Malaxis commelinifolia or better Crepidium commelinifolia

Flowers of Malaxis commelinifolia

Malaxis commelinifolia (Zoll. & Moritzi) Kuntze 1891 is a synonym of Crepidium commelinifolium (Zoll. & Moritzi) Szlach.1995. It belongs to the tribe Malaxideae and is sometimes listed as a jewel orchid. In a more narrow sense only members of the subtribe Goodyerniae should be called jewel orchids. Nevertheless, the colouration of the leaves and flowers is quite attractive, and Malaxis commelinifolia fits well into a jewel orchid collection. It naturally occurs in Borneo and Java.

Foliage of Malaxis commelinifoliae

Ludisia discolor ‘alba’

Ludisa discolor ‘alba’

Ludisia discolor ‘alba’ is a lovely jewel orchid with fragant flowers. Although not big they are quite attractive in shape and colouration. It has green, velvety leaves and silver stripes that reflect sunlight.

Foliage of Ludisia discolor alba

There are only two species that belong to the genus Ludisia: Ludisia discolor (Ker Gawl.) A.Rich. 1825 and Ludisia ravanii Cootes & G.Tiong 2013. Together with other jewel orchids the genus Ludisia is part of subtribus Goodyerinae.

We cultivate Ludisia discolor alba in Sphagnum moss that is kept constantly moist but not wet. As the fleshy rhizom likes to creep some distance before the new sidebranch gets into an upright position it is a good idea to use flat planters. As it does not need much light it can be cultivated in the second row of window sills. Too much light will change colouration of the green leaves to a more reddish colour.

Lovely Phaius Gravesiae

Phaius Gravesiae, a hybrid of Phaius tankervilleae ans Phaius wallichii

The flowering of Phaius Gravesiae is always one of the highlights of our orchid year. The sepals and petals have a close to golden colour, what gives them a majestetic, precious appearance.

Lip detail of Phaius Gravesiae

The front part of the lip is with its lilac colouration in an attractive contrast to the yellow colour of the rest of the lip including the spur.

Phaius Gravesiae. We used it for many hybridizations.

Gastrophaius Micro Burst ‘Frühlingsgrün’

Gastrophaius Micro Burst ‘Frühlingsgrün’

Above shown Gastrophaius hybrid was sold years ago as Gastrorchis humblotii var schlechteri x Phaius tankervilleae var alba. Having a closer look at the lip it is obvious that there was a confusion of Gastrorchis humblotii var schlechteri with Gastrorchis pulchra, as the callus typical for Gastrorchis humblotii is completely absent but the hairy callus appendices of Gastrorchis pulchra are visible.

Lip detail of Gastrophaius Micro Burst ‘Frühlingsgrün’
Some time ago I presented Gastrophaius Micro Burst ‘Frühlingsgrün’ mistakenly as Gastrophaius Queen Margrethe

This is not surprising as this confusion is widespread and most plants sold as Gastrorchis humblotii var schlechteri are indeed Gastrochis pulchra.

Gastrorchis humblotii var schlechteri
Gastrorchis pulchra

The springgreen colouration of the sepals and petals is a heritage of the usage of Phaius tankervilleae var alba:

Phaius tankervilleae var alba

My guess is that in Gastrophaius Micro Burst ‘Frühlingsgrün’ Phaius tankervilleae var alba was the mother plant. I have seen total supression of red pigments in a compareable cross: Phaius tankervilleae var alba x Calanthe vestita:

Phaiocalanthe Irrorata

Another clone of Phaiocalanthe Irrorata shows red pigmentation of the lip however, as one would expect due to the usage of Calanthe (Preptanthe) vestita.

Phaiocalanthe Irrorata ‘Sunrise’
Calanthe (Preptanthe) vestita

Phaius borneensis

Phaius borneensis in Koorders, S.H., Valeton, T., Icones Bogoriensis vol.2, t .111 f.C

Phaius borneensis was the first Phaius species to be discovered in Borneo. It is a spurless species that can be found on the Philippines and on Borneo. It seems to be pretty rare in cultivation … such a pitty!

2020: New hybrids of Phaius Gravesiae

In 2020 six new Phaius Gravesiae hybrids were registered, one of them being a Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe), all the others being of the genus Phaius.

