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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 email <email@example.com> __________________________________________________________________________ "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. __________________________________________________________________________