Odontoglossum citrosmum, a truly beautiful species that comes from Guatemala, and differs materially from the preceding. It is best grown in a basket, suspended in the cattleya house, as it produces long, drooping flower spikes of pure white ground, with almost invisible lavender spots; blooms in June or July.
Odontoglossum maculatum, a charming species that also comes from Guatemala, and produces its beautiful, erect spikes of yellow and crimson flowers during the winter. Grow in a pot in the cool house.
Odontoglossum Phalaenopsis, one of the best of the genus if properly grown, and should be in every collection. It grows best in the cattleya house and should be grown in a pot well drained. This is a very distinct species, with very large, perfectly flat, white and crimson flowers, which are produced during the autumn months.
Odontoglossum grande, a beautiful, free flowering species, that comes from Guatemala and is commonly known as the baby orchid. It grows best in a pot, blooms in autumn and winter, the flowers lasting a very long time. It produces an upright, stiff stem, with from three to five large tiger-striped yellow and brown flowers. It is subject to thrips if allowed to become dry. Should be grown in the cool house.
Odontoglossum Rosii ma jus, is a sweet little variety from Mexico. It grows best on a block, with a little fibrous peat and abundance of water. It is a very free bloomer, with short spikes of two or three beautifully marked crimson and white flowers. A very suitable variety for boutonnieres. It deserves a place in every collection.
This interesting genus is perhaps the most useful commercially of any for its gracefully delicate spikes of beautifully marked flowers, some of which can be had at all times of the year under proper cultivation. Most of them like the temperature of the cattleya house, but can be grown in cooler quarters if care is observed in watering. Oncidiums do not like much water on the foliage, but require plenty of moisture in the atmosphere as well as free ventilation. Many sorts grow well on blocks, with sphagnum moss or good, fibrous peat at the back of them, and firmly fastened with strong copper wire. All varieties delight to be suspended as near the glass as practicable, but must be shaded lightly. They like plenty of water at their roots in their growing season, and those grown in pots or baskets require an abundance of drainage. They can be grown in either peat or sphagnum, or both, but I prefer the latter for most sorts, with some broken charcoal. During their resting season water very carefully, but on no account allow them to suffer for want of it. Most species are subject to the white scale and should therefore be watched. Slugs are very partial to the young, tender flower spikes, and a though many are not productive enough to warrant them a place in the commercial list. They all require a high temperature, not less than 65 degrees during winter, but 70 degrees is even better. They delight in light, heat, and moisture, and should be lightly sprayed once a day during hot weather; ventilate freely when it is possible, as they delight in pure air, but by no means place them in a draught. They grow best in perforated pots, or baskets, well drained with good, clean potsherds or broken charcoal, or both, with a liberal top dressing of good, live sphagnum, which should be removed as soon as decay begins and replaced by fresh. As phalaenopsis delights in cleanliness, great care is necessary in potting this genus, particularly Schilleriana and amabilis, as they root freely and cling firmly to the pot or basket in which they are grown, and cannot be removed without the aid of a knife, and this is a very delicate operation, often re-suiting in serious injury to the plants. A good plan is to place the plant, pot and all, into larger size and fill up with charcoal and fresh sphagnum, and not disturb the roots at all. These plants should be suspended, if possible, as they love the light, but must be shaded from the direct sun, or the leaves will burn; arid never allow them to suffer for want of water.
Phalaenopsis Schilleriana is a magnificent species from Manila, has large branching spikes during winter and spring of beautiful mauve flowers edged with white, with reddish brown spotted lip.
Phalaenopsis amabilis, a beautiful species also from Manila, is certainly the queen of this genus; blooms at all times of the year and lasts a long time in perfection. It has long, graceful spikes of pure white flowers, lip spotted with pink. This is one of the best for market purposes and requires the same treatment as Schilleriana.
Phalaenopsis grandiflora, a beautiful species, that comes from Java and resembles amabilis in every way except, that the lip of the flower is marked with lemon yellow instead of pink. This plant grows well on a rack with sphagnum moss at the back and is a very prolific bloomer.
This beautiful genus requires a temperature of 60 to 65 degrees at night and delights in the sun, unless very strong, and then a light shading for an hour or two will be sufficient. All the species will grow in pots, well drained, and potted in clean, fresh sphagnum and broken charcoal, with plenty of moisture about them, and lots of water at the roots in summer, but be very careful in winter, unless the pot is very full of roots and growing freely. Give a little air when possible in winter and plenty in summer. Some species bloom twice and even three times a year. The flowers have a delightful odor and last about a month if kept dry. All vandas are subject to scale, and should be kept free from these pests, or the plant will soon be ruined.
Vanda caerulea, the beautiful blue orchid, should be in every collection. It is of easy culture and a very free bloomer. A temperature of 55 degrees at night suits it well, as the flowers are a much better color than those grown in a higher temperature. It is a native of northern India and blooms in autumn. Do not over-pot this plant, and suspend as near the glass as possible.
Group of Vanda Caerula.
Vanda insignis, a grand old sort from the Malayan islands, blooms in May or June. It has large spikes of flowers of a magnificent combination of colors, is of easy culture and a very free bloomer.
Vanda suavis; one can hardly say enough about this old favorite from Java, blooming at all times of the year, large spikes of beautiful white flowers spotted with crimson. I have seen this plant in bloom ten months out of the year.
Vanda tricolor is similar to suavis, of the same habit, and requires the same treatment, only the flowers are lemon yellow, with crimson spots, purple and white lip, and last a very long time. It also is a native of Java.