Phaiocalanthe Zona Rossa, Jauch 2020: Phaius Gravesiae × Calanthe Grouville

Phaius Gravesiae
Calanthe Grouville

Phaius Blautopf, Jauch 2020: Phaius Gravesiae × Phaius antoninae (syn Phaius tankervilleae var. antoninae)

Phaius Gravesiae
Phaius antoninae

Phaius Hope Lights Our Way, Jauch 2020: Phaius Gravesiae × Phaius stenocentron

Phaius Gravesiae
Phaius stenocentron

Phaius Pfrunger-Burgweiler Ried, Jauch 2020: Phaius wallichii × Phaius Gravesiae

Phaius wallichii
Phaius Gravesiae

Phaius Felix Stark, Jauch 2020: Phaius Gravesiae × Phaius callosus

2020: New hybrids of Phaius wallichii

In 2020 six new hybrids of Phaius wallichii have been registered, three of them are Phaius hybrids, two of them are Phaiocalanthe and one is a Gastrophaius.

Phaius Esperança, Jauch 2020: Phaius callosus × Phaius wallichii

Phaius Fabian Jauch, Jauch 2020: Phaius wallichii × Phaius subtrilobus

Phaius wallichii
Phaius subtrilobus

Phaius Pfrunger-Burgweiler Ried, Jauch 2020: Phaius wallichii × Phaius Gravesiae

Phaius wallichii
Phaius Gravesiae

Gastrophaius Neowise 2020, Jauch 2020: Phaius wallichii × Gastrorchis Elizabeth Castle

Phaius wallichii
Gastrorchis Elizabeth Castle

Phaiocalanthe Black Lives Matter, Jauch 2020: Phaius wallichii × Calanthe rubens

Phaius wallichii
Calanthe rubens ‘Herbstzeitlose’

Phaiocalanthe Skolstrejk för Klimatet, Jauch 2020: Phaius wallichii × Calanthe graciliflora

This hybird has to be taken with care. It well might be that the obtained seedlings are a result of agamospermy.

2020: New hybrids of Phaius tankervilleae

In 2020 four new hybrids were registered with RHS:

Phaius‘ Flying Nun, M.Tibbs 2020: Phaius tankervilleae × ‘Phaius‘ Pink Phantom

This hybrid was registered by M. Tibbs, but my guess is it shoud have been named Gastrophaius Carlise Rechmann. Already the use of genus Phaius does not follow actual nomenclature as ‘Phaius‘ Pink Phantom is a pure Gastrorchis hybrid: Gastrorchis humblotii var. schlechteri x Gastrorchis pulchra. Having a closer look at ‘Phaius‘ Pink Phantom, this hybrid is nothing else than Gastrorchis Georges Fleurié, registered by J.-B.Castillon in 1989 (Gastrorchis humblotii x Gastrorchis pulchra), although another variety of Gastrorchis humblotii was used to create ‘Phaius‘ Pink Phantom and therefore coloration can be expected to be different from Gastrorchis Georges Fleurié. Gastrophaius Carlise Rechmann was registerd in 2019 as a hybrid of Phaius tankervilleae × Gastrorchis Georges Fleurié. Available pictures of ‘Phaius‘ Flying Nun suggest that the cross behind is Phaius tankervilleae var alba x Gastrorchis [humblotii var schlechteri x pulchra]. The use of Phaius tankervilleae var alba is obvious due to the colouration of sepals and petals of ‘Phaius‘ Flying Nun.

Phaius Ferdinand Jauch, Jauch 2020: Phaius tankervilleae × Phaius subtrilobus

Phaius tankervilleae
Phaius subtrilobus

We hope that this new hybrid will be one of the most colourful Phaius hybrids so far generated. Let’s cross fingers!

Phaiocalanthe Ji-Ping Queen, J&P Terrestria 2020: Phaiocalanthe Kryptonite × Phaius tankervilleae

Depending on the Phaiocalanthe Kryptonite clone used this hybrid has quite some potential. We would love to see some pics of this new hybrid.

Phaius Bianca Amandas Amethyst, Jauch 2020: Phaius callosus × Phaius tankervilleae

Another new hybrid that has the potential to display Phaius tankervilleae coloration on a more open flower due to the heritage of Phaius callosus.

