Clear Mountain Garden Treasures
 

Clear Mountain Garden TreasuresCrucifix Orchid

Orchids
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Glossary
epiphyte
A plant that grows on another,
but does not obtain nutrients from its host.
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terrestrial
A plant that grows on the ground, like most plants do.Grows on or in the ground.
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inflorescence
A flowering shoot with more than one flower.
Inflorescences may be branched or unbranched.
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keikei
An plantlet that grows from the stem or canes of orchids.
Keikei is Hawaiian for baby.
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inflorescence
A flowering shoot with more than one flower.
Inflorescences may be branched or unbranched.
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keikei
An plantlet that grows from the stem or canes of orchids.
Keikei is Hawaiian for baby.
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Crucifix Orchid

Epi. secundum
Family Orchidaceae
Name Epidendrum
Abbreviation Epi.
Common Names Crucifix Orchid, Reed Stem Epidendrum
Featured Plant June 2005
Etymology
Epidendrum From Greek epi meaning upon, and Greek dendron meaning tree, referring to the habbit of Epidendrum species growing on trees or being epiphytic, however not all Epidendrum species are epiphytic, a few are terrestrial.

Pictures:
Epidendrum pseudepidendrum × robustum
Epidendrum robustum × cnemidophorum
Epidendrum secundum
Bardendrum Kitty
  See also:  Cattleya, Culture / Germination

Crucifix Orchids or more broadly reed stem epidendrums have long thin stems that grow from the base of the plant. Alternate leaves grown in two ranks along the length of the stem. Most will produce aerial roots along the stem, but mainly on the lower half. The terminal inflorescence carries a head of flowers above the stems. Most have a tendency to keikei especially after flowering, and will even flower on keikei growth. They flower all year round, but less over the winter.

There is a number of different species of reed stem epidendrums, all originating from South America. A few such as Epidendrum secundum and the complex of species related to it, are fairly common, often growing along road sides in the high country, The vast majority are the easiest to grow and will even grow outdoors in a frost free environment, or in warmer climates that only get light frosts. Kept frost free, they will eventually grow to large specimen plants. I have one that is two metres wide with flower inflorescences 1.8 metres tall! Even if they are hit by frosts, they will recover quickly as long as the base of the plant is not damaged.

primary-hybrid
A hybrid where both parents are straight species, in contrast to
a complex hybrid where one or both parents are themselves hybrids.
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primary-hybrid
A hybrid where both parents are straight species, in contrast to
a complex hybrid where one or both parents are themselves hybrids.
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 Epidendrum pseudepidendrum × robustum


Flower
Name Epidendrum pseudepidendrum × robustum
Etymology
pseudepidendrum From Greek pseudo meaning false, and the Genus Epidendrum.

This is an Epidendrum primary hybrid of robust proportions, growing thick canes up to 1.5m long. The leaves are equally big, around 15cm long. Flowering time is in the spring.

Epidendrum pseudepidendrum is lowland species from Costa Rica and Panama. It requires warm conditions to grow well. Epidendrum robustum is a cool growing species from Brazil. The hybrid is intermediate between the parents, requiring intermediate conditions (and hence simpler to grow). Its flower is also intermediate in form and colour, mostly taking on the shape of pseudepidendrum, but lacking the orange colour of its lip.



Flower

Flowers
primary-hybrid
A hybrid where both parents are straight species, in contrast to
a complex hybrid where one or both parents are themselves hybrids.
Hide
epiphyte
A plant that grows on another,
but does not obtain nutrients from its host.
Hide
lithophyte
A plant that grows on rocks or stony soils.
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primary-hybrid
A hybrid where both parents are straight species, in contrast to
a complex hybrid where one or both parents are themselves hybrids.
Hide
epiphyte
A plant that grows on another,
but does not obtain nutrients from its host.
Hide
lithophyte
A plant that grows on rocks or stony soils.
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 Epidendrum robustum × cnemidophorum


Flower
Name Epidendrum robustum × cnemidophorum
Synonym Epidendrum robustum × pfavii

This is an Epidendrumprimary hybrid of robust proportions, growing thick canes up to 1.5m long. The leaves are equally big, around 15cm long. It can flower at any time of the year, but typically from Autumn through to Spring.

Epidendrum robustum is an epiphyte or lithophyte from Brazil. Epidendrum cnemidophorum is from central America. It has darker coloured flowers, and the hybrid is intermediate between the two parents.


Flower
inflorescence
A flowering shoot with more than one flower.
Inflorescences may be branched or unbranched.
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secund
Leaves or flowers that all face one direction,
on one side of the stem.
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inflorescence
A flowering shoot with more than one flower.
Inflorescences may be branched or unbranched.
Hide
secund
Leaves or flowers that all face one direction,
on one side of the stem.
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resupinate
Flowers, in particular orchids, the rotate 180° before opening.
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sequential-flowering
Flowering pattern whereby flowers are continuosly produced
to replace old ones that have faded,
as opposed to having flowers open all at once.
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terrestrial
A plant that grows on the ground, like most plants do.Grows on or in the ground.
Hide
resupinate
Flowers, in particular orchids, the rotate 180° before opening.
Hide
sequential-flowering
Flowering pattern whereby flowers are continuosly produced
to replace old ones that have faded,
as opposed to having flowers open all at once.
Hide
terrestrial
A plant that grows on the ground, like most plants do.Grows on or in the ground.
Hide

 Epidendrum secundum


Red Head
Name Epidendrum secundum
Etymology
secundum From Latin secundus meaning following, to mean leaves or flowers all point in one direction, a complete misnomer, for it flowers all around its inflorescence. Cogniaux noted sed floribus non secundis (but flowers are not secund). However, the illustration from Jacquin, the original cataloguer, shows a secund inflorescence.

This is known as the crucifix orchid owing to the crucifix shaped lip. The flowers are non-resupinate, and with the lip upper most, it definitely looks like a cross. It flowers all year round, with most of the flowers appearing in summer. They are also sequential flowering, the flowering lasting for many months before the flower head is exhausted. Often, the inflorescence will branch and produce a second or third flower head once the main one has finished.

These reed stem epidendrums are often under-valued by orchid enthusiasts, I think primarily because they are so easy to grow. It is for this reason, I think they deserve a spot in any garden - they do not take much to look after. They are available in a variety of colours and there are even bi-coloured forms.

Unlike other epidendrums, these are terrestrial plants and can be grown in ordinary potting mix. However, best results are obtained if they are grown in epiphytic mix.



Red Flower

Orange Flower

Orange Head

Orange Head

Yellow

White

Pinky-purple Flower

Pinky-purple

Salmon

Seed pod

Seeds
radicans
Spreading stems across the ground
and rooting from its stem.
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 Bardendrum Kitty

Name Bardendrum Kitty
Abbreviation Bard.
Hybrid Formula
Barkeria skinneri × Epidendrum (jamiesonis × radicans)
Etymology
Barkeria Named after George Barker, 19th century English orchid enthusiast.
skinneri Named after George Ure Skinner, 19th century Brittish orchid collector in Guatemala.
radicans From radicans (Latinised).

Bardendrum is an intergeneric cross between Barkeria and Epidendrum. Its growth is intermediate between the two genera, producing more aerial roots than roots that grow into the pot. The plant is more compact, producing shorter stems. It flowers in the winter.



Flowers

Bardendrum Kitty 'No. 1'

Flowers

Bardendrum Kitty 'No. 1'

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