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Monday, April 18, 2016

Huntleya fasciata

All the huntleyas are wonderful, but this species, Huntleya fasciata, became an obsession for me after we flowered it for the first time a few years ago. The flowers are thick and glossy and the color of candy apples.

And unlike the flowers of Huntleya wallisii, which seems to appear like a magnificent solitary comets, these pop up like dandelions.

Check out the claw at the base of the lip. Elaborate lip fringe is a hallmark of the Huntleya clade (Pescatoria, Chondroscaphe, Kefersteinia, Chaubardia, etc.).

Our huntleyas are permanent residents of the fog zone immediately adjacent to our propagation benches, the only place we maintain humidity continuously in the 80 to 95% range. I like to grow them in slatted wooden baskets which fall apart naturally after a couple of years and are easy to remove with minimum root disturbance. Huntleyas and their relatives hate root disturbance, and although the fan-shaped growths look like promising candidates for division, the success rate is not high, even when the divisions consist of multiple fans. Fortunately, huntleyas are selfed readily and produce nice fat capsules. I hope to have a crop of fasciata seedlings for distribution in a couple of years.

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