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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE Charles and Margaret Baker Eulophia speciosa (Robert Brown ex Lindley) H. Bolus AKA: Lissochilus speciosus Robert Brown ex Lindley. ORIGIN/HABITAT: Widespread in tropical east Africa to as far south as Cape Province in South Africa. In the Republic of South Africa, plants are found in South and East Cape, Transkei, Natal, Swaziland, and East Transvaal. They usually grow in old fixed sands, coastal podsols, and reddish to light brown sands, clays and lateritic soils. They form local colonies of up to 50 plants in open to rather sheltered places in coastal brush, valley bushveld, thorny bush of the lowveld, and inland mountain grassveld. Plants are reported at elevations from sea level to 3300 ft. (1000 m). CLIMATE: Station #68816, Cape Town, So. Africa, Lat. 34.0S, Long. 18.6E, at 151 ft. (46 m). The record high is 103F (39C), and the record low is 28F (-2C). N/HEMISPHERE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC F AVG MAX 63 64 65 70 73 76 78 79 77 72 67 65 F AVG MIN 46 46 49 52 55 58 60 60 58 53 49 46 DIURNAL RANGE 17 18 16 18 18 18 18 19 19 19 18 19 RAIN/INCHES 3.7 3.0 2.3 1.6 1.0 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.9 1.9 3.7 4.3 HUMIDITY/% 79 78 73 69 65 63 63 66 71 75 78 78 BLOOM SEASON * * * * DAYS CLR @ 7AM 12 12 12 16 14 20 20 19 19 12 13 12 DAYS CLR @ 1PM 13 14 12 16 15 22 24 21 22 15 15 13 RAIN/MM 94 76 58 41 25 20 18 15 23 48 94 109 C AVG MAX 17.2 17.8 18.3 21.1 22.8 24.4 25.6 26.1 25.0 22.2 19.4 18.3 C AVG MIN 7.8 7.8 9.4 11.1 12.8 14.4 15.6 15.6 14.4 11.7 9.4 7.8 DIURNAL RANGE 9.4 10.0 8.9 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.5 10.6 10.5 10.0 10.5 S/HEMISPHERE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN Cultural Recommendations: LIGHT: 2000-3500 fc. Plants adapt to bright conditions, but light should be diffused. When grown at higher light levels, care should be taken to ensure the foliage does not burn. Strong air movement should be provided at all times. TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 76-79F (24-26C), and nights average 58-60F (14-16C), with a diurnal range of 18-19F (10-11C). Because of the large area of distribution and the relatively wide range in habitat elevation, plants may adapt to conditions a little warmer or cooler than indicated in the preceding table. HUMIDITY: 75-80% most of the year, dropping to 60-65% during the summer dry season. WATER: Rainfall is light to moderate through the year. The dry season extends from late spring into early autumn. Cultivated plants should be watered heavily when they are actively growing, but the medium must drain rapidly and be allowed to dry somewhat between waterings. Water should be reduced after the new growth matures and flowering is completed, and then reduced even more after the leaves change color and drop. 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 when growth slows as the new growths mature. This will promote better blooming the next season and allow the new growths to harden before the rest period. 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: Winter days average 63-65F (17-18C), and nights average 46F (8C), with a diurnal range of 17-19F (9-11C). Although rainfall is relatively high in the habitat during winter, water for cultivated plants should be applied sparingly and the plants kept dry until new growth is evident. Fertilizer should be eliminated until heavier watering is started in spring. GROWING MEDIA: These terrestrial plants are usually grown in pots using an especially well-drained medium. This is particularly important because these plants are intolerant of stale conditions around their roots. The medium used by many growers is made up of 1 part rich loam, 1 part well rotted manure, 1/2 part shredded osmunda and 1/2 part chopped tree-fern fiber. In addition, fir bark, leaf mould, peat moss, perlite, coarse sand, pumice and charcoal are recommended in varying amounts by other growers. The content of the mix should be adjusted by each grower to fit with the particular growing conditions and watering practices. Because the plants are intolerant of stale medium, they should be repotted before the medium begins to break down. Therefore, repotting be done every year before new growth begins. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based on cultivation records. In nature, plants bloom in spring. Growers report that Eulophia species with underground tubers are difficult to maintain in cultivation for more than a few years unless great care is given to the watering regime. Plant and Flower Information: PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A rather stout terrestrial that grows 16-35 in. (40-90 cm) tall. The growths emerge from irregular underground tubers that are connected by a stout rhizome. LEAVES: Up to 24 in. (60 cm) long. The stiff, fleshy leaves, which are only about 0.8 in. (2 cm) wide, are held in a fan. INFLORESCENCE: Up to 39 in. (100 cm) long. The erect inflorescence emerges from the base of new growths at about the time the leaves mature. FLOWERS: 10-30 rather widely spaces blossoms are carried on each raceme. The showy flowers, which are 1.0-1.4 in. (2.5-3.6 cm) across, have green sepals, bright yellow petals, and a yellow lip, which is whitish on the side lobes and is flecked and lined with red in the center. The small sepals are about 0.3 in. (0.8 cm) long and 0.1-0.2 in. (0.3-0.4 cm) wide. The much larger, spreading petals are up to 0.7 in. (1.8 cm) long and 0.6 in. (1.6 cm) wide. The lip is nearly as long as the petals. The erect, exposed column is about 0.2 in. (0.6 cm) long. HYBRIDIZING NOTES: N/A. REFERENCES: . 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. Pridgeon, A. ed. 1992. The illustrated encyclopedia of orchids. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Stewart, J., with H. Linder, E. Schlepe, and A. Hall. 1982. Wild Orchids of Southern Africa. Macmillan South Africa, Ltd., Johannesburg. PHOTOS/DRAWINGS: . Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker Sheet version 567179 ......................................................................... 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. __________________________________________________________________________