Monday, December 19, 2011

Phalaenopsis deliciosa

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, for a while known as Kingidium deliciosum and also for a while called a Doritis, remains a dainty rarity in the world dominated by its enormous ubiquitous hybrid relatives.

The plant and even the flowers are not unusually small among Phal species -- there are a few that are even smaller, like Phal. lobbii and Phal. minus. There is something rather appealing though about having those tiny sugar-crystal cotton-candy pink flowers appear on long branching spikes, rather than all gathered about the base of the plant. It makes them more butterfly-like, more fairy-dust.

Mine has been blooming since I acquired it from Orchids Limited in June at the Silva Shore Orchid Fest. Just as the original spike petered out a new, more vigorous one sprang up and branched and has ever since sported a healthy crop of buds, with the expected one or two flowers open in succession. The original spike has meanwhile begun to sprout a keiki, which makes me happy, as backups are always a good plan!

I keep this about 10" below the center of my light tubes, in a tray that is allowed to gather water and then evaporate it. I haven't yet replaced the sphagnum it's in, but the roots are quite happy inside the pot and just beginning to wander about.