Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pretty picture: Brassolaeliocattleya Darcy-Rose Campbell

I really thought I had more pictures of non-cattleya-alliance flowers than this in the Wallace's Orchid Show set. I mean, I don't mind if you don't mind, but I went to a certain amount of trouble to avoid repeating genera, yet they're all starting to look the same to me anyway. (The last one, Paph. delenatii 'Santa Barbara' x Sib., is a notable recent exception.)

Looking at this picture, I'm mostly struck by the difference between the (big, wide, frilly) petals and the (narrow, plain) sepals. Usually the breeders try to make them both big and frilly, don't they? Or am I misremembering?


Anonymous said...

I believe your memory is correct.

I remember, in a book published half a century ago, seeing a drawing of the "ideal" orchid flower held up as a model for show judges to look for and breeders to aim at. The idea was to make the petals and sepals the same broad round shape with all lying in the same plane.

Fashions may have changed since then. I know that in some plant families a single ideal "type" has been discarded in order to encourage judges to recognize the fuller range and variety of forms that occur in nature. I don't know what's current among orchid fanciers.


CatsandCatts said...

For that flower to be show-worthy, the dorsal sepal would need to be much fuller and rounder, and the petals would need to be flatter. The Brassavola component of Blc.s imparts a narrow dorsal sepal, but the bending back of all the sepals suggests a cultural problem to me, like the flower bud wasn't given a full chance to develop before it opened.

It's still pretty, though. In my world, a flawed Cattleya flower is better than no Cattleya flower, and all flaws will be forgiven if it smells nice.

Paul said...

Frilly (or "floofs" as I call them) are still bred but I don't know that style is necessarily the goal anymore. As someone else mentioned, fashions change.

Personally, I'm not a big floof fan. I tend to prefer the simpler, more elegantly shaped catt forms. At shows I usually see quite a bit of variety -- from floofs to nonfloofs with all the shades in between -- both at the vendors' tables and in the displays.