This diminutive purple gem is blooming in the greenhouse. They require full sun to open their tiny blooms, so I have to be lucky to see them open, and pray for a sunny day when I'm not working of course. The flowers are a little bigger than a nickel, and come from South Africa. They have lovely twisted filiform leaves that generally appear with or after the flowers.
Saturday, 8 November 2014
Phragmipedium schlimii is currently in bloom. It is a very pretty lady's slipper native to Colombia, South America. The labellum is a lovely pink with some delicate venation, and the bud is very fuzzy; a fact made aware with macro photography. The flowers are sequentially blooming which means there are several flowers per inflorescence; as such it blooms for a longer period of time. It has a slight sweet fragrance, when you place your nose up against it. Like most Phrags it enjoys constant moisture, and wet conditions. Watering is done with only distilled or rain water. They grow near mountainsides near rivers and creeks , with abundant water always present. These orchids are ideal for those with a heavy hand.
Saturday, 4 October 2014
This is the time in the Northern Hemisphere that Conophytum make their flowering debut, however in the Southern Hemisphere this is not the case. On my trip to South Africa last year I photographed a few species of this genera which is near and dear to my heart. They are my favourite of the Mesemb family. All these Conophytum have something in common, they all grow in the presence of coriaceous lichen, which is a leathery lichen, either present in the quartzite patches or the rocks that the plants call home. The Xhosa pronounced ( Khosa) people of the Eastern Cape in South Africa use this lichen. It is boiled, strained and taken internally to treat sexually transmitted infections. A paste made from the lichen is applied to septic sores and was used to treat snake bites in the 19th century.
|Conophytum calculus growing on the quartzite of the Knersvlakte|
|C. minutum with this solitary Dimorphotheca sinuata; it's lovely shadow from the sun cast against the shiny quartz. So delicate.|
|Conophytum uviforme nice colour form|
|C. minutum en masse|
|Conophytum pellucidum with striking intricate vein patterns. They appear as if they are pumping blood to the plant.|
|C. pellucidum habitat on an isolated mountain in Kamieskroon. These rocks are filled with coriaceous lichen.|
|Conophytum breve lovely pink slit where the flower pokes through. Kamieskroon|
|Conophytum obcordellum with its spectacular maroon markings present on each body, This is one of the most beautiful Conophytum. Gifberg|
|Conophytum minusculum- Gifberg|
Saturday, 13 September 2014
I've been so busy, and wanted to post this last weekend. The Toronto Cactus and Succulent Club hosted its annual picnic at the home of Dalibor and Niki Tichak in Coboconk, ON. We usually have it in July, however this year due to vacations we had it Sept. 6th. I love the idea of having it this time of year, rather than the oppressive heat of July...so much more pleasant. It started out cloudy, but the clouds parted, and the sun shone. It was around 18° C, perfect...for me anyway.
Dalibor has a beautiful collection, all grown from seed. He has many rare Cacti, and succulents. He is a meticulous grower, with everything organized. You will never find any pests on his plants; they are of high quality. People clamour for his plants at our sales, and annual show. Dalibor is very humble, but in truth he has one of the most impressive private collections in North America; not that I have anything to compare it with. This is my opinion. I later went with his wife Niki for a walk totalling 5km in total, and saw some interesting plants, and idyllic scenery. I love this time of year, a time of transition. A marvelous day was had by all.
|Escobaria nelliae- gorgeous spination looks like some sort of sea anemone.|
|Pelecyphora pseudpectinata v. rubrifolia- spination reminiscent of tiny feathers or some strange insect. Your mind can create different ideas.|
|Epithelantha micromeris fruits|
|Mammillaria plumose- looks like fluffy clouds|
|Astrophytum asterias cultivar with beautiful plentiful white markings|
|Sulcorebutia rauschii- lovely burgundy heads|
|Astrophytum niveum v. capricorne|
|View of Dalibors' greenhouse collection|
|Lithops sp. with mixed cultivars|
|Pleiospilos compactus- with its scented yellow faces opening to the late afternoon sun.|
|Faucaria paucidens- its flowers glow, and open in the late afternoon sunshine. Dalibor grows it in a bonsai-like fashion.|
|Dalibor and Niki heat their home with a wood stove. It certainly saves money on hydro. This perfectly appointed woodpile will last for approximately 1-2 years.|
|Dappled sunlight through the forest|
|Arisaema triphyllum- Jack-in-the-pulpit berries|
|Moss covered rocks|
|Caulophyllum thalictroides berries|
|The juicy red berries of Maianthemum racemosum formerly Smilacina racemosa|
|The quietude of Gull River|