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Classification of orchids: kingdom, order, family, genus and main species of orchids

Classification of orchids: kingdom, order, family, genus and main species of orchids


OUR ORCHIDS FRIENDS

CLASSIFICATION OF ORCHIDS

Although orchids belong to a single large botanical family, that ofOrchidaceae, include a large number of genera, species and varieties both cultivated and spontaneous that make this family certainly one of the richest in the vegetable kingdom, competing for the first place only withAsteraceae (the plants that are commonly called "daisies" to understand).

Orchids are plants which have visible reproductive organs and belong to:

Kingdom

:

Plantae

Clado

: Angiosperms

Clado

: Monocotyledons

Order

:

Asparagales

Family

:

Orchidaceae

For what concern Kind there are about 775 while the Species there are about 19,500. The hybrids are innumerable (about 100,000)

They are widespread almost everywhere but for the most part they originate in the humid areas of the intertropical belt.

In Italy we have about 85 spontaneous species of orchids, distributed in wetlands both in the mountains and near the coasts, many of which are extremely rare and endangered and as such protected from indiscriminate harvesting. The species, the most diverse among them, reach the maximum of ecological differentiation with adaptations to the most diverse environments and with floral productions among the most beautiful in the vegetable kingdom.

The classification of orchids is very complex mainly due to the innumerable hybridizations between species and also between different genera that make the botanical classification uncertain. Suffice it to say that over 110,000 hybrids (called grexes or grex) have been produced in the last 150 years. Fortunately, they have fairly uniform general characteristics when considered on a floral organization level and therefore offer a very rare example of an infinity of shapes, colors, adaptations, which all converge in a single floral type.

For orchid hybrids, before 1962, their acceptance and classification was regulated by the international registry authority, from 1962 onwards it is regulated by the R.H.S. Royal Horticultural Society (founded in 1804 in England by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood). Over 3,000 new hybrids are added every year.

To simplify life for those who love orchids and want to know them a little more, we adopt a much simpler classification and which in everyday practice is much more useful, i.e. we adopt the BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION according to which orchids are divided into:

EPIPHITE: they are orchids that have only aerial roots and grow attached to the trees they use as a support.

The roots are hanging and have the characteristic of having a sort of cap in the terminal part and are covered with a spongy tissue called velamen which, with chlorophyll, photosynthesizes and absorbs water vapor from the atmosphere.

The stem it is erect and can be up to 10 m long (as in the case of Vanilla fragrans). It has typical forms also tuberized swellings that contain mucilages designed to retain water and reserve nutrients and in this case it is called pseudobulb.


sympodial


monopodial

The stem of the orchid can have a trend monopodial that is, with a single root (foot) that extends upwards and with a rhizome or sympodial that is, with more 1st order lateral roots (feet) which grow to equal the main root.

The flowers they can be solitary or gathered in spike, panicle or raceme inflorescences.

Epiphytic orchids receive moisture and nutrients from the air and humus that collects in the bark of trees.

They are typical orchids of tropical areas and therefore their ideal habitat is humidity and high temperatures. The best known and most cultivated genera of epiphytic orchids are: Cymbidium, Cattleya, Vanda, Odontoglossum.

Then there are also orchids EPIPHITE SEEDS, plants that live on the branches and trunks of other plants or LITHOPHITE, that is to say that they live on the rocks covered by a thin layer of plant fragments, mosses and lichens. Classic examples are the Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Vanda, etc. while for example the Cattleya, it can be epiphytic or semi epiphytic.


Dendrobium nobile

SCANDING: they are orchids rooted in the ground and by means of volatile stems they attach themselves to different substrates and have aerial type roots. A classic example is the Vanilla (photo below).

TERRESTRIAL: are the orchids widespread in temperate climates that grow in the soil and the roots are firmly rooted in the earth from which they draw the nutritional elements. They are typical examples Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Bletilla, Paphilopedilum.

In terrestrial orchids there are formations called tubercles formed by the welding of some roots, black when they fed the bud of the year and white that will supply the substances to that of the future year.


Cypripedium


Bletilla

ORCHIDS THAT LIVE PARASITICALLY: they are orchids without chlorophyll that lead a heterotrophic life (feeding on organic material present in the environment) such as mushrooms, at the expense of humus or soil materials. Some have fungal-infected roots, others like Corallorhiza (photo below) are rootless and their role is assumed by the coral-like ramifications of the rhizome.


And now let's enjoy this amazing video
of the Missouri botanical garden orchid show 2016 with its great variety of orchids.


THE ORCHIDS

Subtribe - Orchidinae. (Genus, Species, and Subspecies).

Kingdom - Plantae. (clade) - Angiosperms. (clade) - Monocotyledons.

Order - Asparagales. Family - Orchidaceae. (from Wikipedia).

According to the latest phylogenetic research, the whole orchid family is undergoing taxonomic reorganization. Problem even more aggravated by the characteristic polymorphism of the whole family. The phenomena of hybridization, with consequent introgression, are also significant and make the definition of the various species and subspecies even more difficult.

The Orchidaceae (Juss., 1789) are one of the largest families of the taxonomic division of the Magnoliophyta Angiosperme. This family is one of the richest in the vegetable kingdom and contends for primacy with the Compositae it includes 788 genera and more than 18,500 species (Strasburger, vol. 2 - p. 807 but according to other authors, 500 genera and 30,000 species!), 189 of which, with about 29 genera, are spontaneous in the Italian territories. The Cronquist System assigns the Orchidaceae family to the order Orchidales, while the modern APG classification places it in the new order of Asparagales. Also based on the APG classification, the higher levels have also changed.

Biologically Orchids belong to different types there are in fact terrestrial species and they are most of our native ones, with annual root tubers which have the meaning of a tuberized rhizome, presenting the structure of stem at the top and root at the base. These tuberous masses are often branched, it is actually a tuberized adventitious root: each annual tuber extends into an aerial stem bearing alternate, sessile leaves, with reticulated ribbed flap, ending with a spike inflorescence. The old tubercles are exhausted, while a new one forms at the axilla of the tuber scale (sympodial vegetation). They are said Bulbose geophytes [G.Bulb.], because they take the gems underground. During the adverse season they have no aerial organs and the buds are found in underground organs called bulbs or tubers, reserve structures that annually produce new stems, leaves and flowers. They are terrestrial orchids as, unlike other species, they are not "epiphytes", ie they do not live at the expense of other larger plants.

Most of the tropical species are epi orchidsfite growing fixed to the trees of the forests or on the rocks the stem has monopodial growth, more or less developed in the sense of the length it bears isolated leaves, or even reduced to scales, of fleshy aspect with parallelinervie veins. The stem sometimes takes habitus xerophilic, and becomes fleshy. The hanging aerial roots wrap around the velamen: it serves to absorb rain water and forms a sleeve around the root. The radical tips are green and the root can perform a certain assimilation. The orchids scandalous, guy VaniIla, they are rooted in the ground and by means of twining stems they attach themselves to different substrates, and emit roots of the aerial type mentioned above. A small number of Orchids live parasitically: these are almost out of chlorophyll, and lead heterotrophic life, like mushrooms, at the expense humus or the materials of the woodland soil. Some have roots infected with endophytic fungi, others, such as Corallorhiza they have no roots, their role is taken by ramifications of the coral-like rhizome. Some aerial roots, in the epiphytic species, show negative geotropism, and by moving upwards they serve to accumulate humus.

Vegetative multiplication is common by means of propagules which detach at the extremity of stoloniferous jets, by means of cloves at the axil of bracts or by adventitious leaf buds.

Distribution and Habitat. The Orchidaceae family can be considered cosmopolitan as it is widespread in the five continents. They are in fact able to adapt to any kind of habitat except for deserts and glaciers. Their range extends from some territories north of the Arctic circle, up to Patagonia and Macquarie Island, close to Antarctica. Most of the species are native to the tropical or sub-tropical areas of Asia, Central America and South America. In these areas they reach the maximum of differentiation and forms, with the most diverse ecological adaptations, and with the production of floral forms among the most beautiful in the plant world, only 15% of them grow spontaneously in the temperate and cold zones.

In Italy about 29 genera grow spontaneously, for about 189 species and subspecies.

The inflorescences they are arranged in spikes, clusters or panicles that end the sympodial stem of terrestrial orchids, and which arise instead at the axil of the leaves in the epiphytic forms each flower is born at the axilla of a bract, the floral peduncle, usually short, never bears a profile.

The flower corresponds to the floral formula of Liliaceae with inferior ovary, but the floral plane is deeply disturbed both by the almost constant reduction of the androecium, and by the zygomorphism, a necessary condition for adaptation to zoogamous pollination, which finds its maximum expression in this family. The flower undergoes a torsion of 180 0 (called resupination) for which those elements which, like the lip, should be posteriorly placed, are placed in front.

The perianth [set of the calyx and the corolla of the flower] consists of an external whorl (calicino), of 3 pieces always free petaloids and of a second internal whorl of which 2 elements (petals) are free, placed laterally and finally the posterior petal, which by resupination it became anterior, assuming a widened form, which is called labellum and is often fitted with one spur nectar. The labellum it can be whole, or it can be divided into 2 or 3 flaps, which are excellent systematic characters, usually there is a larger median lobe and 2 lateral ones. The floral elements can all be indicated with the name of tepals, because both the sepals and the petals are similar to each other and all petaloids.

The androceus, [complex of the male organs or stamens of the flower] derived from the biverticillate one of the Liliacee, with 3 elements for each whorl, it undergoes a progressive reduction. The single stamen and its filament are welded with the stylus to form a particular column, called gynostemium, which surmounts the ovary and constitutes the most characteristic organ of the Orchids. Some authors admit that the gynostemium is the continuation of the axis, as sometimes some pieces of the perianth are inserted above it. In case there is only one stamen, this is located in the highest portion of the gynostemium and consists of a hood which is the true anther, when removed the pollen masses appear which are collected in a compact, hard pseudo-tissue, formed by many pollinia tetrads joined together, where the external ones have one sporopollenin layer denser than the most deeply located tetrads. The pollinary detached from its niche (anther), is formed by a terminal mass, the true pollen, by a caudicle and by the basal adhesive body, the latter serves to adhere to the body of the pollinators and to attach itself to the stigma if it has been transported there.

Examining the last portion of the gynostemium, [columnar body containing the male organs (androecium) and feminine (gynoecium)], we note the stigma, located significantly lower than the portion occupied by the anther (and formed by two sectors of the stigma), the third sector of the stigma forms the rostellum with a dentiform appendix, finally, there may be staminodes and an expansion of the connective tissue of the anther.

