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Chiloschista usneoides (Don) Lindley

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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE
Charles and Margaret Baker

Chiloschista usneoides (Don) Lindley 

AKA: Sarcochilus usneoides Rchb. f.

ORIGIN/HABITAT: Northern Himalya region from Garhwal in the west, through
Nepal, and into Sikkim. Plants are reportedly found at about 5400 ft.
(1650 m), but details of the type of habitat were not reported. 

CLIMATE: Station #42295, Darjeeling, India, Lat. 27.1N, Long. 88.3E, at
7431 ft. (2265 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 5400
ft. (1650 m), resulting in probable extremes of 84F (29C) and 34F (1C). 

N/HEMISPHERE    JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
F AVG MAX        54   55   64   69   71   72   73   72   71   68   61   56
F AVG MIN        42   43   49   56   60   63   65   64   62   57   49   44
DIURNAL RANGE    12   12   15   13   11    9    8    8    9   11   12   12
RAIN/INCHES     0.5  1.1  1.7  4.1  8.5 23.2 31.4 25.1 17.6  5.1  0.9  0.3
HUMIDITY/%       83   82   73   78   88   93   95   95   93   87   79   78
BLOOM SEASON                *    *   **    *    *
DAYS CLR        N/A
RAIN/MM          13   28   43  104  216  589  798  638  447  130   23    8
C AVG MAX      12.2 12.8 17.8 20.6 21.7 22.4 22.8 22.2 21.7 20.0 16.1 13.3
C AVG MIN       5.6  5.9  9.3 13.2 15.4 17.1 18.2 17.6 16.5 13.7  9.3  6.5
DIURNAL RANGE   6.6  6.9  8.5  7.4  6.3  5.3  4.6  4.6  5.2  6.3  6.8  6.8
S/HEMISPHERE    JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC  JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN

Cultural Recommendations: 

LIGHT: 1200-1800 fc. Rather bright conditions are required. Light should
be filtered or diffused, and plants should never be exposed to direct sun.
Strong air movement should be provided at all times. When evaporative
coolers are used, plants probably benefit if placed in the strong, cool,
moist airflow near the outlet. 

TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 72-73F (22-23C), and nights average
63-65F (17-18C), with a diurnal range of 8-9F (5C). 

HUMIDITY: 90-95% in summer and early autumn, dropping to 80-85 % for most
of the remainder of the year. 

WATER: Rainfall is very heavy from late spring into autumn. Amounts
decrease rapidly in autumn into a 3-5 month winter dry season. In the
Garhwal region, the seasonal pattern is same, but the summer rainy season
is not quite as long or as wet as indicated in the climate table.
Cultivated plants should be watered frequently in summer, but water should
be reduced in autumn. 

FERTILIZER: A balanced fertilizer mixed at 1/4-1/2 recommended strength
should be applied weekly during periods of active growth. Fertilizer
should be reduced when water is reduced in autumn. 

REST PERIOD: Winter days average 54-56F (12-13C), and nights average
42-44F (6-7C), with a diurnal range of 12F (7C). Rainfall is very low in
the habitat for 3-4 months in winter, but there is considerable additional
moisture available from heavy dew during most of the dry season.
Cultivated plants should be allowed to dry out between waterings, but they
should not remain completely dry for long periods. A light, early morning
misting every few days, especially in bright, sunny weather, will keep the
plants from becoming too dry. The winter rest may not need to be quite as
long or as severe as indicated in the climate table, but dry conditions
with low temperatures below 50F (10C) should be provided for at least 3
months. Fertilizer should be eliminated until water is increased in the
spring. 

GROWING MEDIA: Because these plants have no leaves, the photosynthesis
normally performed in the leaves is done in the roots. Therefore, the
roots must be grown exposed to sunlight. Plants are usually mounted on
small tree branches. They usually seem to grow better relatively smooth
surfaces, but some are grown on tree-fern slabs. Humidity must be high and
the plants must be watered at least once daily in summer. Several
waterings a day may be necessary for mounted plants during very hot, dry
periods. 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based
on cultivation records. 

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A leafless and stemless epiphyte that grows a densely
tufted and tortuous root system. . 

PSEUDOBULB: None. 

LEAVES: None. 

INFLORESCENCE: 3-6 in. (7.5-15.0 cm) long. The brownish peduncle bears
several oval, papery deciduous bracts.  

FLOWERS: Many white or rose colored flowers with very short stems are
carried on each raceme. They are about 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across with widely
spreading, oblong sepals and petals that have rounded tips. The petals are
somewhat broader than the sepals. The shiny, bag-like lip has 3 lobes.
There is a hairy disc located between the lateral lobes. The column is
very short. 

HYBRIDIZING NOTES: N/A. 

REFERENCES: . 

Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211
Beckwith Road, Richmond, B.C., Canada V6X 1V7.

Pradhan, U. 1976, 1979. Indian orchids: guide to identification and
culture, vols. I-II. Udai C. Pradhan, Kalimpong, India.

PHOTOS/DRAWINGS: . 


Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 566482

.........................................................................
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
                     
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This culture sheet was provided by Charles and Margaret Baker.
Please visit their web site to find out about their Orchid Species Culture books,
Pollination Database, and culture sheet subscription service.