SLIPPER ORCHID BLOG

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  • What is a backcross?

    slipperorchidblog.com Jun 2, 2013 | 20:40 pm

    The term “backcross” is a genetic term that refers to the progeny from a cross (i.e., a breeding event) being bred back to a parent or ancestor.  So you can have two original parents, let’s call them Pa and Pb, that you breed together [Pa x Pb].  They produce progeny (i.e., children), which is called [...]

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  • The Genghis Khan of Phrag. besseae, Part 2

    slipperorchidblog.com May 27, 2013 | 04:35 am

    (This is Part 2 of 2.  Read Part 1 here.) The discovery of besseae in 1981 was a big deal in the history of slipper orchids, since all the other known species showed flowers of generally subdued colors.  The intense red of besseae meant that breeders now had a potent addition to their color palette. Mastering besseae growth took some time, however, [...]

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  • The Genghis Khan of Phrag. besseae breeding, Part 1

    slipperorchidblog.com May 27, 2013 | 03:17 am

    In breeding for anything, you look for specimens of the best genetics in order to infuse your breeding line with the traits you wish to amplify and propagate. This is true with dog breeding, cat breeding, horse breeding, pigeon breeding, and for those believers in eugenics, human breeding, too (q.v. Aryan Master Race).  The genes [...]

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  • What makes a paph worth a lot? Part 2

    slipperorchidblog.com May 25, 2013 | 02:22 am

    The most I’ve ever heard of a paph selling for was around $75,000.  Yep, seventy-five thousand bucks.  It was for a hangianum alba, bought by a collector in Taiwan.  Seventy-five grand for a plant?  I was astonished at the amount, but I suppose I shouldn’t have been.  These amounts are all relative to the wealth and [...]

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  • What makes a paph flower worth a lot? Part 1

    slipperorchidblog.com Jun 17, 2012 | 01:19 am

    I remember the first time I was quoted a price of $1000 for a paph. It was at the Orchid Zone, and the master breeder himself, Terry Root, quoted me a cool grand on a large, round, white flower.  Its pearly appearance and perfect symmetry seemed so unreal, as if a great sculptor had fashioned [...]

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  • New night-blooming orchid makes Top Ten List of new species

    slipperorchidblog.com May 24, 2012 | 21:59 pm

    A new species discovered on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea has just landed on Arizona State University’s Top Ten List of new species.  Bulbophyllum nocturnum is an orchid that blooms only at night, and its flower closes up around 12 hours later.  It joins this top ten list comprised of other bizarre [...]

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  • Getting rid of chloramines — it’s working

    slipperorchidblog.com May 22, 2012 | 19:59 pm

    I did another test of the chloramine content in my water, both before and after passage through my carbon filter. You do the test by taking your water sample and adding a powder (DPD) that changes color in the presence of chlorine, then measuring the intensity of the color change with a colorimeter.  I use [...]

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  • What were they thinking?!?

    slipperorchidblog.com May 21, 2012 | 21:31 pm

    It is often amusing and vicariously infuriating to read stories about how the early European orchid growers (i.e., the fabulously rich aristocracy) grew their orchids in all the wrong conditions.  It seems that in those days it was a “one size fits all” approach with everything being put into a hothouse environment.  Hmm, that probably [...]

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  • How to tell the difference between micranthum and armeniacum — without even looking

    slipperorchidblog.com May 19, 2012 | 20:04 pm

    One of these is an armeniacum leaf and the other is a micranthum leaf.  Can you tell just by looking? For any parvi lover, distinguishing between these two species when the plants are not in bloom can be very useful skill.  Someday you may find yourself hiking in the hinterlands of China, and come across a [...]

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  • Carbon filter reduces chloramines by nearly 25X

    slipperorchidblog.com May 17, 2012 | 20:11 pm

    To remove the chloramines from my greenhouse water, I put a plain vanilla carbon filter (~$20) in-line with my watering system, which is basically just a dilution injector for fertilizers connected to my hose.  I had previously measured 0.47 ppm total chlorine in my water, and after running the water through one carbon filter, the [...]

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