THE pollen grains only exceptionally are they powdery (Cypripedineae), sometimes they occur in tetrads (Neottia, Listera), but for the generality of cases they are collected in the pollinary, as described above.

The gynoecium [female apparatus of Phanerogam plants] consists of 3 carpels welded to the margin and forming a single cavity, with parietal placentation the placentas carry meristemal sketches which only after pollination begin the formation of the female gametophyte. The ovary is transformed into a capsule that opens through 6 slits placed on both sides of the placentas (paraplacental dehiscence) with the formation of 6 valves, of which 3 are fertile, because they correspond to as many placentas, and 3 sterile, because they represent the middle parts of the carpels. The cracking of the capsule proceeds either from the distal end (remaining united at the top), or from the opposite side. THE seeds in very large numbers (some hundreds of thousands per capsule) they are powdery, and consist of an integument with large cells and an undifferentiated meristem (proembryo), all traces of albumen are missing. The germination of the seed was the subject of many studies, since it was seen that the seeds germinated very well if invaded by fungal hyphae of the mycorrhizal type, belonging to the type Rhizoctonia. Under these conditions, a protocorm is born from the seed, initially spheroidal and white, which soon takes on the shape of a bullet and turns green in the light, and from which leaves and rhizines arise, and then roots. the main root is always missing and all the roots appearing on the protocorm are secondary roots. The mycorrhizal infection extends to the basal portions of the protocorm and is controlled in its spread by particular immune-type reactions, and by cytological reactions with destruction of the mycelium by the tissues of the Orchid. Symbiotic fungi can also belong to higher systematic groups.

The leaves of the Orchidaceae are always whole and despite their polymorphic nature they have a linear structure, which at times may appear fleshy and tubular in shape in this case at the base frequently develop tubers with pseudobulbs which can assume a short and rounded shape, flattened and ovoid, or long and cylindrical, these are all organs which have the function of reserve assimilators. The arrangement of the leaves is alternate or distichous: only rarely do they appear opposite. They can occur in pairs or solitary and, at the apex of the pseudobulbs, at times they can also be - especially in plants that grow in the open ground - sheathed at the base they can also form basal rosettes from which the flower appears. In saprophytic species, the leaves can be reduced to simple flakes.

Roots. Tropical species often have fleshy or fine aerial roots, covered with a root veil called '' velamen '' which allows the plant to absorb atmospheric humidity, which develop at the base of the leaves or between them, and which may present different modifications and adaptations to life epiphytic or saprophytic. The European and Mediterranean orchidaceae they are, with few exceptions, species '' terricolous '', with underground root system, consisting of rhizotubes or bulbs, from which radicles or filiform roots branch off. The shape of the rhizotubers it can be rounded or oval-shaped (as for example in the genera '' Ophrys '', '' Orchis '' and '' Serapias ''), or more or less divided into typings ('' Dactylorhiza '', '' Platanthera '', '' Spiranthes '') in some species there are real rhizomes, with filamentous roots ('' Listera '', '' Epipactis ''), in others there may be coralliform roots ('' Corallorhiza ").

The fruit it is a capsule that opens in various ways with numerous, small seeds, mostly membranous, rarely crusted the embryo is little or no differentiated, without albumen.

There reproduction of the Orchidaceae it can be both sexual and asexual. Sexual reproduction it can occur either by cross-pollination, that is with transport of the pollen from the anther of a flower on the stigma of the flower of another individual, or by self-pollination, that is the pollen passes from the anther to the stigma of the same flower.

Cross-pollination It is the most frequent reproduction modality among the Orchidaceae and it is mainly entomophilic, that is, entrusted to insects. Many orchid species have a species-specific relationship with theirs pollinating insect, or pronubo. Although pollinations by beetles, diptera, lepidoptera and orthoptera have been observed in sporadic cases, most of the pollinating insects of orchids belong to the order of Hymenoptera , in the vast majority of cases to the superfamily of Apoidea.

Pollinating insects can be attracted with three different mechanisms:

1) food attraction: it is the mechanism put in place by the species capable of producing nectar, rich in sugary substances, very palatable for insects the nectar is usually kept inside the spur, whose shape limits access to some species of insects. taking the nectar brings the insect into contact with the pollen masses, which adhere to the body of the insect by means of specific adhesive organs called viscid or retinacles.

2) mimicry: it is the mechanism put in place by non-nectariferous species, which attract insects or thanks to an appearance of the flower similar to that of nectariferous species (this is what happens, for example, in some species of '' Orchis' '(such as' 'Orchis mascula "), or thanks to an aspect of the lip which in shape, color and hairiness recalls the female of the pollinating insect (this mechanism is common to many species of' 'Ophrys''). The species that use sexual mimicry often produce pheromones similar to those of the females of the pollinating insect, inducing the male to a mating attempt called `` pseudo-copulation '' in which the insect comes into contact with the pollen masses adhering to the head (pseudo-copulation cephalic) or abdomen (pseudo-copulation abdominal).

3) trap of odors: it is the typical mechanism of the Venus slipper ('' Cypripedium calceolus '') which attracts insects to the bottom of the pocket-shaped lip thanks to particular perfumed substances in an attempt to get out of the pocket, the body of the insects is sprinkled with sticky pollen.

L'self-pollination can be done with 3 different mode:

1) by simple detachment of the pollinia that fall on the underlying stigma

2) by curvature of the caudicles of the pollinia which deposit the pollen on the underlying stigma - this mechanism is observed for example in `` Ophrys apifera ''

3) by '' 'cleistogamy' '' or by self-fertilization even before the opening of the flower - this mechanism is observed for example in '' Limodorum abortivum '' or in '' Serapias parviflora ''.

There asexual reproduction, that is without the need for fertilization, it can take place in two ways:

1) by '' vegetative multiplication '', with the formation of new individuals starting from a subdivision of the rhizotubers - this mechanism is observed for example in '' Ophrys bombyliflora '', '' Serapias lingua '' and '' Serapias politisii ''

2) for '' 'apomixis' '', that is with the production of fertile seeds without the need for fertilization - this phenomenon occurs, for example, in some species of the genus '' Nigritella '' (e.g. '' Nigritella rubra '' ).

Mycorrhizal symbiosis Another important biological characteristic is the necessity, in order to complete the biological cycle of some orchids, of the presence of an endotrophic mycorrhiza which collaborates in symbiosis for the development of their seed, which at the moment of dispersion is devoid of albumen and with a barely sketched embryo.

Taxonomy. The Orchidaceae family was divided in the past into two subfamilies: `` Diandrae '' - characterized by the presence of 2-3 fertile and pollinable stamens

`` Monandrae '' - characterized by the presence of only one fertile stamen.

There are currently five recognized subfamilies:

1) Apostasioideae Horan. (1847)

Within each subfamily there are different ones tribщ (25) is subtribes (53).

The tribes of the subfamily Vanilloideae are 2: Pogonieae, Vanilleae.

Parts of the flower of a Ophrys sp.

Orchys militaris, type species

Pseudocopulation of Dasyscolia ciliata up O. speculum

1, just germinated protocorm of Cattelya bowrinviana x maximaj 2, the same at a more advanced stage with root hairs and first leaves 3, Callelya skinneri x mossiae, protocorm with root beginning (w) 4, the same in a more advanced phase 5, protocorm of Neottia nidus-avis with residues of the seminal integument (t) 6, the same in section with tissues invaded by mycorrhiza (m), enlarged 7, beginning of germination of Neottia with infection:

, protocorm of Cypripedilum 3, younger stage of the same in section 10, more adult stage of n. 8: m is n tissue invaded by mycelia.

TO, Whole flower resting on the small bract. a b, whole and twisted ovary is, external tepals d, the two internal upper tepals is, labellum with spur f g, gynostemium is the same flower after having removed the perigonium, with the exception of the upper part of the labellum h, stigma l. rostellum k. dentiform appendix of the rostellum m, niche of the anther n, connective or, pollinium q, adhesive portion of pollinium p, staminodium C. isolated pollen s. fertile part of the pollinnarium: r caudicolaq, adhesive portion D., cross section of an immature capsule.

l, whole flower of Maxillaria rujescens seen from the front

2.portion of the same flower with lip provided with edible hairs 3, the hairs of the area referred to in the previous number seen at considerable magnification, with cells filled with albuminoid substances and fats: in b, basal thickening of the membranes.

ORCHID TUBERS: to, Orchys mascula:

to', tuber emptied into a new tuber with the

gem(g) of the plant that will develop in the

the next year b, Orchys maculata: b ',

hollowed out tuber b '', new tuber

Anaamptys pyramidalis Rich.

to, basal part with tubers b, flowering plant c, flower

d , lip with spur is, another form of labellum f, pollen

M ELCHIORRE TRIGILIA: THE ORCHIDS OF THE IBLEIANS


Etymology

The generic name (Ophrys), according to what the Roman writer Pliny the Elder writes (23 - 79), derives from an ancient Greek word "οφρύς" and means "eyebrow". The ancients (the Latin naturalist always writes) used this plant to produce a dye to color the eyebrows. However, it may be that the true meaning derives much more simply from the shape of the internal laciniae of the perigonium [1], or from the hairiness of the labellum (a much more evident character than the first).
The first specific name (argolic) refers to a Greek region (Argolis) of the Peloponnese, place of the first finds of the orchid Ophrys argolica the second specific name (crabronifera) comes from the Latin: cabro = hornet e ferre = bring [2].


Reproduction

Reproduction of this plant occurs in two ways:

  • sexually thanks to entomogamous pollination: pollinating insects are generally hymenopterapoidea of ​​the genusAndrena or other genres such as Anthophora[3] who recognize (or believe they recognize) in the figure drawn on the labellum their own female and therefore attempt copulation with the sole result of transferring pollen from one floral individual to another. The scent emitted by the orchid also mimics the female insect's pheromones to further incite the male insect to mate. This flower is devoid of nectar so that after pollination the insect does not get any reward this species can therefore be classified among the "deceptive flowers" [9] and the type of pollination is defined as pseudo-copulation pollination. The subsequent germination of the seeds is conditioned by the presence of specific fungi (the seeds are devoid of egg white - see above). Dissemination is of the anemocora type.
  • vegetatively as one of the two bulbs possesses the vegetative function for which it can emit adventitious buds capable of generating new individuals (the other bulb is generally in reserve).


