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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE Charles and Margaret Baker Sievekingia marsupialis Dodson AKA: N/A. ORIGIN/HABITAT: Ecuador. The type specimen was found in Morona-Santiago Province in southern Ecuador. It was growing near Sucúa at 2600 ft. (800 m). Plants have since been found near Puyo in Pastaza Province. It grows as an epiphyte in wet, lower montane forests. CLIMATE: Station #84163, Puyo, Ecuador, Lat. 1.6S, Long. 77.9W, at 3117 ft. (950 m). The record high temperature is 88F (31C), and the record low is 48F (9C). N/HEMISPHERE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC F AVG MAX 77 79 81 81 81 81 79 79 79 79 79 77 F AVG MIN 61 61 61 61 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 61 DIURNAL RANGE 16 18 20 20 18 18 16 16 16 16 16 16 RAIN/INCHES 9.3 8.9 9.1 12.0 11.6 8.3 8.0 8.1 11.3 15.0 8.0 10.9 HUMIDITY/% 89 87 87 88 88 88 89 89 89 89 89 89 BLOOM SEASON * * * * * * DAYS CLR N/A RAIN/MM 236 227 231 304 295 212 203 206 287 380 204 276 C AVG MAX 25.0 26.0 27.0 27.0 27.0 27.0 26.0 26.0 26.0 26.0 26.0 25.0 C AVG MIN 16.0 16.0 16.0 16.0 17.0 17.0 17.0 17.0 17.0 17.0 17.0 16.0 DIURNAL RANGE 9.0 10.0 11.0 11.0 10.0 10.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 S/HEMISPHERE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN Cultural Recommendations: LIGHT: 1500-2300 fc. Semishaded conditions with filtered or diffused light are recommended. Plants should be protected from direct sun. Strong air movement should be provided at all times. TEMPERATURES: Throughout the year, days average 77-81F (25-27C), and nights average 61-63F (16-17C), with a diurnal range of 16-20F (9-11C). Sievekingia marsupialis has been cultivated in Cuenca, Ecuador, at 8291 ft. (2527 m), so plants may adapt to temperatures 10-12F (6-7C) cooler than indicated in the preceding table. Any move to cooler conditions should be made very slowly. HUMIDITY: 85-90% year-round. WATER: Rainfall is very heavy throughout the year. Plants should be watered heavily while actively growing, but drainage must be excellent and conditions around the roots should always be open and well aerated. Hawkes (1965) reported that "even a semblance of stale conditions at the roots can rapidly prove fatal." FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly when plants are actively growing. A balanced fertilizer may be used throughout the year, but some growers prefer a high-nitrogen fertilizer from spring to midsummer, and switch to a high-phosphate formula in late summer and autumn. REST PERIOD: Growing conditions should be maintained all year. Cultivated plants may need less water when they are not actively growing or if plants are grown in the dark, short-day conditions common in temperate latitudes. Plants should never dry out completely. Fertilizer should be reduced if water is reduced. GROWING MEDIA: Sievekingia marsupialis has a pendent inflorescence that emerges from the base of the pseudobulbs, so it probably would be easier to manage if it was mounted tightly to a tree-fern slab. Mounted, plants need high humidity, however, and at least daily watering when temperatures are warm. Mounted plants may need several waterings a day during extremely hot, dry weather. If keeping mounted plants is sufficiently moist, plants may be grown in small slatted wood baskets or wire baskets made from large-mesh wire. Baskets should be lined with sphagnum moss and filled with an open, fast-draining medium. Growers indicate that the medium should hold moisture without becoming soggy as the roots need to dry fairly rapidly after watering. Hawkes (1965) recommended a potting mix made of equal parts or chopped sphagnum moss and shredded tree-fern fiber. Repotting or dividing should be done only when new root growth is just starting. This allows the plant to become established in the shortest possible time with the least amount of stress. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based on reports from the habitat. Hawkes (1965) reported that Sievekingia are "often rather difficult to grow for more than a single season and are not recommended for the amateur collector." Plant and Flower Information: PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A rather large, 13 in. (34 cm) sympodial epiphyte. PSEUDOBULB: 1.8 in. (4.5 cm) long by 1.2 in. (3 cm) in diameter near the base. The pear-shaped pseudobulbs are dark green and ribbed and the base is covered with dry sheaths. LEAVES: 12 in. (30 cm) long by 3 in. (7.5 cm) wide. A single thin, narrowly oval leaf is carried at the apex of each pseudobulb. It has a rather thin substance with prominent, parallel, longitudinal veins on the back side. The leaf narrows toward the apex to a sharply pointed tip, and narrows near base forming a moderately long, grooved petiole. INFLORESCENCE: 2 in. (5 cm) long. A pendent peduncle emerges from the base of a recently matured pseudobulb. The flower spike is surrounded by loose, scarious bracts which may be up to 0.4 in. (1 cm) long. Flowers are arranged in a dense cluster at the apex, and each blossom is carried on a slender, terete ovary that is about 1.2 in. (3 cm) long. FLOWERS: 9-15. Blossoms have white sepals, orange petals, and the lip and column are orange with a deeper red-orange spot in the throat of the lip. The forward-pointing floral segments result in cupped flowers that are not wide-spreading. They measure about 0.5 in. (1.2 cm) across the tips of the petals by almost 1 in. (2.5 cm) long from the base of the flower to the tips of the sepals and petals. The elliptic, sharply pointed, concave dorsal sepal is 0.9 in. (2.4 cm) long by 0.3 in. (0.8 cm) wide. Lateral sepals are obliquely egg-shaped, concave, and 1.0 in. (2.5 cm) long by 0.4 in. (1.1 cm) wide. The narrowly obovate petals are sharply pointed and 0.8 in. (2.0 cm) long by 0.2 in. (0.5 cm) wide. The shallowly, 3-lobed lip is broadly egg-shaped when fully spread, with erect lateral lobes on each side of the column and a sharply pointed tip. The lip is 0.6 in. (1.5 cm) long by 0.8 in. (2.0 cm) wide when fully spread. There is a semicircle of 9-11 upturned teeth at the base and an oblong flap in the disc, which is united to the base of the lip and along the margins but open at the apex. The column, which is about 0.5 in. (1.2 cm) long, is terete below the middle, and abruptly winged on the apical third with a pair of triangular ears on each side of the anther. HYBRIDIZING NOTES: N/A. REFERENCES: Dodson, C., and P. de Dodson. 1984. Orchids of Ecuador. Fasc. 10, plates 901-1000. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. Hawkes, A.  1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and Faber, London. PHOTOS/DRAWINGS: Dodson, C., and P. de Dodson. 1984. Orchids of Ecuador. Fasc. 10, plates 901-1000. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. (Drawing) Copyright 1999, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker Sheet version 65801884 ......................................................................... 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. __________________________________________________________________________