In between the years: Retrospect and Prospect

Phaius wenshanensis, F.Y.Liu 1991

A highlight of 2020 for us was the aquisition and the first flowering of Phaius wenshanensis. As there are only few orchid nurseries who sell Phaius and allied species it is really hard to get a new species once a collection has reached a certain size. Phaius wenshanenis is likely to be an interesting breeding partner as its colouration pattern is more than appealing in our eyes. We hope that we can contribute to the conservation of this species by growing seedlings and by distributing some of them to botanical gardens within the EU.

A second highlight was the flowering of Phaius pulchellus, an african Phaius species from Madagascar.

Phaius pulchellus, Kraenzl. 1882

This Phaius species is one of the rare ones, too. We could get one single plant years ago and had a hard time to keep it alive. This year, we managed to pollinate the first flowers and hope that seeds will germinate. Until today, we did not find the right growth conditions for this Phaius, and we hope instantly that the seedlings will be a bit easier to grow.

Phaius tankervilleae var antoninae fma flava

Another first time flowering Phaius is Phaius tankervilleae var antoninae fma flava, a Phaius that is endemic to the Philippines. We like the yellow lip of this beauty and hope it might be useful in breeding, too.

Calanthe rubens ‘Sommerflieder’

Calanthe rubens ‘Sommerflieder’ was also hard to get. We could buy one single plant from an orchid lover of Great Britain and were waited longingly for its first flowers. The colour depht was exactly as we hoped – Calanthe rubens ‘Sommerflieder’ therefore was a lucky strike.

Calanthe Gorey, E.Young O.F. 1993

Exchanging orchids with other orchid lovers is a good thing, and often the only way to get hold of something special. Calanthe Gorey is one of these specialities, and the flower size of this Preptanthe is amazing. It is a pitty that other Preptanthe breeds from the Eric Young Orchid Foundation are as rare like hen’s teeth. Our guess is that on the basis of Calanthe Gorey some promising new Preptanthe hybrids can be obtained.

Phaius Memoria Pater Agnellus Schneider, Jauch 2019

Among our own breeds Phaius Memoria Pater Agnellus Schneider is a promising hybrid due to its small overall size and the ease with which it will flower on the window sill. We will try to combine the good qualities of Phaius Memoria Pater Agnellus Schneider with more intese flower colouration.

Phaiocalanthe Irrorata ‘Sunrise’

Our Phaiocalanthe Irrorata are a remake of a hybrid registered in 1867 by Veitch. As there are many varieties of both Phaius tankervilleae and Calanthe vestita, breeding of Phaiocalanthe Irrorata is a playground for lovers of Phaius hybrids. We are pretty sure that selected clones will have commercial perspectives comparable to Phaiocalanthe Kryptonite.

Phaius Morningstar, D.Boucher 2002

Our Phaius Morningstar are a remake of a hybrid registered in 2002 by D. Boucher. We bought a Phaius with the label ‘Phaius callosus‘ from Burnham Nurseries in Great Britain some years ago, but with the first flowers we realized that the label must be wrong. With the first flowers of our own Phaius Morningstar we finally could be certain about what we had bought from Burnham Nurseries.

Where can we go as hobby breeders? Among the hybrids we have registered this year are some promising Phaiocalanthe and some Phaius that are useful to reduce overall size of Phaius hybrids. To our surprise we isolated a Preptanthe with an appealing odour, and a first Phaius hybrid that has a very pleasant odour, too. Many of our hybrids are likely to flower nest year, and we are optimistic to see the one or other beauty next year.

The need to breed Preptanthe

Calanthe (Preptanthe) Grouville

Intergeneric hybrids of Phaius include Phaiocalanthe. For the sake of clarity Phaiocalanthe should be subdidvided in those Phaiocalanthe that were obtained by crossing a Phaius with a Preptanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) and those that were obtained by crossing a Phaius with a Calanthe (Phaiocalanthe).

Preptanthe as a genus are easily recognized as decidous members of the subtribe Collabiae – they flower during their rest period when all leaves are lost. Most registered ‘Phaiocalanthe‘ are Phaiopreptanthe, among these well known Phaius tankervilleae hybrids like Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Kryptonite, Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Irrorata, Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Stanny and Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Charlie Klehm.

