This was sold to me, in November, as Dendrobium anosmum. I had no reason to doubt the seller; he grows, shows, and sells orchids for a living. He seemed to know what he was talking about. Besides, it looked like a Den. anosmum; how many pendulous Dendrobiums can there be?
Well, I noticed last night when I was watering it that the buds were opening. This was very surprising to me, because they hardly had any color to them, I figured I had at least another couple weeks before they darkened to the characteristic lilac color that I expect Den. anosmum buds to be. I shrugged it off, initially, as this being some strange, lighter-colored cultivar (which was annoying in and of itself, because I wanted an ordinary, species, Den. anosmum).
Imagine my surprise this morning when I go in to water it again, and the buds have fully opened to reveal… It is not Den. anosmum at all. I had been sold Den. aphyllum. This was really disappointing because I sought out Den. anosmum, I bought this plant from this guy because it was a blooming-size specimen of Den. anosmum, and there was evidence that it had already bloomed, in which case he should have been able to tell that it was not Den. anosmum. The two flowers look nothing alike. For one, Den. aphyllum has a fuzzy yellow labellum.
This is, nevertheless, a beautiful flower. You can tell I didn’t winter it long enough because it’s still got leaves, but that didn’t evidently interrupt its willingness to bloom this spring. There are not nearly as many blooms as there should be because I had a slug get to it over the winter, destroyed every single flower bud on one of the canes before I caught it. Those things can do some major damage overnight, as this one did. Oh well, until next year I suppose. There are some keikis growing off of this one that I will eventually break off and repot, so if anybody’s interested in a Den. aphyllum, I’ll have some to spare at some point.
The saddest part is that this seller had a lot of plants that were interesting, but if he sells mislabeled plants, I won’t be buying any more from him. This is just not acceptable in the orchid trade.
Edited to add: Because of the absolute frustrating endeavor that labeling orchids turns out to be, even calling this Den. aphyllum seems to be incorrect. Like Den. pierardii as well, these all seem to be incorrect labels applied variously to different plants at different times, and it seems that it is now, actually, called Den. cucullatum. I hate everything.
I’m just going to do a post spam here, I’ve had these pictures piling up on my phone for a while and finally got around to dumping them onto the computer.
This one is a rose, obviously, of the Portland variety (I’ll often call it a Damask, but evidently the two are different), called Comte de Chambord. I didn’t do any fiddling with the colors in this photo whatsoever, they really are that intense. They’re actually a bit more intense in real life, but this photo really did a pretty good job capturing the color. They are also intensely fragrant; the entire bush is in bloom right now and you get knocked over by the most beautiful rose scent you can imagine as soon as you walk out the back door.
This one is a Hybrid Tea rose called Garden Party. It is a very pure white rose, with the tips of the petals kissed in pink. Even on the same bush, at the same time, some will be pinker than others; I have no idea why. It is also scented, though not nearly as crazy strong as the Comte de Chambord. These roses smell like how I sort of conceptualize how roses “should” smell. Not overpowering, but not entirely scentless either (like the long stem cut roses).
I never understand why anybody would want to spend 20 or 30 dollars on a dozen cut roses when you can just grow roses and have them in great abundance for 6-8 months out of the year. There is remarkably little time during the year when roses don’t grow; some varieties even thrive in USDA Zone 3, which is god damn freezing if you ask me.
A bud on the Comte de Chambord. It’s remarkable how all of those petals fit in to such a small package. I find the buds on this one to be particularly beautiful. Sometimes I’ll just cut them at this stage, put them in a bud vase, and let them bloom on the kitchen counter.