This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(hollow pistil). Orchidaceae. Popular epiphytic warmhouse orchids of the eastern hemisphere.
Pseudobulbs tufted or at intervals on the stem: flowers in racemes, opening simultaneously or in succession; sepals and petals similar, spreading or reflexed; lip 3-lobed, the lateral lobes erect, inclosing the slender column, the middle lobe flat or recurved, keeled; column slightly curved, winged above; pollinia 4. - Species about 115, distributed from N. India to Ceylon, middle China, and in the islands of the Indian Ocean. The botanical details of Coelogyne speciosa are shown in Fig. 1021. At the top is a general view of the flower Below, on the left, is the column, front and side view. In the center is the lip, with the column lying along its top. Below the lip, on the left, is the stigma. To the right, on the bottom row, are the pollinia, front and back view; and at the right center are separate pollen masses.
Fig. 1021. Details of Coelogyne speciosa.
Coelogynes may be grown in pots, baskets or pans, using pots for small plants, and larger receptacles when the plants require them; but when a pan larger than 12-inch is necessary, it is best to use perforated ones so that the material may be well aerated and not become unsuitable for the roots. All the species are of rambling habit and large specimens may soon be had by growing on, provided the material at the roots is kept in a sweet healthy condition. When, however, it becomes necessary to divide a plant, this is best done directly after flowering, carefully separating the running shoots, cutting off about three of the last-made bulbs with all the roots attached, planting these in suitable-sized receptacles, being very careful to point the growing end away from the edge, or toward the center, so that they will not so readily outgrow again. The material to use is osmundine with a little sphagnum moss if it can be made to grow, packing all very firm about the roots so that too much water will not be held about the roots.
Place in the shady part of a warm house until root-action begins; but, during the hot summer months, the varieties, of C. cristata may with great benefit be placed in a frame in a shady place outdoors, there to remain until danger of frost in October. Treated in this way, the plants will bloom much better. They should all be placed on inverted pots when outside to exclude vermin. When brought indoors the bulbs will be finishing up for bloom, and as they are terrestrial plants, weak manure-water should be given at every watering. A glance at the roots and their structure will show how they differ from the epiphytal orchids such as the cat-tleyas. Coelogynes, being evergreen, should never be quite dry at the roots, or shriveling will result; this always is the case after flowering or repotting; but, when growth commences, they soon plump up again. It is often desired to grow these plants in baskets. Space can then be made for them overhead in the cool-houses in winter, bringing a few at a time into warmth, thus having succession of bloom for three months for cutting, house or conservatory decoration, where they last a long time. There are more than 100 kinds of coelogynes, many of which are but of botanical interest.
C. pandurata, C. Dayana and C. Sanderiana are warm-house plants and should be kept at a minimum temperature of 60° in winter. C. nervosa, C. flaccida, C. nitida, and C. Massangeana are coolhouse plants, often grown in collections; but C. cristata and its forms are the most valued, especially the variety maxima once so scarce, but now plentiful; this makes large bulbs and longer spikes of bloom. The Chatsworth variety, by some considered the same as maxima, hololeuca or alba as it is most often known in gardens, is a pure white form, perhaps the whitest of all orchids. This is inclined to ramble, owing to the length of rhizome between each bulb or growth, and needs attention in repotting frequently; it is also the latest to flower. C. Lemoniana has a pretty lemon-yellow blotch on the hp instead of the usual orange and is very pretty by contrast with the other forms. When it is desired to increase the stock of plants, the back bulbs taken off at potting time may be planted similar to the other pieces and will grow on, but cannot be expected to bloom for two years. (E. O. Orpet.)