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Kryptonite (Calanthe Rozel x Phaius tankervilleae)
Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Irrorata ‘Sunrise’ (Phaius tankervilleae var. alba x Calanthe vestita)

Most RHS registered Phaiopreptanthe are derived from Phaius tankervilleae. But there are some Phaiopreptanthe that are progeny of Phaius wallichii (e.g. Phaiocalanthe Black Lives Matter, Phaiocalanthe Schroderiana and Phaiocalanthe JEM’s Golden Heart) and two are progeny of Phaius mishmensis (Phaiocalanthe Simone Halder and Phaiocalanthe Little Pink).

Phaiopreptanthe are sometimes primary hybrids, but often they are a result of crosses that invlove a multihybrid Preptanthe. Some examples are:

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Stanny: Phaius tankervilleae x Calanthe Baron Schröder

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Charli Klehm: Phaius tankervilleae x Calanthe Grouville

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Noirmontaise: Phaius tankervilleae x Calanthe Mont Cochon

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Terry Kennedy: Phaius tankervilleae x Calanthe Saint Aubin

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Kryptonite: Calanthe Rozel x Phaius tankervilleae

Another clone of Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Kryptonite

It can be anticipated that qualitative traits of the used Preptanthe hybrids like size and colour intensity will have significant influence on the quality of obtainable Phaiopreptanthe hybrids.

Both, Calanthe (Preptanthe) Baron Schröder and Calanthe (Preptanthe) Gorey have flowers of a really good size.

Calanthe (Preptanthe) Baron Schröder
Calanthe (Preptanthe) Gorey

In my eyes such Preptanthe hybrids should preferably be used in Phaiopreptanthe breeding on the one hand, on the other hand they should be employed to generate new Preptanthe hybrids with more intense colouration or increased flower size – the need to breed high quality Preptanthe is obvious, isn’t it?

Calanthe (Preptanthe) Sedenii ‘Harrisii’
Calanthe (Preptanthe) Hildegard Kibler-Mueller ‘Sunshine’

New Preptanthe hybrids like Calanthe (Preptanthe) Hildegard Kibler-Mueller ‘Sunshine’ give a glimps how Preptanthe hybrids may influence both lip shape and coloration pattern of future Phaiopreptanthe.

Both Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Kryptonite E.F.G.Orchids 2000 and Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Irrorata Veitch 1867 show the potential to further develop Phaiopreptanthe hybrids in both directions: Backcrosses against Phaius and against Preptanthe have been registered recently:

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Ji-Ping Queen, J&P Terrestria 2020: Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Kryptonite x Phaius tankervilleae

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Red Dragon, R.Tokunaga 2020: Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Kryptonite x Calanthe (Preptanthe) vestita

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Bianca Amanda Jauch, Jauch 2019: Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Kryptonite x Phaius wallichii

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Andromeda, P.C.Elfleet 1999: Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Irrorata x Phaius tankervilleae

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Pleiades, P.C.Elfleet 2002: Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Irrorata x Calanthe (Preptanthe) vestita

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Southside, D.Boucher 2000: Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Irrorata x Calanthe (Preptanthe) Brandywine

Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Ji-Ping Beauty, J&P Terrestria 2020: Calanthe (Preptanthe) Saint Aubin x Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Irrorata

unknown Phaiocalanthe

Phaiopreptanthe on the basis of Phaius tankervilleae can also be created by using Preptanthe other than Calanthe (Preptanthe) vestita: Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Circe is a registered hybrid of Phaius tankervilleae and Calanthe (Preptanthe) cardioglossa; Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Pinkotee was created on the basis of Phaius tankervilleae and Calanthe (Preptanthe) rosea. It is a pitty that no picures or drawings of these Phaiopreptanthe are available.

Another interesting Phaiopreptanthe might be Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Forest Pink: Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Little Pink x Phaius tankervilleae. 25% of its genetic information is contributed by Calanthe (Preptanthe) rubens, 25% by Phaius mishmensis and 50 % by Phaius tankervilleae. Many shades of pink are possible in Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Little Pink, depending on the clolour depth of the used Calanthe (Preptanthe) rubens. I would love to repeat the cross by using Calanthe (Preptanthe) rubens ‘Sommerflieder’.

Calanthe (Preptanthe) rubens ‘Sommerflieder’

It can be expected that in this case some clones of Phaiocalanthe (Phaiopreptanthe) Little Pink will show richer colour than Phaius mishmensis.

