catch any seeds and there are a few little guys popping up...i have no idea what they are and wont know for a few years BUT i am hopeful
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