|The whole plant. It's about the size of my palm.|
|Flowers the size of my little finger's|
I've been very excited this week because for the first time in the year and a half I've had this beauty, it's the first time I've seen a flower... Not that it hasn't tried to before.
I bought this roughly a year and a half ago when Woolf Orchidculture visited my Society to do a talk... I can't remember what it was about, but I do remember that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, I'd wanted one of these weird leafless orchids for quite some time, and I knew they grew them, so when they came to visit I decided to send them an email to see if they could bring one with them... Which they did.
Well, the first year I had this it attempted to grow a spike 3 times, within a couple of months, attempting to grow a total of 4 spikes. However, due to it's unfortunate habit of flowering during the middle of school exams I forgot to keep the water up to it so it sadly lost all those spikes. Then this year it did the same thing, and has thus far attempted to flower twice. First was during exam block, and as per usual I was too busy with school to keep up to the watering regime. But luckily this year it decided to give it one last try for the year, which thankfully occurred after my very cool purchase of an electronic watering system, so thankfully it had enough water to continue producing the spike. However, for some reason nature didn't want me to have too much fun, so I got attached by caterpillars which among several plants having the growth points being out of them, they ate the buds on my Chilo's spikes. But alas, like all good stories, one bud survived, and here it is.
Now, on with the scientificy stuff:
Chiloschista is a genus of roughly 20 species. I say roughly because, as many orchid growers know, species are in an almost constant state of either consolidation, or separation, depending on new discoveries of either earlier publications of a species, or newly found information concerning the DNA of a plant. Chiloschista were formerly classed as being members of the Sarchochilus genus, however due to their leafless habit, and several other defining characteristic, they have been given their own genus. Chiloschista are found from Sri Lanka, to Nepal, and all the way east to northern, tropical, Australia. There has been extensive research, or so it seems, into the photosynthetic roots of the genus. I only say this because there seems to be quite a lot of internet articles about Chiloschista usneoides in particular, and the titles include mumbo jumbo such as "Photosynthetic Carbon Assimilation", and I can assure you I'll definitely be giving these articles a read... but once I get back into school mode, for now I'm in holiday mode and my brain is in peaceful relaxation.
|Surprisingly flat blooms, |
except for the "lip"
Happy Gardening Everyone,
P.S. The shade house is almost done, I just have to do a couple of finishing touches and the rest of the plants can move in, HOORAY!