Anacamptis morio, cuckoo's bread, salep, goat lily, morio orchid

Common name: cuckoo bread, salep, goat lily

Species: Anacamptis morio (L.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase
Family: ORCHIDACEAE

Description
It is a 10-40 cm tall plant.
The lower leaves do not always form a basal rosette, while the upper ones are always enveloping the scape.
Sometimes they are characterized by a purplish shade, present, however, also in the upper part of the stem.
The shape of the leaves varies from elliptical-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate.
The inflorescence can be more or less dense and elongated and also the number of floral elements is very variable.
The sepals converge to form a helmet.
The petals are shorter and narrower than the sepals.
The labellum is wider than long, more or less evidently trilobed, sometimes flat, sometimes well folded longitudinally, with irregular even wavy margins.
The spur (or spur) is cylindrical or club-shaped.
The color of the flower varies from dark purple to light pink, always with evident green veins both on the sepals and on the petals.
Completely white individuals are sometimes present (hypochromia).
The lip is light pink, up to whitish in the center, and dotted with purple.

Flowering period
From March to June.

Other remarks
The hybrid with A. morio: A. × gennarii (Rchb.f.) H. Kretzschmar, Eccarius & H.Dietr. 2007 (bas .: Orchis × gennarii Rchb.f.).

Pollinating insects
It is pollinated by various species of the genus Bombus.

Habitat
Pastures, garrigues, open woods, on calcareous or slightly acid soil, from dry to humid.

Where it is present
Reported in all Italian peninsular regions.
It is not present in Sardinia (where it is replaced by Anacamptis morio subsp. longicornu) in Sicily most of the stations are hybridized with O. longicornu.

A shepherd told us that if the sheep feed on this plant in abundance (and in our grazing environments it is possible thanks to the wide diffusion of this species) the milk produced (and therefore the resulting cheese) is bitter and therefore decidedly unappetizing!


ORCHIDS

ORCHIDACEAE

The orchids, although belonging to a single large botanical family, that of Orchidaceae, include a large number of genera, species and varieties both cultivated and spontaneous that make this family certainly one of the richest in the vegetable kingdom, competing for the first place only with Asteraceae (the plants that are commonly called "daisies" to understand).

Orchidaceae (Orchidaceae Juss., 1789) are a family of monocotyledonous plants, belonging to the order of Orchidales (or Asparagales according to the APG classification).
Their flowers are commonly called orchids.
This family is made up of perennial herbaceous plants, some of which are able to absorb from the water present in the environment the substances necessary for their survival through the aerial roots (autotrophy) and also able to feed by assimilating substances from decomposing organisms (sapròfite ).

Cronquist classification
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Liliopsida
Order Orchidales
Family Orchidaceae

APG classification

Order Asparagales
Family Orchidaceae

As for the Genus there are about 775 while the Species are about 19,500. The hybrids are innumerable (about 100,000)
The classification of orchids is very complex mainly due to the innumerable hybridizations between species and also between different genera that make the botanical classification uncertain. Suffice it to say that over 110,000 hybrids (called grexes or grex) have been produced in the last 150 years. Fortunately, they have fairly uniform general characteristics when considered on a floral organization level and therefore offer a very rare example of an infinity of shapes, colors, adaptations, which all converge in a single floral type.

For orchid hybrids, before 1962, their acceptance and classification was regulated by the international registry authority, from 1962 onwards it is regulated by R.H.S. Royal Horticultural Society (founded in 1804 in England by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood). Over 3,000 new hybrids are added every year.

Distribution and habitat

Most of the species are native to the tropical or sub-tropical areas of Asia, Central America and South America, only 15% of them grow spontaneously in temperate and cold areas. Beyond this fact, the family can still be considered cosmopolitan as it is spread across five continents, with an area that extends from some territories north of the Arctic Circle, to Patagonia and Macquarie Island, close to Antarctica.
Orchidaceae are able to adapt to any kind of habitat except for deserts and glaciers.
Most tropical species grow on tree trunks or rocks (epiphytic plants).

monteverde costa rica orchid garden

Description

The flowers have a typical winged structure, with a perigon of three upper sepals and three lower petals one of these, called labellum, differs in size from the others in order to attract pollinating insects. The size and color of the labellum, together with the shape of the hollow spur in which its base extends, change according to the different species.
Each flower has male (androecium) and female (gynoecium) organs, gathered in a single columnar body called gynostemium, sometimes extended into a fleshy rostellum. The pollen is agglutinated in club-shaped masses (pollinodes), which attach themselves through the gelatinous base (retinaculum or viscidium) to the head of pollinating insects, thus allowing the pollination of the flowers subsequently visited.
Almost all orchid flowers at the time of development make a 180 ° twist (resupination), so that the posterior petal becomes inferior and the anterior sepal becomes superior. The sepals and the lateral petals are almost always the same, while the central petal (the labellum) is always different and can assume various shapes at the same time, it may or may not contain nectar.


Leaves
The leaves of the Orchidaceae are always whole and despite their polymorphic nature they have a linear structure, which at times can appear fleshy and tubular in shape, often at the base they develop pseudobulbs which can take on a short and rounded shape, flattened and ovoid, or long and cylindrical are all these organs which have the function of reserve assimilators.
The arrangement of the leaves is alternating or distich: only rarely do they appear opposite. They can occur in pairs or solitary and, at the apex of the pseudobulbs, they can sometimes also be - especially in plants that grow in the ground - sheathed at the base, they can also form basal rosettes from which the flower emerges. In saprophytic species, the leaves can be reduced to simple flakes.


Roots
Tropical species often have fleshy or fine aerial roots, covered with a so-called root veil velamen which allows the plant to absorb atmospheric moisture, which develop at the base of the leaves or between them, and which may present different modifications and adaptations to epiphytic or saprophytic life.
The European and Mediterranean Orchidaceae, on the other hand, are, with few exceptions, terrestrial species, with an underground root system, consisting of rhizotubers or bulbs, from which radicles or filiform roots branch off. The shape of the rhizotubers can be round or oval-shaped (as for example in the genera Ophrys, Orchis and Serapias), or more or less divided into digitations (Dactylorhiza, Platanthera, Spiranthes) in some species there are some real rhizomes, with filamentous roots (Listeria, Epipactis), in others coralliform roots may be present (Corallorhiza).

Biology
To simplify life for those who love orchids and want to know them a little more, we adopt a much simpler classification and which in everyday practice is much more useful, that is to say we adopt the BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION according to which orchids are divided into:
EPIPHITE: they are orchids that have only aerial roots and grow attached to the trees they use as a support.

The roots are hanging and have the characteristic of having a sort of cap in the terminal part and are covered with a spongy tissue called velamen which, equipped with chlorophyll, photosynthesizes and absorbs water vapor from the atmosphere.

The stem is erect and can be up to 10 m long (as in the case of Vanilla fragrans). It also has typical forms of tuberized swellings that contain mucilage designed to retain water and reserve nutrients and in this case it is called a pseudobulb.
The stem of the orchid can have a monopodial trend, that is with a single root (foot) that stretches upwards and with a rhizome or sympodial that is with several 1st order lateral roots (feet) that grow so as to equal the main root.
The flowers can be solitary or gathered in spike, panicle or raceme inflorescences.

Epiphytic orchids receive moisture and nutrients from the air and humus that collects in the bark of trees.

They are typical orchids of tropical areas and therefore their ideal habitat is humidity and high temperatures. The best known and most cultivated genera of epiphytic orchids are: Cymbidium, Cattleya, Vanda, Odontoglossum.


Then there are also orchids EPIPHITE SEEDS, plants that live on the branches and trunks of other plants or LITHOPHITE, that is to say that they live on the rocks covered by a thin layer of plant fragments, mosses and lichens. Classic examples are the Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Vanda, etc. while for example the Cattleya, it can be epiphytic or semi epiphytic.

SCANDING: they are orchids rooted in the ground and by means of volatile stems they attach themselves to different substrates and have aerial roots. A classic example is the Vanilla.
TERRESTRIAL: are the orchids widespread in temperate climates that grow in the ground and the roots are firmly in the earth from which they draw the nutritional elements. They are typical examples Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Bletilla, Paphilopedilum.

Epidendrum pseudoepidendrum

In terrestrial orchids there are formations called tubercles formed by the welding of some roots, black when they fed the bud of the year and white that will provide the substances for the next year.

ORCHIDS THAT LIVE PARASITICALLY: they are orchids without chlorophyll that lead a heterotrophic life (feeding on organic material present in the environment) such as mushrooms, at the expense of humus or soil materials. Some have fungal-infected roots, others like Corallorhiza they have no roots and their role is assumed by the ramifications of the coral-like rhizome.

Reproduction

Reproduction of Orchidaceae can be both sexual and asexual.
Sexual reproduction can occur both by cross-pollination, that is with the transport of pollen from the anther of a flower onto the stigma of the flower of another individual, and by self-pollination, that is, the pollen passes from the anther to the stigma of the same flower.

Cultivation
Mostly epiphytic plants, orchidaceae are grown particularly in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The so-called terricolous species (that is, which grow on an earthy substrate) can also be cultivated in temperate areas but require particular care and structures, such as warm-humid greenhouses or in tropical humid terrariums.

Fertilization of orchids
Fertilization, that is to say the supply of nutritional elements is essential for all plants but in particular for orchids as the supports in which they are normally placed are mostly inert and therefore devoid of nutrients.

In nature, orchids do not have a large amount of nutrients available and survive with the few elements they can find in rainwater and what they find in the bark of trees as decaying organic material.

What are the important chemical elements?
The nutrition of orchids and more generally of all plants, autotrophic organisms (1) par excellence, occurs by absorption of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, taken from the air and water and used for chlorophyll photosynthesis.
Instead, they are taken from the substrate and are all main elements (essential for nutrition) that enter the constitution of plant tissues, the nitrogen (N) fundamental element as it enters the constitution of proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, chlorophyll, alkaloids and many other organic compounds. phosphorus (P) important because it enters together with Sulfur in the composition of important proteins and compounds such as ATP, coenzymes and others potassium (K) which, although not having plastic functions like the previous ones, is fundamental in the metabolism of cells due to its function as a catalyst in the synthesis of sugars, amino acids, proteins, fats, vitamins, also regulating water metabolism as a regulator of osmotic pressure of cellular juices football (Ca) for the construction of the cell walls magnesium (Mg) for the creation of chlorophyll and sulfur (S).

In addition to these, there are a series of microelements indispensable for the catalysis of particular physical, chemical and enzymatic processes, which are: copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), molybdenum (Mo) and manganese (Mn), sodium (NA), chlorine (Cl), vanadium (V) also taken from the substrate and important, even if in minimal quantities for the biological and biochemical processes of the plant.
In addition to these, a long series of other nutritional elements have been found in the ashes of plants, the function of which is not fully known within the plant tissues.

The amount of these chemical elements needed by plants is not constant during their life but varies according not only to light, temperature and humidity but also to the phase of the plant's development cycle.

