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.
Looking over some letters of the late Dr. Engel-mann, referring to a peculiar variation, and his belief that it was a hybrid, he remarks - "moreover it is sterile as a well behaved hybrid ought to be." But we do not now-a-days regard this as any proof, and hybrids are indeed known to be as fertile as ordinary plants. In orchidese especially has this been found true. We do not know of any hybrid orchid - and there are now numbers of them - but which is as fertile as its parent. We give here an illustration of one of these hybrid orchids raised at Messrs. Veitch's nursery, at Chelsea, near London, of which we have the following account:
"A remarkable, and in many respects a most interesting hybrid, raised by our foreman, Mr.
Seden, from Z. maxillare and Z. Mackayi, the latter being the pollen plant. The habit of the plant is neat and compact, and its growth free. The pseudo-bulbs and leaves are nearly as in Z. maxillare, but the latter more erect. The flower-scapes are robust, and bear from six to eight flowers, intermediate in size between those of the two parents. They are thus described by Professor Reichenbach: ' The sepals and petals are green outside, almost blackish, with a fine metallic lustre inside; lip whitish, almost covered with bluish violet markings; callus and column of a very beautiful violet.' The rich blue color of the labellum is unique among orchids, and renders this plant one of the most striking of the results of Orchid hybridisation yet offered".