Friday, August 31, 2007

Extinct no more?

This is Paphiopedilum druryi. Lovely orchid. Native to India. Also extinct in nature. Only existing in cultivation? I am one of those lucky ones to have one in my collection. It is also an awarded division, that I managed to purchase from the famous (or infamous) Michael Kovach prior to him going to prison for orchid smuggling. I think I got that plant rather cheap. Perhaps he knew he was soon going to prison and needed to liquidate? Still think he got screwed on that matter, but that is for another post.

Anyhow, it turns out that this orchid is the bane of my collection. I can't get the damn thing to bloom no matter what I do. I do believe that I am a decent paphiopedilum grower having won various ribbons at shows, but this plant defies me at every turn. In the past 7 years I have owned this one, it has not grown. I swear it seems like the thing is in stasis. So not only I can't get the thing to bloom, but I can't even get it to grow!

I read more about its habitat and found it grows around limestone. Hence, I started adding calcium carbonate to its diet. No effect. I also read how it likes about 2000-3000 foot-candles of light, so I have started to give it more and more light despite everything that I know about paphiopedilum culture. Either this thing will bloom or I will end up killing it with that much light. Hopefully the former.

The good news is that I read an article stating it has been rediscovered in nature thus no longer extinct? Perhaps more info about cultivation will filter down to me.

Anyhow, one thing is for certain is that I not going to disclose the location of my orchids lest you orchid theives come snooping around...Too many people I know have gotten their rare plants stolen.


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