We also keep in mind that water is the vehicle through which plants absorb the various elements therefore if the plant for any reason is not able to absorb water, it will not even absorb the nutrients that will accumulate in the substrate, becoming very harmful as they will create a highly concentrated saline environment generally always very harmful to plants.

All plants absorb water for two fundamental reasons:

1) because they breathe (transpiration) so the warmer it is, the lower the humidity in the air, the more they transpire and the more they need water

2) plants use water in the processes of chlorophyll photosynthesis where six molecules of water join six molecules of carbon dioxide and through the energy supplied by sunlight they form six molecules of oxygen and one molecule of glucose that will be transformed from the plant to create the elements necessary for its development (other sugars, amino acids, proteins, fats, vitamins, etc.). In practice, the plants in this way create new cells and then grow.

What conclusions can be drawn from these considerations: if the plant does not have sufficient light it does not perform photosynthesis and therefore does not grow and therefore does not absorb the water and nutrients it contains.

It therefore appears evident that during the summer (longer periods of light) the plant works harder and therefore needs a greater amount of nutrients while in autumn (less light) the plant works at a slower pace and therefore fertilizations they will have to decrease until they slow down completely during the winter. All this obviously referring to natural living conditions, that is to say uncontrolled as can be greenhouses or terrariums.
Let's keep in mind one thing: when the plant is awakening from vegetative rest, it begins to create new shoots the old peseudobulbs wither because their nutritional reserves are used for the survival of the new shoots until they have grown enough to be autonomous. During this period the plant must be kept dry enough, to avoid the rotting of the young shoots, and without fertilization. When the roots of the new shoots have developed and have adhered to the substrate, it is necessary to resume both irrigations and fertilizations, taking care to add discrete quantities of nitrogen that promote growth and this until the new pseudobulb has formed and will be beautiful. turgid.

Which, how much and when to give fertilizers to our orchids.

The fertilizers to be used for orchids must be water-soluble, that is, soluble in water.

To favor the vegetative restart of the plant, a greater quantity of nitrogen (N) is administered to the orchid and that is to say the formula 30:10:10 (N: P: K) is used which means: 30 parts of nitrogen, 10 parts of phosphorus (P) and 10 parts of potassium (K). Generally one or more operations are carried out in the spring with this combination.

To promote greater flowering, nitrogen is decreased and phosphorus and potassium are increased, and therefore the formula 10:30:20 is used.

During the other periods, the balanced formula 20:20:20 or 18:18:18 is used.

How orchid fertilizers are administered

Both fertilizers to be diluted in irrigation water and fertilizers that are administered via the leaves can be used.

Root-fed fertilizers, administered with irrigation water, are absorbed by the roots while foliar fertilizers are absorbed by the stomata of the leaves and must be distributed using nebulizers to prevent them from slipping off. Usually foliar fertilizers are highly soluble (in order not to leave residues) and high absorption (the quantities that the plant is able to absorb are considerably lower than the absorption through the roots so they are very concentrated and easily assimilated). There are no substantial differences between the two types of fertilizer (on the market there are two separate forms).
Using one type or another is almost indifferent and depends on everyone's choices. It may depend, for example, on the type of orchid breeding form. In fact, if the orchid is raised in rafts or in suspended baskets, root fertilization can be difficult, so in that case a foliar fertilization will have to be adopted even if it would be preferable to find a middle ground between the two types of fertilization if the only root fertilization is problematic.
Fertilizers administered by roots must be dissolved in water in a very low percentage, 1 g / l of water if used frequently, i.e. every 20-30 days or half a g / l of water if used every 2 weeks. In any case, never exceed 1 gr per liter of water.

It is recommended that the fertilizations for the orchid are carried out when the substrate is humid and for the first few days, never allow the substrate to dry out completely as there would be an excessive concentration of mineral salts. It would be advisable that after a certain number of fertilizations (4 or 5) watering is carried out without fertilizer in order to rinse the substrate and lower the salt concentration.

Obviously, these indications are relevant to inert substrates, that is, they do not provide any nutritional elements to the orchid. Doses will need to be decreased if a non-inert substrate is used.

(1) Autotrophs are those organisms that are able to feed themselves, synthesizing the organic molecules they need to live from inorganic substances that they find in the surrounding environment. They are an indispensable link in the food chain of the planet as, for example, animals are heterotrophic organisms and therefore must find the organic compounds they need to live, already synthesized.

TYPE OF SOIL AND REPOT OF ORCHIDS

It is usually thought that as soon as you buy a plant, and in particular an orchid, it should be repotted immediately because by observing the soil you can see many "strange things" in the pot, pieces of bark, foam rubber, polystyrene, etc. and it is thought that the florist wanted to save on soil: nothing could be more wrong.

Only in three cases does the orchid need to be repotted:

1) when the plant has overgrown and therefore the pot has become too small to accommodate the plant
2) when the substrate is rotting or in any case deteriorated and always remains too humid or all sticky
3) when it is infested with parasites or molds.

When one of these cases occurs then repotting must be carried out.
Before carrying out any operation on the orchid (and on all plants in general), it is advisable that, if you do not use gloves, your hands are thoroughly clean before proceeding.

In what period is it repotted

If you proceed with repotting due to a too small pot, we recommend repotting after flowering, at the beginning of the new vegetative season, when the first roots begin to appear (and that they are at least 2-3 cm long).

Preparation of the plant

First of all, the substrate that contains the orchid must be wet well to make the roots more elastic, make them detach from the substrate and thus avoid breakage.
The roots must be cleaned of all the material that attacked and the dead ones must be removed with shears that we will have first disinfected well with alcohol or bleach or preferably with the flame.
If the roots adhere too strongly to the pot at the time of flaring, it is advisable to immerse the pot for about 30 minutes in just warm water. If this technique doesn't work, then cut the pot. Do not force the roots which could be damaged.
Proceed with great caution and try to disturb the roots as little as possible and be careful to eliminate only the dead ones. The cutting surfaces must be treated with broad spectrum fungicidal powders that you will find from a good nurseryman.
Repotting is also the time for a possible division of the orchid plant.

Preparation and choice of substrate

The materials to be used for repotting orchids can be different depending on the species and cultivation technique (please refer to the individual monographic sheets of orchids) but all must have the same characteristic: they must not remain soaked in water and must dry out enough. quickly so as not to create an asphyxiated environment at the root level.

THE MATERIALS OF VEGETABLE ORIGIN

normally used are:

SPHAGNUM (Sphagnum palustre, Sphagnum squarrosum, Sphagnum acutifolium, Sphagnum cimbifolium).
We will have come across them many times when, while taking walks, we have stepped into a spongy mass, among reeds or in a marsh. They are mosses that have no roots, but only reddish-brown filaments (rhizoids), a short stem and very pale green leaves. The sphagnums usually come from the Varese areas and have the characteristic of retaining up to 10 times their weight in water. Sphagnum is found in the form of long or short fibers, live or dead. The best is definitely the live sphagnum which will continue to grow in the pot.
PEAT OF SPAGNO
These are the mosses that have died and that settle on the bottom of the marshes and swamps.
It has a high ability to retain water even more than sphagnum but degrades much more quickly. It is not used alone as a substrate for orchids as it remains too compact and dense.

OSMUNDA
The famous Osmunda fiber is none other than the roots of Osmunda regalis, a large fern, 1-2 meters high, originally from Italy, with rhizome and fleshy roots.
Currently it is a protected species so it cannot be collected in nature but was once widely used as a substrate for repotting even if it had the defect of being a vector of various pathologies.
BEECH LEAVES
The beech leaves are first fermented and ammonium nitrate is added during fermentation and when ready, they are ground. They are a light substrate that allows good aeration and capable of releasing a moderate amount of nitrogen. It has the disadvantage of not being structurally stable so it lasts from 7 months to 10 months.

BARK
The Bark is formed from the bark of spruce (Picea abies) and Pseudotsuga douglasii, native to North America. Both barks are crushed into very small portions of a few millimeters and immersed in water for 24 hours before use. They keep their characteristics unaltered for about four years, after which they begin to deteriorate and the pH increases up to 6, so they must be replaced.
The bark must be mixed with expanded polystyrene in order to aerate the mixture. It is the best known and cheapest substrate for repotting orchids. It is rough and can be found on the market in three different sizes: tiny, used for seedbeds and for orchids with thin roots (such as Odontoglossum, for example), medium or medium-sized, used for medium-large orchids, for orchids which reach a good size such as Phalenopsis, Vanda, Cattleya.
ROCK WOOL
The rock wool derives from a mixture of rocks (Basalts, igneous rocks, Diabase) treated at high temperatures (2000 ° C) in this way what is technically called "extrusion" takes place, that is to say very thin threads are formed. This material is compressed and added with resins to form plates or cubes of different sizes surrounded by polyethylene sheets. It is a very light material that does not contain nutrients.

CORK BARK
The cork bark is crushed to which pieces of sponge are added to retain the water.

CHARCOAL
Charcoal has the ability to retain mineral salts so if you mainly use water rich in salts, it is preferable not to use it.

VARIOUS BARKS
The barks can be of Sequoia, of Palm, of Tree ferns such as Cyathea which are used to form the so-called "rafts" that are hung in the greenhouses.

LAND OF BRUGHIERA
The Moorland derives from the decomposition, which took place over the centuries, on a sandy substratum of Calluna vulgaris, Erica gracilis and Molina cerulea. It is gray in color, soft to the touch and with a pH between 4.5 and 6. It has a mediocre content of organic matter but a high capacity to retain water.

MATERIALS OF MINERAL ORIGIN I'm:

PUMICE
Pumice is a volcanic rock formed by aluminum silicate with small parts of Sodium and Potassium and traces of Calcium, Magnesium, Iron. This is a material that is not normally sterilized as it is not subjected to any treatment. It has a white gray color, is porous and very light. It is used to improve drainage

EXPANDED CLAY
Expanded clay derives from clay-rock that was formed in the marine environment in the Eocene and Cretaceous periods. It is taken from quarries, it is free of organic substance, and after various treatments, especially at very high temperatures, the classic balls we know are obtained, which are pink / brown on the outside and gray on the inside. It has the particularity of having a low thermal conductivity so it is useful to avoid sudden changes in temperature inside the substrate. It has a high capacity for air so it is used on the bottom of the pots as a draining material. It is sterile, has no ion exchange capacity and has a neutral pH
PERLITE
Perlite comes from a siliceous volcanic rock. It is treated at very high temperatures which make it grainy - spongy. It is sterile and has a neutral pH. It has the ability to absorb water 3-4 times its weight and has a low ion exchange capacity. It lasts several years, but when it turns yellow it means that it has deteriorated and must be replaced

POLYSTYRENE
Expanded polystyrene is obtained by subjecting the oil to high temperatures, which expands. It comes in the form of small white granules, with a very low capacity to retain water, it does not have ion exchange capacity so even if it has a very high pH (about 9) it does not matter in its use because it does not interact with the substrate. It has a high air capacity so it is used to improve the aeration of a ground. It is a sterile product.

