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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE Charles and Margaret Baker Acacallis cyanea Lindley AKA: Acacallis hoehnei Schlechter, Aganisia tricolor Bateman, Aganisia coerulea Rchb. f., Kochiophyton negrense Schlechter, Kochiophyton coerulens Hoehne. ORIGIN/HABITAT: Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. These epiphytic plants are found throughout the upper Amazon Basin, particularly above the confluence of the Amazon and the Río Negro, and along the upper Río Orinoco above Puerto Ayacucho in western Venezuela. Plants grow in the flat, low-lying forests in areas that are completely innundated during seasonal floods. Visitors to the habitat have reported seeing host trees partly underwater during a flood with the Acacallis cyanea mostly under water except for part of the rhizome, 1 or 2 of its leaves, and the inflorescence. CLIMATE: Station #82331, Manaus, Brazil, Lat. 3.1S, Long. 60.0W, at 144 ft. (44 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 1500 ft. (460 m), resulting in probable extremes of 97F (36C) and 59F (15C). N/HEMISPHERE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC F AVG MAX 85 86 87 87 86 85 83 82 83 82 84 84 F AVG MIN 70 70 71 71 71 71 70 70 70 70 71 70 DIURNAL RANGE 15 16 16 16 15 14 13 12 13 12 13 14 RAIN/INCHES 2.3 1.5 1.8 4.2 5.6 8.0 9.8 9.1 10.3 8.7 6.7 3.3 HUMIDITY/% 75 72 70 72 74 78 79 80 80 81 80 77 BLOOM SEASON * ** ** ** ** * ** * * * DAYS CLR @ 8AM 4 3 2 1 2 1 0 1 1 0 1 3 RAIN/MM 58 38 46 107 142 203 249 231 262 221 170 84 C AVG MAX 29.4 30.0 30.6 30.6 30.0 29.6 28.4 27.8 28.3 27.8 28.9 28.9 C AVG MIN 21.1 20.8 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.4 20.8 20.8 20.8 20.8 21.4 20.8 DIURNAL RANGE 8.3 9.2 9.2 9.2 8.6 8.2 7.6 7.0 7.5 7.0 7.5 8.1 S/HEMISPHERE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN Cultural Recommendations: LIGHT: 2000-3000 fc. Light should be filtered or diffused, and plants should never be exposed to direct, mid-day sun. Strong air movement should be provided at all times. TEMPERATURES: Throughout the year, days average 82-87F (28-31C), and nights average 70-71F (21C), with a diurnal range of 12-16F (C). HUMIDITY: 75-80% most of the year, dropping to near 70% for about 3 months during the dry season in late winter and early spring. WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy most of the year with a 2-3 month somewhat dry season in winter. Cultivated plants should be kept moist while actively growing with only slight drying allowed between waterings. Water should be gradually reduced in late autumn. FERTILIZER: A balanced fertilizer mixed at 1/4-1/2 recommended strength should be applied weekly during periods of active growth. Many growers recommend using a fertilizer lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus during late summer and autumn to promote better blooming the next season and to allow the new growths to harden before winter. In order to prevent salt buildup, the medium should be leached each month during periods of heavy fertilizer applications. This is especially important in areas with heavily mineralized water. Leaching is performed by watering the plant as normal to dissolve any accumulated salts, and then an hour or so later flushing the media with water equal to about twice the volume of the pot. REST PERIOD: Growing conditions should be maintained all year. While rainfall is lower in winter, some does occur each month. In addition, heavy dews are common, so plants are not subjected to long dry periods. Water may be reduced for cultivated plants in winter, especially those grown in the dark, short-day conditions common in temperate latitudes. They should not be allowed to dry out completely, however. Fertilizer should also be reduced until water is increased in spring. GROWING MEDIA: These plants are best grown mounted on tree-fern slabs if humidity is high and plants are watered at least once daily in summer. Several waterings a day may be necessary for mounted plants during very hot, dry periods. Because most growers find it difficult to keep mounted plants moist enough, they may also be grown in shallow tree-fern pots or baskets using a medium made up of equal parts of shredded tree-fern fiber and chopped sphagnum moss. Because plants deteriorate quickly if conditions are stale around their roots, care must be taken to keep the medium fresh. Perlite and charcoal added to the mix helps keep the area around the roots open and fresh. Plants should be repotted if the medium starts to become stale and break down. Repotting is best done just as new root growth is starting. