Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pretty picture: Stenosarcos Vanguard 'Fireball'

You will probably want to open this full-size, in a separate window.

This is an odd one, very unlike what most of us picture when we think of orchids. Stenosarcos Vanguard is a cross of Sarcoglottis speciosus with a Stenorrhynchos species (different sites give different identities: either S. speciosum or S. albidomaculatum). I didn't get a picture of the foliage, and don't even remember seeing it (the displays had a lot of plants all crammed in together, so it's possible I couldn't have seen or photographed it even if I'd tried), but it's sort of pleasantly variegated, as orchids go. The foliage is probably from the Sarcoglottis side of the family; the color and flair of the flowers, such as it is, looks like it comes from Stenorrhynchos. At least that's what I infer from Google Image Searching for about ten minutes.

I couldn't find much hard information on the cross or its two parents: Stenosarcos blooms in winter, with the first flowers appearing in January and lasting until maybe Valentine's Day -- though this particular photo is from late March, so this must not be written in stone. It's said to be a terrestrial orchid, but most of the photos I saw showed it planted in sphagnum moss, so I'm not sure what to think about that. A lot of the websites said it was an easy orchid to grow, but so many sites say that about so many orchids -- particularly if they sell the orchids they're talking about -- that I don't trust that to be the case. So maybe it's an easy to grow terrestrial that blooms in January, and maybe it's a difficult to grow epiphyte that blooms in March.

*sigh* Relying on the internet for information has its drawbacks.

Stenosarcos isn't an exceptionally beautiful flower, as compared to a Potinara or Beallara or something, but it's a type of orchid I haven't seen before. Which is cool enough, I think.

Some prettier (or artier) pictures: (1) (2)


Liza said...

I think if this Orchid was in high school, she'd be both in band and in drama. I doubt she'd be the president of a club, but she might be the treasurer. Interesting gal.

Unknown said...

That almost reminds me of a yucca spike. How tall is that thing?

mr_subjunctive said...


Not sure: I didn't measure at the time, and it's been four months. Maybe a foot? Foot and a half?

James David said...

I thought it was a tuberose species. Polianthes tuberosa

mr_subjunctive said...

James Missier:

Er, Polianthes flowers are white, are they not?

Also this was at an orchid show, and the plant had a Stenosarcos Vanguard 'Fireball' tag on it. So I'm pretty sure.