VERMICULITIS
Vermiculite is a hydrated silicate of Aluminum, Iron and Magnesium from the fields of the United States and South Africa. In the manufacturing process, it is flaked into strips and heated to temperatures above 1000 ° C. After this treatment it turns into many sponge-like particles. It exists in different sizes ranging from 1 to 6 mm. Its characteristic is that it retains water up to 5 times its weight and has a high cation exchange capacity, similar to peat, from which it differs because it has a higher amount of mineral elements which require less fertilization. It is a sterile product with a pH of around 6-8. More than in orchiculture it is more used for rooting cuttings and for rooting seeds, mixed with peat.
IMPORTANT: whatever the substrate you will use for repotting this must be previously left to soak in water for at least 24 hours in order to eliminate all the dust, impurities (which will deposit in the bottom of the pot) and also to hydrate it. It should then be left to dry and only at that point can it be used for repotting.

Choice of container

There are an infinite number of containers on the market for repotting plants and in particular orchids. The first piece of advice I can give in this regard is not to think about how good a certain vase can fit on the living room table ... you have to think about what is best for the orchid, not what is best for you.
If the plant is to be grown in pots, I recommend using transparent plastic pots as they allow the roots to remain exposed to light, an important aspect as many species carry out photosynthetic activity even at the root level.
If you have chosen a pot of a certain size from your trusted nurseryman, well, put it back and take it smaller as the eye is always too large in the choice of pot compared to the real needs of the plant.
Before being used, the jar must be thoroughly washed with soap and water and then disinfected with alcohol or bleach.
The general orchid is a plant that does not like water stagnation, it is therefore appropriate that the pot favors the rapid draining of the watering water, therefore make sure it has an adequate number of drainage holes (otherwise equip yourself with suitable tools to increase them).

Arrangement of the plant in the pot

At this point take the container, place the larger pieces on the bottom (for better drainage) of the substrate and then put your bare root orchid inside and arrange the substrate so that it penetrates well between the various roots being careful not to compress it too much and that it is evenly distributed between the roots. At the end, clap the outside of the pot with your hands to ensure a more correct settling of the soil.
After the orchid is planted, if cuts have been made to the roots, it should not be irrigated immediately but must be left dry and protected from direct light and temperature changes for about seven days to allow the wounds to heal. Therefore watering must be resumed very gradually. Once the root activity has resumed, resume administering the fertilizer as well.

If, on the other hand, no roots have been cut or any damaged part removed, then you can proceed immediately after repotting to the first watering by immersing the pot in water until the substrate is completely soaked, then allowing all excess water to drain.

WATERING AND HUMIDITY OF ORCHIDS
To understand how an appropriate environment is fundamental for the health of our plants, we must always think about their place of origin. Orchids originate mostly from tropical countries and therefore from very hot and very humid environments where the only seasons are the dry and rainy seasons. In their natural environment they have adapted to this climate by vegetating during the rainy season and entering vegetative rest during periods of drought, taking advantage in this period only of the morning dew and feeding on the reserves they have accumulated during the rainy season.

The same life cycle is also followed in our climates. In fact, we realize that the plant is awakening when we notice the growth of new shoots the old pseudobulbs wither because their nutritional reserves are used for the survival of the new shoots until they have grown enough to be autonomous. During this period the plant must be kept dry enough to avoid the rotting of the young shoots and does not need fertilization.

When the roots have developed and adhered to the substratum, it is necessary to resume both the irrigations and the fertilizations, taking care to bring discrete quantities of Nitrogen that favor growth and this until the new pseudobulb has formed and will be nice turgid.
At this point, the wetting will have to decrease and the type of fertilization will have to be changed using a balanced mixture in equal parts. After which the plant returns to vegetative rest and starts again.
For a successful orchid cultivation the secret is to stop every day for a few minutes and observe them carefully. Think of them as a person who has not only nutritional but also environmental needs that differ according to age. If you take care to observe it during its growth, you will ensure a plant that will reciprocate you with a spectacle that only nature can give you.

Having made this premise, we keep in mind that it is very important to create a suitable microclimate around the plant. One idea is to put other plants around the orchid that will help the orchid to have a more suitable environment (according to some it seems that they do not like the company of the Ficus).

To create a good microclimate, water must be sprayed around the plant and over the leaves twice a day (avoid wetting the flowers that could get stained) but taking care to ensure that the plant does not remain wet at night and that it does not stagnate. at the axil of the leaves because this could give rise to parasitic diseases.
The plant should not be sprayed in the hottest hours of the day in fact in those hours the pores are very open and the water is an ideal vehicle for the attack of pathogenic microorganisms.
Another trick is to place the pot containing the orchid on a saucer (or other container) in which there will be expanded clay or gravel in which you will always keep a trickle of water. In this way, the roots of the orchid will not come into contact with the water which, by evaporating, will ensure a humid environment around the plant.
As far as real watering is concerned, the general rule applies: epiphytic orchids should be irrigated only once a week while terrestrial ones twice. Beware of excesses that cause rot. In fact, more orchids died from excess water than from serious diseases.

You may have noticed that when we buy an orchid, always placed in a very small jar, there are pieces of all kinds: bark, foam rubber, polystyrene, sponge, coconut fiber and anything else our imagination can imagine. Well they are not there by chance or to "save" on the soil. They are to avoid water stagnation and at the same time maintain a constantly humid environment.
The best way to water our orchid is to immerse the pot in water (with the characteristics specified above) for about twenty / thirty minutes, after which, let it drain well for a good hour if possible, hanging the plant in order to ensure that all the water has gone away.

It is necessary that the water does not contain chlorine and is not a hard water, that is rich in calcium carbonate and magnesium and is distributed at room temperature. It would be preferable to use rainwater or, if not available, demineralized (for example, the water from air conditioners would be fine).

LIGHT NEEDS OF ORCHIDS

Talking about how much light orchids need is not easy and this is because some are satisfied with the penumbra, others need abundant but not direct light. Many orchids, during their evolution, have left the earth to live in trees, in search of a greater amount of light. In absolute terms we can say that light is crucial for their growth but there are variations in quantity depending on the species.
How much light do orchids need? Unfortunately, there is no single answer. The light intensity for orchid growth is between 5,000 and 50,000 lux (1) with a great variability between species and species that we will see in detail in the individual monographic sheets. In any case, to give an indication of the main species found in our homes:
• Phalaenopsis 8-12,000 lux
• Dendrobium and Odontoglossum 15-20,000 lux
• Cattleya 20-30,000 lux
• Cymbidium 30-45,000 lux
• Cambria 12,000 - 15,000 lux.
To meet these values, if there is not enough natural light in your home, you use common neon lamps placed parallel to the support surface during winter and shading in summer.
In general, we can say that almost all of them benefit greatly if during the hot season they are placed outside but not in direct sun. If you plan to do this, take care to make the plant adapt to the different environment. To do this, do not take it outside until the night temperature is below 15-16 ° C. For the first few days, keep it out during the day but bring it back in at night. For the first few days, leave it in the shade and only gradually bring it to a greater amount of light.

Pay attention to the direct sun, especially that of midday and early afternoon which would risk burning the leaves. When autumn arrives, follow the same process, that is, gradually get them used to the new environment. Always remember that light is essential for all plants but in particular for orchids, in fact with low light they will grow stunted and will not bloom as well as if the light is excessive, they will not bloom.
If the orchids are raised indoors, we find a location near east or south-east facing windows, which allow for good light throughout the day. Windows facing south and south-west should be avoided, because they are too hot and not very bright.

If you can't understand if the position you find inside the house is bright enough for your orchid, a trick could be to photograph the corner where they are located, without the camera flash. If the photo is not clear, well, find another accommodation.
In any case, to find out exactly how much light your orchid needs, refer to the detail of the individual species.

Note
(1) The lux (lx) is the unit of measurement for illuminance in the International System. One lux is equal to one lumen divided by one square meter. To give some examples: the light of the Sun varies on average between 32,000 lux and 100,000 lux under the spotlights of television studios you have about 1,000 lux in a bright office you have about 500 lux the light of the Moon is equal to about 1 lux.

TEMPERATURE AND VENTILATION OF ORCHIDS

TEMPERATURE
The temperature regulates the life rhythm of the plant: a too low temperature slows down the vital rhythms while a too high temperature increases them by increasing respiration and consequently the development of the plant is inhibited.
The optimal temperature of orchids varies from species to species and will be taken in detail in the cards of the individual species. In general, we can say that all orchids, being plants native to tropical climates, need heat.
The optimal temperatures for Cymbidium, Oncidium, Masdevallia, Miltonia, Odontoglossum, Paphiopedilum orchids are:
- maximum day temperature: 27 ° C
- minimum night temperature: 10 ° C
The optimal temperatures for Cattleya, Dendrobium, Brassavola, Epidendrum, Laelia orchids are:
- maximum day temperature: 30 ° C
- minimum night temperature: 13 ° C
The optimal temperatures for Phalaenopsis, Vanda orchids are:
- maximum day temperature: 32 ° C
- minimum temperature at night: 15 ° C

VENTILATION
Another essential element for a successful orchid cultivation is the air.
In summer, if it is not possible to bring our orchid to a garden or terrace, we ventilate the room so as to let the air in and also in winter to eliminate stagnant air and excessive humidity.
After watering, make sure there is enough air circulating to dry the plant.
Avoid placing our orchid near radiators and equip it with a saucer large enough to allow good air circulation.

DISEASES AND TREATMENTS OF ORCHIDS
The severity of the diseases that affect the orchid is extremely variable depending mainly on the cultivation techniques that are adopted. In fact, most of the pathologies that occur in our orchids are linked to an unsuitable cultivation technique.

First of all it is important to follow some small rules as a prevention against diseases:
1. be very careful not to damage any part of the plant, be it leaves, flowers or roots
2. avoid leaving the aerial parts of the plant wet during the night
3. check that there is good ventilation for our orchid
4. eliminate parts of the substrate that are obviously rotten, dead leaves, etc.
5. Always sterilize the tools you use, in particular the scissors must be sterilized preferably over the flame and also the new jars used at the time of repotting must be washed thoroughly and then sterilized with alcohol or bleach and take care to have perfectly clean hands
6. avoid spraying the plant during the hottest hours of the day as the pores are very dilated and water is a preferential vehicle for pathogenic microorganisms
7. equip the home radiators with humidifiers to avoid excessive dryness of the air
8. if you have repotted and the dead roots have been removed, wait at least a week before watering to allow the wounds to heal
9. if you have several orchids at home, take care not to keep them in contact with each other to avoid the spread of any diseases
10. if you buy a new orchid, take care to keep it in quarantine for a certain period, i.e. away from the others until you are sure of its health.
11. if you have accidentally caused wounds in the plant, take care to sprinkle them with cinnamon (which contains phenols that have microbial properties) or with the common cicatrene
12. every day take a few minutes of your day to observe your orchid to check its condition and therefore understand if there is any suffering in progress.
Having said that, let's see what are the main diseases, parasitic and non-parasitic.