Phaius mishmensis

There is much to do – let’s go!

Calanthe izu-insularis: perfect odour!

Calanthe izu-insularis has an amazing pleasant odor, this is the main reason why we keep this garden orchid. We still did not find out the right conditions to grow this japanese Calanthe and therefore are more than happy that it flowered this winter. Any hints for proper cultivation are more than welcome!

Calanthe izu-insularis is endemic to Japan and a terrestrial orchid of lowland temperate forests. It is part of the Calanthe section Vernae. Due to overcollection Calanthe izu-insularis is very rare on the three Izu Islands Koozujima, Mikurajima and Niijima where it naturally occurs. Each plant has subtle differences in odor, not just in the strength, but also in the quality.

Calanthe rubens ‘Sommerflieder’ and ‘Herbstzeitlose’

Calanthe rubens ‘Sommerflieder’, a Preptanthe that opened its first flower yesterday. The flower is smaller than that of Calanthe vestita, but the intense colour is amazing. There is quite some variability among Calanthe rubens, but the less intense coloured clones are not as appealing as ‘Sommerflieder’. One example is Calanthe rubens ‘Herbstzeitlose’ with its light pink colour.

Another example is Calanthe rubens ‘Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot’. It has the biggest flowers I have so far seen with Calanthe rubens.

Calanthe rubens ‘Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot’

Calanthe (Rose Georgene x First Lady)

One year I had to wait until this Calanthe hybrid from Taiwan showed its first flower. Yes, I must admit that I had the hope to see a flower that is more different from those I already know from the Calanthe in my collection. Anyway it is worth to show it here …

Calanthe Rose Georgene was RHS-registered in 1996 by Castle Rock as a hybrid obtained by the cross Calanthe Saint Aubin x Calanthe rosea. Calanthe First Lady was RHS-registered by Orchid Zone in 1998 as a result of crossing Calanthe vestita x Calanthe Rozel.

My obeisance to Calanthe Grouville

Today Calanthe Grouville is almost in full bloom. It is therefore high time to pay my respects to this wonderful Calanthe. Often, pictures speak louder than words. Todays glorious morning sun helped me take pictures of my Calanthe Grouville. Simply enjoy!

Read more about Calanthe Grouville:

Beautyful Calanthe

Since some weeks all my Preptanthe (Calanthe) prepare themselves to flower. They dropped their leaves and invest their power in the formation of the inflorescence. As my pictures show it is worth waiting!

Both Calanthe Gorey and Calanthe Tyneville are hybrids. They convince by their flower size that easily exceeds the flower size of a normal Calanthe vestita.

The flowers of Calanthe cardioglossa in contrast are rather small, but have a very interesting and appealing shape. As Calanthe can easily be grown on a window sill I can highly recommend these beautys to all orchid lovers – especially as the flowers are rich in number and longlasting.

Phaius tankervilleae var. antoninae fma flava

Phaius tankervilleae var. antoninae fma flava

Judi Stone and Phillip Cribb included this novel form of Phaius tankervilleae in their Lady Tankerville’s Legacy as Phaius tankervilleae var. bernaysii. Fig. 103 shows one picture of this variety. It is noted that this variety was found on the Philippines in N Mindanao: “This plant resembles the Australian plants but differs in its entirely yellow lip.”

As far as I could observe so far this novel form of Phaius tankervilleae is closely related to Phaius tankervilleae var. antoninae. Usually the nutant flowers do not open fully and first observations indicate that the rostellum is missing. This points towards a selfpollinating and selffertilizing variety of Phaius tankervilleae. Next weeks will show if this first observations hold true or not. The picture below shows a plant that is traded under the name Phaius tankervilleae var. alba. The midlobe ot the lip is white and flowers open wider than that of above described form.

Read more about Phaius antoninae:

A first glimpse at Preptanthe (Calanthe) Gorey

Preptanthe Gorey, flowering the first time at our place

Preptanthe Gorey was RHS-registered as Calanthe Gorey by the Eric Young Orchid Foundation in 1993. It is a hybrid obtained by crossimg Calanthe Grouville with Calanthe Diana Broughton. Most likely phenotype of different Preptanthe Gorey does vary considerably, as both parental plants are hybrids themselves. Thanks to the orchid breeders of the Eric Young Orchid Foundation for this promising hybrid.