This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This orchid has seven spikes of bloom with me now, December 20th, the largest of which has nineteen flowers and the head of bloom is about seven inches in length. The color is a beautiful dark, rosy purple, with a yellow spot in the center of the lip. When the sun is shining on the flowers they are almost transparent and look like rose-colored frost-work.
This plant is said to do best in a cool house, but it will do well in an intermediate house. This one is growing side by side with a small plant of Phael-anopsis Schilleriana that is showing a spike with upwards of thirty flowers, and is in the best possible health. It is growing on a flat block without any moss. The block is of good size, as it makes strong, fleshy roots, which like plenty of surface to cling to. It should have water every sunny day, when in flower, and three or four times a week if the weather is dull. In the summer season, when it is making its growth, it should have a good syringe twice a day; this keeps it free from thrips to which it is very subject. During the spring and early summer, when fuchsias, pelargoniums, etc., are bloomed in the house and plenty of air is admitted at all times, I select a corner where there is no direct draught. Its upright dendrobe-like, bulbs grow from six inches to a foot high, from the top of which it sends its flower stems just as growth is completed, and will remain in bloom more than two months.
Altogether it is one of the best and brightest winter-flowering orchids we have.
Another fine plant which has been in flower with me for over two months is Cypripedium Sedeni. The color of this Cypriped is a beautiful shade of soft, rosv pink; the inside of the lip is creamy-white, dotted all over with pink. It makes a handsome plant; grows about nine inches high. In habit it is like a dwarf variety of C. Roezlii; it sends up a branched spike producing many flowers, but only one on the branch and one on the main stem are open at a time. The individual flower lasts about three weeks, and as soon as one goes past another takes its place. A large plant would be a very beautiful object. The one here is only a small plant and the flower-stem has only one branch, therefore has only two flowers out at a time; but I have no doubt that as the plant becomes strong the stem will become more branched. Like all strong growing Cypripediums it is of easy culture, and requires ample drainage-plenty of water, and the heat of the intermediate house. Sharon, Pa.