NON-PARASITIC DISEASES OF ORCHIDS
In this case it is not a question of real diseases, even if they cause serious pathologies in the orchid or may be the prelude to a subsequent parasitic infestation. Temperatures, light, humidity and fertilizations must be regulated precisely and according to the specific needs of the individual plants.

Fall of the leaves
It is due, most of the time, to an excess of water

Stop of growth and fall of flowers
Conversely, it is due to poor irrigation

Presence of slightly turgid and not very shiny leaves
It is due to low environmental humidity

Failure to bloom
The main cause is bad lighting
Burns in the leaves
They are due to excesses of light that hit the not perfectly dry leaf. The burn is very dangerous because it represents a privileged route for various pathogenic microorganisms, especially fungi.

PARASITIC DISEASES OF ORCHIDS

CAUSED BY INSECTS OR MITES

Presence of brown spots

Brown spots indicate the presence of cochineal. They can be of various types: brown scale insects or cottony scale insects (mainly the latter). They are easily identified by trying to pass a fingernail. If they come off easily, they are mealybugs. To find out more, see the chapter dedicated to scale insects.

These insects are feared by orchid enthusiasts as they are difficult to eliminate once and for all. A first attempt to fight can be to use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
If it is not possible to keep them under control with this method, then it is necessary to proceed with repotting, remove all the old substrate and replace it with a new one, clean both the roots thoroughly (under water, checking well in the protective sheaths of the pseudobulbs their eventual presence) that leaves always under a jet of water. With this operation you will physically eliminate the parasite. It is also advisable to do a treatment with specific systemic insecticides for insects with stinging - sucking mouthparts (aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, leafhoppers, thrips, etc.).

The orchid appears stunted and there are small necrotic spots.

The leaves turn yellow, the shoots and flower buds deform and stop their development. They can also produce abundant honeydew, their droppings remaining sticky, soiling the vegetation. If there are these symptoms we are certainly in the presence of aphids.
Finding them is easy. Just get a good magnifying glass and observe them.

Aphids must be fought promptly as in addition to direct damage they are also vehicles of numerous viruses for which there is no cure. To fight them you need to use specific insecticides, which act both by contact and by ingestion.

Small discolored dots in the leaves of the orchid and the presence of a light cobweb
Following these manifestations, the leaves curl up, take on an almost dusty appearance and fall. Observing carefully you can also notice some thin cobwebs especially on the underside of the leaves.
With this symptomatology we are very likely in the presence of an attack of red spider, a very annoying and harmful mite.

Generally it is possible to keep them under control by increasing the frequency of nebulizations to the foliage (the lack of humidity favors their proliferation), keeping the leaves clean as the dust serves to protect them.

CAUSED BY MUSHROOMS
Fungal diseases are almost always caused by poor growing conditions, namely: excessive humidity, poor ventilation, low temperatures, substrates that absorb too much water and degrade easily. By taking care to avoid these adverse conditions, fungal diseases will not be widespread in your orchids.

Black rot of leaves, pseudobulbs and roots (black rot)

This disease can be caused by a fungus, Phytophthora spp. or Pythium spp.

The disease manifests itself as blackish spots surrounded by a yellowish halo on practically all parts of the plant (except the flowers).

The determining factors can be a low temperature with a high humidity. When the disease reaches the pseudobulbs or roots, it can cause the plant to die within two weeks.

Often this disease arises at the time of division of the head caused by the use of inadequately disinfected instrumentation or by a wound that has not been disinfected.

Leaf or flower rot

We may be in the presence of an attack by Botrytis spp., A very polyphagous fungus that causes serious damage to the orchid. This pathogen is also facilitated by high humidity, poor air circulation and low temperature. It can attack both flowers and leaves.

It is quite easily recognized: the affected tissues of your orchid appear soft and round or elongated spots are observed on the petals that appear normal in the central area while they are surrounded by a darker halo that gradually extends to the whole spot.
Appearance on all the aerial parts of the plant of roundish, depressed brown spots, clearly separated from the healthy part

It is an attack of a fungus, Glomerella spp. and the disease is better known as anthracnose. The high humidity is favorable to the disease. Almost all orchids are sensitive to this pathogen.

The fight must be set by cutting and physically eliminating the infected parts and making treatments with pesticides. Good ventilation of the environment in which the orchid is located makes it difficult to create the ideal conditions for the development of this disease.
Irregular necrotic leaf spots, often confluent to form large necrotic areas

The pathogen that causes this symptomatology is a fungus and precisely Fusarium spp.
Also in this case, a high level of humidity favors the development of the disease which can lead to a total arrest of growth.

The fight against this pathogen is agronomic, that is to say in the adoption of a series of measures aimed at creating an environment that is not conducive to its development: optimal ventilation and keeping the aerial parts of the orchid dry.

CAUSED BY BACTERIA

The most common bacterial diseases in orchids are:

Leaf necrosis

This disease is particularly severe on Phalaenopsis but can also affect other orchid genera. The culprits are different types of bacteria, Pseudomonas spp. and Acidivoras spp.

Typical symptoms are the appearance of wildfire lesions which subsequently become dark brown. On adult orchids, the infection starts from the leaves and can reach the stem. The infected areas show exudates which are nothing more than bacterial colonies. On Cattleya, it is usually not fatal if you do not intervene immediately, the plant will be compromised.

Rots of pseudobulbs

The responsible for this pathology are bacteria belonging to the genus Erwinia spp.
The disease initially manifests itself with the presence of a small yellowish oily spot often in the center of the leaf, gradually the spot becomes darker and darker. At that point the bacterium reaches the internal tissues of the plant and transforms the plant into a blackish and rotting mass.

Conversely, other bacteria belonging to this genus can directly attack the roots and the pseudobulbs with the same symptoms.
The fight against this bacterium is preventive, taking care to always use disinfected and clean tools.

In general, bacterial diseases are difficult to control. A preventive action must be taken by improving the cultivation conditions, especially by reducing the wetting of the leaves. I do not recommend the use of pesticides as they are toxic products, not suitable for domestic use.

CAUSED BY VIRUSES

There are numerous studies on viruses affecting orchids.

At present, about thirty viruses have been identified.

In this case too, transmission occurs mainly through the use of uncleaned and non-disinfected tools, in fact for the most part these are viruses that are not specific to orchids that have a large range of host plants. By using tools that we have previously used on other infected plants (in which the disease may not be manifested), we can transmit the disease on our orchids.

Mosaic virus
The virus is called CymMV and the symptoms with which it manifests itself are very varied. For example on Cymbidium it manifests itself as a mosaic with necrotic spots and streaks while on Cattleya with colored dots. There is no cure.

Spotting virus

This is the ORSV virus. Symptoms are extremely varied. For example, on Cattleya it manifests dark-colored necrotic spots, streaks or spots, on Cymbidium (see photo on the side) the virus causes typical necrotic spots, sunken and spots on the flowers. The symptoms may vary from species to species but almost all manifest themselves through a mosaic pattern. They are easily transmitted both through infected tools and by using an infected substrate or vessels.

SPECIES OF ORCHIDS SUITABLE FOR WET TROPICAL TERRARIUM

MINIATURE ORCHIDS
The Orchidaceae family includes 35,000 species and new ones are added every year. Each genus of orchids includes some miniature species, some are made up of small plants.
By miniature orchid we mean a plant that in adulthood never reaches large dimensions, from a few centimeters to a couple of decimetres.
These plants have the same needs as larger ones, which vary according to the type of habitat they come from. The so-called miniatures are very popular with orchid collectors as they take up very little space and adapt well to cultivation in plantariums, terrariums and mini greenhouses. Anyone can build an orchidarium with artificial lights in a room of the house and successfully grow many species of small orchids.
Of course, they can also be grown in terrariums that house amphibians, the important thing is to choose the species suitable for this kind of cultivation.


Genera and species

List of species and genera of difficult cultivation

Cattleya
In the genus Cattleya to which the most spectacular and large orchids in the world belong, we find a species of very small size but with a large flower compared to the size of the plant: the Cattleya aclandiae.
However, this plant is difficult to cultivate in home shutters and terrariums, it needs a lot of light, strong air circulation and rather cool night temperatures.

Laelia
As for the previous genus also the genus Laelia, closely related to the Cattleya we find species in miniature: the Laelia lithophytes.
Beautiful dwarf plants with brightly colored flowers and elegant shapes.
Unfortunately, even more so than the previous species, these plants are difficult to grow in greenhouses, let alone under artificial lights.

Laelia harpophylla

Epiphytic orchid native to Brazilian tropical forests.

It needs an average light intensity and temperatures between 18-20 and 30 ° C.

The size of the flower can reach about 8 cm.

Laelia harpophylla Laelia milleri Laelia longipes

Sophronitis and Sophronitella
Two genera to which magnificent miniature plants belong, but even these require low temperatures and direct sunlight, therefore absolutely not recommended in terrariums and orchidariums.

Sophronitis cernua Sophronitis acuensis Sophronitella violacea

List of Genera and Species of easy cultivation

Angraecum Bory, 1804 is a genus of plants belonging to the Orchidaceae family.
It includes over 220 species native to Africa and Madagascar where the greatest biodiversity is concentrated, and in various other islands of the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Seychelles, Mascarene Islands and Sri Lanka).

Angraecum Crestwood 'FN-Beat'

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

Cronquist classification

Domain Eukaryota

Kingdom Plantae

Division Magnoliophyta

Class Liliopsida

Order Orchidales

Family Orchidaceae

Subfamily Epidendroideae

Tribe Vendée

Subtribe Angraecinae

Kind Angraecum, Bory, 1804

APG classification

Order Asparagales

Family Orchidaceae

Aeranthus
Rchb.f 1826
Aerobion
Spreng. 1826
Angorkis
Thou. 1809
Angorchis
Spreng. 1822
Barombia
Schltr. 1914
Epidorchis
Thou. 1822
Macroplectrum
Pfitzer 1889
Monixus
Finet 1907
Pectinaria
Cordem. 1819

DESCRIPTION

Angraecum is the best known genus among African orchids, and they range from a few cm in height to large plants. They are monopodial orchids and therefore have no pseudobulbs. They all have more or less star-shaped flowers ranging in color from white to greenish, some have pinkish or reddish shades. They want good brightness, about the same as Cattleya and grow well in medium to warm temperatures. They do not have rest periods, so it is good to keep them moist all year round.

