It is interesting what happens in an orchid collection. This morning I noticed that my Wilsonara (Odcdm. Calif. Gold ‘Nugget’ x Oda. (Eric Young x Mem…)) had scale in between the leaves, low down where we could not see it. I placed it in quarantine (upstairs bathroom) and sprayed it. I purchased this plant from the Orchid Zone on my visit on May 14th, and all three Wilsonara/Odontiodas purchased have developed scale. I believe that the scale in my solarium was introduced by a plant from Cal Orchids, and perhaps these plants just attract the bugs.
In any case, I started checking the plants on the trays nearby for scale, and discovered something interesting. Two of my Odontiodas that I acquired from Bob Hamilton have developed spikes.
The first was Odontioda Tricolour 4N x (Tiffany x Joe’s Drum) which was given to me by Bob Hamilton during my visit to his greenhouses on May 14th. I had noticed a spurious leaf on one of the pseudobulbs a couple of weeks ago, and when examining the plant, realized that it was a spike. It was caught in the base of the leaf, so what I was seeing was the twisted stem as the spike attempted to work itself out its predicament. (I now know where these twisted stems come from on Odonts.) I freed the stem, and now it can work itself upward. [I note that this plant has pleated leaves, which seems to happen on most of my Odonts. I think that they come around repotting time, or may come from the change in the plant’s environment as I bring them home. Still looking into this question.]
The next plant over was Odontioda Prince Vultan x Joe’s Drum ‘Envy’ and decided to clean this plant as it had a new growth that had died. While I was cleaning off some dead leaf segments, I noticed that it also was in spike. It has a healthy spike growing out of the new bulb. It is about 1-2″ in length.
I checked all the other Bob Hamilton plants in my collection, and did not see any other spikes, although all have healthy new growth.
There was some discussion when I visited Bob as to whether I could grow these plants in the Sacramento region. I have always argued that the Davis environment, and especially the environment in our home, where we let the temperatures drift, would enable me to grow these cool/intermediate plants. I hope this is an indication that I was thinking correctly.
Both of the plants are on the upper shelf of the west wall of the Solarium, and are right next to the west wall window, and just to the left of the swamp cooler. Fortunately neither plant showed indications of scale infestation. It will probably take a few weeks for the blooms to develop, but I am excited