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Monday, September 30, 2013

Anguloa eburnea

In recent years our tulip orchids have produced flowers in two waves --the first in June, followed by a second in September.

Anguloa eburnea grows as a terrestrial on open steep slopes at 1500 to 2500 meters elevation in southern Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The name comes from the Latin eburneus, meaning ivory colored.

Anguloas have an annual growth cycle that is a bit unusual. At the start of their growing season (September for A. eburnea) the new leafy shoot and the flower buds emerge together. Simultaneously the plant sheds its enormous accordion-pleated (plicate) leaves.

The leaf shedding is, honestly, a huge relief to the grower, who has waited patiently while the autumn-flowering tulip orchids remained disturbingly inactive with increasingly ratty leaves throughout the spring and summer. They appear to shut down just as every other orchid springs to life. (And just in time for the annual AOS greenhouse more plant trying to embarrass me.) During their growing season they make up for lost time by putting out a tremendous amount of growth very quickly. In my opinion anguloas are among the most rewarding orchids.


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