Angraecum sororium, a species of orchid endemic to Madagascar that usually grows as a lithophyte, has large, fleshy flowers with a spicy scent, especially at night.

Most Angraecum species are epiphytes, some are lithophytes. They are provided with aerial roots, of fleshy consistency, grouped at the base of the stem in the short-stemmed species, or along the stem, interspersed with the leaves, in the species with longer stems. The roots can be covered with a root veil called velamen, composed of empty and water-permeable cells, which allows the plant to absorb atmospheric moisture and, in some species, to carry out a photosynthetic activity, thanks to the presence of chloroplasts.
Like all the Angraecinae, they do not have pseudobulbs and have monopodial growth stems, ie they have only one vegetative "foot". The stem can be only a few centimeters long, as for example in A. minus, or reach a few meters in length, as in A. infundibulare. In most species it grows vertically, but in some species it can detach horizontally from the host plant or assume a hanging attitude.
The flowers, very fragrant especially during the night, are gathered in racemose inflorescences that originate from the foliar axils, and are white in most of the species, but in some species they may be yellow, light green or ocher. A characteristic element of the genus is the long spur present at the base of the labellum, which in some species can exceed 30 cm.

PLAYBACK

Most of the species of Angraecum reproduce thanks to entomophilic pollination by moths of the family Sphingidae. Paradigmatic of this close co-evolutionary interdependence is the case of the so-called "Darwin's orchid" (A. sesquipedale), a species characterized by a spur about 30 cm long, for which Charles Darwin postulated the existence of a pollinating insect equipped with a spirotromba of similar size.
About 40 years after the formulation of such a hypothesis, it was actually discovered that the pollinator was a sphinx, Xanthopan morgani, equipped with a matching sized spirotrumpet -
Some endemic species of the Mascarene Islands (A. bracteosum, A. striatum), characterized by unscented flowers and with small spurs, have a reproduction mechanism linked instead to ornithogamous pollination, by birds of the family Zosteropidae (Zosterops borbonicus, Z. olivaceus).
Another endemic species of Mascarene, A. cadetii, also with unscented flowers and a small spur, owes its pollination, unique among the orchidaceae, to a cricket of the family Gryllacrididae.

The genus includes over 220 species including:
• A. birrimense
• A. borbonicum
• A. bracteosum
• A. cadetii
• A. calceolus
• A. didieri
• A. distichum
• A. eburneum
• A. eichlerianum
• A. infundibular
• A. leonis
• A. longicalcar
• A. magdalenae
• A. minus
• A. pungens
• A. ramosum
• A. scottianum
• A. sesquipedale
• A. striatum

Hybrids
It can frequently give rise to intergeneric hybrids with other genera of Angraecinae:
• × Angraecyrtanthes (Angraecum × Aeranthes × Cyrtorchis)
• × Angraeorchis (Angraecum × Cyrtorchis)
• × Angraeorchis (Angraecum × Cyrtorchis)
• × Angraecentrum (Angraecum × Ascocentrum)
• × Angreoniella (Angraecum × Oeoniella)
• × Angrangis (Angraecum × Aerangis).
• × Angraecostylis (Angraecum × Rhynchostylis)
• × Angranthes (Angraecum × Aeranthes)
• × Angranthellea (Angraecum × Aeranthes × Jumellea)
• × Ceratograecum (Angraecum × Ceratocentron)
• × Eurygraecum (Angraecum × Eurychone)
• × Plectrelgraecum (Angraecum × Plectrelminthus)
• × Sobennigraecum (Angraecum × Sobennikoffia)
• × Tubaecum (Angraecum × Tuberolabium)

Acianthera nikoleana

Epiphytic plant native to Ecuador where it was found up to about 1000 meters high.

Many of them are large in size such as theAngraecum sesquipedale (Darwin's orchid) or theAngraecum eburneum longicalcar others are very small such as:
Angraecum ruthembergianum
Angraecum erectum
These seedlings can be grown easily in a terrarium and plantarium with two fluorescent lights and high humidity.

Angraecum Arachnites, a miniature epiphytic orchid, native to the central and eastern areas of northern Madagascar. The species has long stems and rather small succulent leaves. Angraecum ruthembergianum Angraecum erectum

Aerangis
With the exception of some large species (Aerangis ellissi and Aerangis articulata), most of the species are miniature and give cascades of generally white, stellar flowers with a long nectarine spur.They are native to the African continent and Madagascar.
They grow well in humid terrariums and in orchidariums they need little light (two fluorescent tubes at 50 cm.) And a lot of humidity. The cultivation temperature is 18 to 20 ° C at night.
To name a few species:
Aerangis fastuosa

Aerangis clavigera

Aerangis fuscata

Aerangis citrata

Aerangis pumilum

Aerangis luteo-alba

Aerangis kirkii

Barbosella dusenii

Barbosella dusenii is a plant native to Brazil. A real miniature. It needs soft lighting. It requires a temperature around 25 °. The size of the flowers (very small) is between 0.5 and 1 cm.

Brassavola flagellaris

Small orchid (5-8 cm) but with large fragrant flowers. Originally from Brazil. It can also be grown as an epiphytic plant in the high areas of the terrarium. It requires temperatures a little higher than normal compared to other orchids, from 25 ° to 33 ° C.

Bulbophyllum aestivale

Bulbophyllum andersonii

Chamaeangis hariotiana
Plants very similar to the previous genus, the requests are the same as for Aerangis, the flowers are gathered in long inflorescences, they are orange in color.

Coelogyne fuliginosa

Plant native to the area of ​​the Himalayas, Sumatra and Java. In their natural environment it is both epiphytic and lithophyte.

Flowering occurs with a beautiful flower of about 5 cm and very aromatic.

Its ideal growing conditions are: low light and a lower temperature than other orchids, between 20 and 25 ° C.

Bulbophyllum
A very large genus of plants that are native to Asia and Africa, there are many miniature species, these plants also have the same light and humidity requirements as the Aerangis genus:

Bulbophyllum falcatum

Plant native to Central Africa. It can be grown as an epiphytic plant although it can sometimes be a lithophyte. He is very fond of soft, subdued light and temperatures between 20 and 30 ° C.

Its flowers are small and gathered in long bracts.

Bulbophyllum macroleum

flowering all the year
culture loose
temperature temperate and warm
continent origin Asia
Good terrariums tropical - hot / humid
habit small (up to 15 cm)
growth phase bloom size

Bulbophyllum odoratissimum

Plant native to China and Southeast Asia. Its small flowers (about 6-7 mm.) Grow together in panicles and are very aromatic. Its ideal breeding conditions are: temperature: 20-25 ° C lighting: moderate.

Bulbophyllum odoratissimum

Bulbophyllum ornatissimum

Bulbophyllum ornatissimum

Bulbophyllum putidum

Bulbophyllum fascinator

Bulbophyllum secundum

Bulbophyllum sumatranum

Dendrobium bracteosum

Plant native to New Guinea, where it lives epiphyte in the mangroves and along the banks of the rivers. It has a beautiful white or pink aromatic flower.

Their ideal maintenance conditions require soft light and an average temperature between 25 and 30 ° C.

Dendrobium lamellatum

Erasanthe henrici

possibly the most sensational of Madagascar orchid species

Lepanthes barbelifer

Ornitocephalus

Ornithocephalus inflexus Ornithocephalus ecuadorensis Ornithocephalus bicornis

Pleurothallis
They are plants, often of small size that come from all over South America, often have inflorescences composed of very particular small flowers, require little light and average temperatures, between 18 and 21 ° C.

Pleurothalis grobyi

Classic miniature orchid with flowers of only 4 mm.

Epiphytic plant native to Central and South America (Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Guyana).

This plant loves shade, high humidity and air movement. As for temperatures, he likes to have differences ranging from 18-20 ° C to 30 ° C.

Pleurothalis grobyi Pleurothallis grobyi

Pleurothallis lanceana

Pleurothallis prolifera

Pleurothallis rowleei

Originally from Colombia and Ecuador.

A real miniature orchid with flowers of just 6 mm.

They are epiphytic plants that develop well in the shade or in the penumbra at temperatures between 20 and 30 ° C.

Porroglossum portillae

Trichosalpinx
Group of plants very similar to Pleurothallis, they grow easily and bloom several times a year quite quickly.
Trichosalpinx jejor

Phalaenopsis
Very famous genus of commercial orchids, they can be successfully grown in mini orchidariums and warm humid terrariums, require high atmospheric humidity and little light, you need to choose terrariums with an adequate size, a height of 60, 70 cm. it will be enough.
The Phalaenopsis group includes miniature plants (Phalaenopsis equestris), most are medium in size, however they can be grown well in medium sized terrariums.

Phalaenopsis pulchra

Phalaenopsis deliciosa

Phalaenopsis deliciosa - syn. Kingidium deliciosum, Thailand.

Phalaenopsis violacea

Phalaenopsis violacea - Borneo

Phalaenopsis minus

Promenaea
Small plants with large flowers, for cultivation they can be superimposed on those already mentioned.
Promenaea xanthina

Gastrochilus
A large group of plants with small but very graceful flowers, they require moderate light and a lot of humidity.
Gastrochilus formosanum

Gastrochilus intermedium

Gastrochilus obliquus

Gastrochilus sororius

Sarcochilus
Directly superimposable to the previous genre.

Sarcochilus Pinky x harmannii

Ionopsis
It includes plants with an inflorescence rich in small flowers, these plants also grow easily in orchidariums and terrariums.
Ionopsis utricularioides

Ionopsis paniculata

Nanodes porpax

Found in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil in wet montane and cloud forests at elevations of 400 to 1800 meters as a mini-miniature sized, hot to cool growing , mat-forming epiphyte with simple, cane-like, laterally compressed, somewhat reclining stems carrying 4 to 13, all along the stem, disitchous, spreading, slightly arching, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, sometimes conduplicate, subacute, margin minutely ciliate at the apex, articulate below into the base leaves that blooms in the late spring through winter on a terminal, sessile, single flowered inflorescence arising through a hemi-elliptic, ovate-lanceolate, rounded and slightly oblique apically spathaceous bracts and carrying, fragrant, resupinate, fleshy flowers.

Hagsater has separated E porpax and E peperomia and states that the differences are that E peperomia has an orbicular-cordiform lip that is wider than long, has an obtuse apex and is known only from Colombia and Venezuela while E porpax has a reniform to sub- orbicular-subquadrate, slightly convex, apically rounded, shortly emarginate and erose dentate lip and comes from all of the countries listed.