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based on cultivation records. These plants have the reputation of being very difficult to maintain in cultivation. In the past, most plants collected in the wild survived for only a year or so. More recently, however, much hardier plants, which have been grown in cultivation from seeds, are finding their way into collections. Plant and Flower Information: PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A medium sized sympodial epiphyte that grows to about 10 in. (25 cm) tall. Growths are spaced at intervals along a slender, prostrate, creeping rhizome. PSEUDOBULB: 2 in. (5 cm) long. The egg-shaped pseudobulbs are normally glossy green. LEAVES: 8 in. (20 cm) long. Normally, a single, erect, leathery leaf is carried at the top of each pseudobulb, but occasionally a growth may carry a second one. Each elliptic leaf is very shiny green on the upper surface, is about 3 in. (7.5 cm) wide, and has a petiolate base INFLORESCENCE: 12 in. (30 cm) long. The slender, erect to arching flower spike emerges from the base of the most recently matured pseudobulbs. FLOWERS: Up to 10 fragrant blossoms are crowded at the top of each inflorescence. The flowers are 2.5 in. (6.3 cm) across. Some writers indicate the sepals and petals are mauve on the outside, but are sky blue on the inside, and are often white at their tips. The lip is white at the base, becoming deep indigo-blue near the tip. Others have reported that blossoms are blue-mauve, with the petals being almost blue in sunlight. The inner surfaces have been called pale pink-flushed white, and the lip gold-bronze or flesh-colored with a mauve-red center. Pridgeon (1992) reported that the flowers maintain a deeper shade of blue if they are not exposed to bright light. In their 1984 American Orchid Society Bulletin article, the Dunstervilles reported that while the flowers are decidedly blue when they open, the blueness rapidly takes on a tinge of pink. This red color, normally only moderately noticeable to the eye, dominates over the blue in the various color films they had used when photographing the flowers. HYBRIDIZING NOTES: N/A. REFERENCES: . Associação orquidofila de São Paulo. 1977. Native orchids of Brasil. Associação orquidofila de São Paulo. Bechtel, H., P. Cribb, and E. Launert. 1980. Manual of cultivated orchid species. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B.C., Canada V6X 1V7. Hawkes, A.  1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and Faber, London. Dunsterville, G., and E. Dunsterville. 1988 . Orchid hunting in the lost world (and elsewhere in Venezuela). American Orchid Society, Inc., 6000 South Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33405, U. S. A. Reprinted from the article, 100 orchids (and 37 snakes) up the Orinoco. American Orchid Society Bulletin 53(1):43-49. Dunsterville, G., and L. Garay. 1961. Venezuelan orchids illustrated, vol. 2. Orchid Herbarium of Oakes Ames, Botanical Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Pridgeon, A. ed. 1992. The illustrated encyclopedia of orchids. Timber Press, Portland, OR. PHOTOS/DRAWINGS: . Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker Sheet version 3721153 ......................................................................... Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was provided free of charge, it may not be reproduced or retransmitted in any way without permission. ......................................................................... __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA Orchid Culture & Pollination site http://www.orchidculture.com email <firstname.lastname@example.org> __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 1 - Pescatorea, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Pholidota, Phragmipedium, Pleione" 250 pages of culture information. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 2 - Dendrobium" 850 pages of culture information for more than 1230 Dendrobium species. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 1 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-0-4 Full page color photograph of each species. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 2 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-1-2 Full page color photograph of each species. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 3 - The Laelia/Cattleya Alliance" coming in a few months. __________________________________________________________________________