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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Natural Hybrid

It was the single orange flower in a sea of yellow tulip orchids that stopped me in my tracks. We don't have many Anguloa x ruckeri in our greenhouse and it was worth stopping for a second look. Anguloa x ruckeri is a naturally occurring hybrid between Anguloa hohenlohii and Anguloa clowesii.

It grows terrestrially at 900 to 2000 meters elevation in Venezuela and is known at least historically from Colombia as well, according to Henry Oakeley in Lycaste, Ida and Anguloa, The Essential Guide (2008).

This individual has inherited an overlay of red spots from its hohenlohii parent. They coalesce into a deep rose colored wash on the interior. After I removed a petal and sepal, the lip (on the left) became visible opposite the column.

The lip is joined to the column by a tiny hinge at the foot of the column. As is typical in anguloas, the column foot is very long -in the photo above it is deep red. The hinge allows the lip to swing toward the column, bumping the bee against the anther cap at the end of the column.

The upper surface of the lip. It is intermediate in shape between Anguloa clowesii and Anguloa hohenlohii.

The underside of the lip.

Oakeley states that Anguloa x ruckeri is reported as growing in the same conditions in the wild as A. clowesii and A. hohenlohii. In cultivation, our plants are growing well in an intermediate greenhouse with 60┬║ night minimum temperature and 70% shade.


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