Synonyms Epidendrum porphyrophyllum Schlechter 1922 Nanodes porpax (Rchb. F.) Brieger 1960 Nanodes porpax (Rchb. F.) Brieger & Lückel 1978 Neolehmannia porpax [Rchb.f] Garay & Dunsterville 1976

Restrepia
Group closely related to the Pleutothallis, they come from Ecuador and Peru. The plants are very small and the flowers are varied

Restrepia elegans

Restrepia sanguinea

Restrepia trichoglossa

Small epiphytic orchid native to the rainforests of Panama, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.

It requires a not very powerful light and a temperature between 20 and 30 ° C.

The flowers are about 2 cm in size.

Paphiopedilum
Vast group of plants with terrestrial and epiphytic habits, but I suggest putting the hybrids in the terrarium, the species are often difficult to cultivate. They can be successfully grown in a terrarium or orchidarium, require little light and should be placed at the base of the terrarium, they can be kept in pots or you can make a corner with a substrate made of beech leaves, peat and pine bark. Some varieties can bloom several times a year and the flower lasts a few months.

Paphiopedilum spicerianum Masdevallia híbrido

Bulbophyllum sikkimensis Bulbophyllum tingabarinum Bulbophyllum membranaceum Bulbophyllum Elizabeth buckelberry Bulbophyllum Elizabeth buckelberry Bulbophyllum Elizabeth buckelberry

Epidendrum porpax

A beautiful miniature orchid with an equally small (2 cm) and delicate flower. It is native to Colombia and Venezuela where it lives as an epiphyte on the branches of trees.

It is recommended not to grow it in full light or in a terrarium that is too hot, with a temperature between 20 and 25 ° C.

If the breeding conditions are optimal, the plant can also become ground cover. Very easy to grow.

Epidendrum porpax Epidendrum porpax

Kefersteinia graminea

Epiphytic orchid native to Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela.

If possible, it loves large differences in temperature, including between 18-20 and 30 ° C.

Haraella backs off

Taxonomy
Haraella retrocalla (Hayata) Kudô, J. Soc. Trop. Agric. 2: 27 (1930).
The species is classified as follows:
Domain: Eukaryota.
Kingdom: Viridiplantae.
Phylum: Streptophyta, Streptophytina, Embryophyta, Tracheophyta, Euphyllophyta, Spermatophyta, Magnoliophyta.
Class: Liliopsida.
Order: Asparagales.
Family: Orchidaceae.
Subfamily: Epidendroideae, higher Epidendroideae.
Tribe: Vandae.
Subtribe: Aeridinae.
Kind: Haraella.
Species: backslide.

This monospecies genus is native to the island of Taiwan (also known as Formosa), a small island south of China and south-east of Japan.

It grows in mountainous forests at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 2,200 meters above sea level.

TAXONOMY
The name Haraella (Hayata) Kudô 1930 (which justified it in Taiwan's "Journal of the Society of Tropical Agriculture") was given in honor of Yoshi Hara, a 20th century Japanese botanist and orchid collector of the renowned Taihoku Imperial University of Formosa for his research on the endemic flora of the homonymous island, which was the first to discover and cultivate this species.
The name of the species, retrocalla, derives from the Latin and indicates the callus on the posterior part of the labellum.

Synonyms
Homotypic synonyms:
(basionimo) Saccolabium retrocallum Hayata, Icon. Pl. Formosan. 4: 92 (1914).
Gastrochilus retrocallus (Hayata) Hayata, Icon. Pl. Formosan. 6 (Suppl.): 79 (1917).
Gastrochilus retrocallosus Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 4: 289 (1919).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Haraella odorata Kudô, J. Soc. Trop. Agric. 2: 26 (1930).
Saccolabium odoratum (Kudô) Makino & Nemoto, Fl. Japan, ed. 2: 1675 (1931).
Gastrochilus odoratus (Kudô) J.J.Sm., Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, III, 14: 168 (1937).

DESCRIPTION

The Haraella retrocalla is a beautiful monopodial miniature, which under ideal conditions blooms continuously (2, even 3 times a year) with fragrant flowers.

This orchid is formed by acute distichous, fleshy and falcate leaves, from oblong to oblong-lanceolate that branch off from a small and short stem. It blooms from a short and hanging inflorescence that originates from the leaf axils the flowers, of the variable size of about 2 cm. which have deltoid bracts, open in succession up to a number of 3.

This is a miniature orchid, the plant measures no more than 5cm.

It is a generous plant not only for the blooms that are always on time, but also for the development of the plant.

CULTIVATION

It does not present any difficulties in cultivation, as long as its needs in the field of temperatures and humidity are respected.

This pretty miniature is better if grown on a raft, possibly of cork, as it loves to anchor its roots among the roughness of the bark, although it does not disdain cultivation in a jar on a compost of small bark and sphagnum.
When grown in a raft, it is good to place a little sphagnum or moss above the roots just below the first two leaves to ensure a certain constant humidity to the root system.
Having no winter rest, the plant should be watered throughout the year, taking care to manage watering according to the season, thus increasing it in the spring / summer period and thinning it out in the autumn / winter period.

The brightness at which the plant grows satisfactorily is that partially shaded and in any case bright, being quite rustic, the temperatures it endures in winter are around 12/13 degrees minimum, better if a few degrees more.
The fertilizer (balanced type 20/20/20), like watering, I administer it all year round at a constant frequency, approximating the fertilizations according to the season (about 1 time a month in winter, every 3 weeks in spring / autumn, and every 10/15 days in the summer) at doses of 1gr / lt.
Although it is indicated as a flowering period in autumn and early spring, mine bloom punctually between the end of July and the first fortnight of August.

Placement
The Haraella retrocalla grows best if it is mounted on a piece of cork, with a generous layer of sphagnum between the cork and its roots to ensure a reserve of moisture. However, I have also grown it very successfully in pots, with sphagnum as a substrate. It is also possible to use small to medium sized bark as a substrate, but in my opinion it grows best in sphagnum.
Light
12000-16000 lux would be more than enough for this species. The photoperiod should last 10-12 hours. The reared Haraella does not tolerate direct sunlight, so it must be protected from it.
Temperature
The rear-end Haraella prefers intermediate temperatures, but also adapts to intermediate-warm ones. It can be comfortable with 20-24 ° C during the day and 16-18 ° C at night.
Air humidity
50-60% of the air humidity is enough if the Haraella retrocalla is grown in pots. Being placed on a raft it is most in need, requiring 75% as a minimum.
Wetting
It is watered regularly throughout the year, even in winter. It gets wet when the substrate has already dried well but is not completely dry yet. Due to the difference in temperature, wetting takes place more often in summer than in winter, because in summer the substrate dries out faster.

Fertilizer
The Haraella retrocalla is fertilized every 4 times with a liquid fertilizer for orchids, using 1/3 of the dose indicated on the bottle.
Flowering
This orchid does not need any rest period to bloom: the blooms are stimulated only by the daily fluctuations of 4 ° C between day and night temperatures. As a season, it can bloom throughout the year, preferring late summer and autumn. Each flower stem carries one flower at a time. After the withering of the flower we must not cut the stem: it will continue to grow and produce new buds.
Where to buy it
The rear-mounted Haraella is available from many vendors. Among those I know, Riboni (under the name Haraella odorata), Nardotto and Capello, and Bianco treat her in Italy. In Germany it is found by Schwerter Orchideenzucht and Großräschener Orchids (under the name Haraella ororata).
Note
One of the main synonyms for the Haraella retrocalla is the Haraella odorata so many retailers treat it under this name.

Lepanthes Saltatrix

Lepanthes sp. possibly escifera. Colombia

Oncidium meirax

Orchids of the Oncidium meirax species should never be missing in a tropical moist terrarium.

Their adaptation is excellent and they emit splendid blooms, with flower clusters of about 1.5-2 cm

It is native to some islands in the Caribbean and Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

For their breeding we will need optimal temperatures not too high, between 20 and 25 ° C and moderate lighting.

Oncidium meirax Oncidium meirax

Trichoglottis triflora

Platystele caudatisepala Paraphalaenopsis laycockii

Paradisanthus micranthus

Originally from the states of Rio de Janeiro and Parana in Brazil.
It can be grown in the low and illuminated areas of the terrarium with temperatures between 25 and 30 ° C.
Its flowering panicles possess about 8 to 12 flowers about 2 cm in size.

Sigmatostalix radicans

Suitable for terrarium cultivation and if grown with the right conditions it has a rapid spread.

Epiphytic plant native to Brazil, it needs soft light and temperatures between 25 and 30 ° C.

It produces abundant and aromatic flowers of about 1 cm.

Silver stelis

Small epiphytic orchid, its natural distribution is from Mexico to Brazil. Its leaves are fleshy.

Plant that grows in the shade with temperatures between 20 and 30 ° C.

Its inflorescence produces many flowers of about 5 mm.

SCHOENORCHIS MICRANTHA

Synonyms Gastrochilus Chionanthus (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891 Gastrochilus perpusillus (Hook.f.) Kuntze 1891 Saccolabium chionanthum Lindl. 1859 Saccolabium perpusillum Hook. f. 1890 Saccolabium plebejum JJSm. 1912 Schoenorchis densiflora Schltr. 1913 Schoenorchis densiflora var. ABBREVIATED Schltr. 1913 Schoenorchis plebeja (JJSm.) JJSm. 1913

This small, epiphytic plant grows in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Java, Borneo, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Australian Queensland, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji.

Their habitat of choice are the hills and mountain forests at altitudes between 50 and 1500 meters. above sea level. They mostly grow on trees with densely branched stems. The leaves are fleshy, arched in shape. It blooms in winter and late spring, early summer with lateral, hanging shoots.The inflorescence is long, racemose and formed by small, very fragrant tubular flowers (about 30 per stem).

CULTIVATION

For their cultivation in terrariums they need to be grown in an epiphytic way, that is, they must grow on branches, woods or bark, in a semi-shaded position, not directly under strong light with high humidity and good air circulation.

SCAPHOSEPALUM RAPAX

Found as a mini-miniature sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte in central Ecuador in wet montane forests at elevations of 450 to 1200 meters with erect to suberect, slender ramicauls enveloped by 2 to 3 tubular sheaths carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous , elliptical, subacute leaf that is cuneate below to the slender petiole that blooms on aloose to subdense, successively few flowered, 1 3/5 ″ [4 cm] long, racemose inflorescence arising from low on the ramicaul with oblique, apiculate, minutely spicate floral bracts.


Video: Classification of Life