Saturday, April 24, 2010
Lycaste skinneri "Apollo" x Lycaste skinneri "Adonis" orchid
The Lycaste genus currently contains about 45 different species and in nature can be found growing in the areas from Mexico to Peru in hight altitudes.
They have oval pseudobulbs, usually crowded, with a couple of pleated leaves and Lycaste orchids mostly deciduous during flowering. The flowers come up from the bases of the pseudobulbs and and bear a single, large, waxy flower that lasts for about 3 weeks.
Many interesting hybrids have been created between this species and breeders aim to create plants with large flowers, good color and nice scents.
My Lycaste orchid is a cross between Lycaste skinneri "Apollo" and Lycaste skinneri "Adonis" and rather a "collecor's item", since not many of them currently in cultivation. I purchased a small seedling of this cross couple of years ago and this is a first time it's flowering for me. The breeder was aiming to produce bold, large, pristine white flowers and it does not dissapoint - it's quite spectacular! The plant produced only two flowers at this stage, but they are big, beautiful with a strong scent of jasmine and I am looking forward for this plant to mature and to grow many more of it's blooms.
Lycaste skinneri is the national flower of Guatemala and this orchid is one of the popular members of this genus, usually flowering with lovely pale pink flowers - by crossing "Apollo" and "Adonis" the breeder achieved pure, pristine white form that's very pleasing to the eye.
These orchids are not difficult to cultivate, providing some specific requirements met - they have very fine roots and need fine drainage, they like to be underpoted , love a lot of watering while they actively growing and not much moisture when plants go through resting period. Air movement also important and they prefer filtered light.
Lycaste orchids are great addition to any orchid collection - they all have beautiful flowers, nice scents, prolific flowering once matured, producing long-lasting exiting displays.