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Finca Dracula - Gardens and Collection

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by Alfonso Doucette, Dec 27, 2014.

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  1. Alfonso Doucette

    Alfonso Doucette Active Member

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    Finca Dracula is an orchid collection open for visits to tourists in Panama. They host a wide range of species cultivated in their outdoor gardens and in their greenhouses. Dracula and related genera are really well represented in the collection. I stayed last week for a visit to gather behavioral data in order to determine pollinator specificity in Dracula.
     

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  2. JohnsonS

    JohnsonS Active Member

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    Wow, great photos! It looks like a very fun place to visit and get lost for hours.

    Do you know the name of the second Lepanthes sp. in the set?

    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  3. Alfonso Doucette

    Alfonso Doucette Active Member

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    Yeah! It's a fantastic collection and it's in a cloud forest so they can just grow things outside on the trees in the garden.

    Do you mean DSC07936: Lepanthes maxonii?
     
  4. JohnsonS

    JohnsonS Active Member

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    It's the one just before L. maxonii; DSC07932.
     
  5. Alfonso Doucette

    Alfonso Doucette Active Member

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    Oh yeah! DSC07932: Lepanthes grandiflora. J&L Orchids has offered this species in the past.


    DSC07932: Lepanthes grandiflora
    DSC0793: Lepanthes turrialvae
    DSC07935: Lepanthes horrida
    DSC07936: Lepanthes maxonii
     
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  6. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A great post. I'm going to be looking at these photos several times. I could spend a week there.
    What is the beautiful spidery flower in DSC07978.JPG ?
     
  7. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a wonderful trip! For some reason, I have an impression that it is not easy to see pollinators in many orchids (rare events, so you have to sit there for a long time). Well, I guess I haven't seen pollinators on temperate orchids. Did you get to see/catch enough pollinators?
     
  8. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the great post! Do you have any idea of the average minimum night there?
     
  9. pacome

    pacome Active Member

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    Hi Alfonso!
    Ecuagenera has the L. grandiflora as well, they're currently selling flasks of it. the flask I got from them was very nice, but I totally failed deflasking (along a whole batch of other Lepanthes I flasked myself). I'll sure order one flask again, that species is so scarce in the trade!
    It seems from your picture that it is more than just a collection, they seem to produce lots of plants. Do they sell to others -i mean, not only to visiting tourists? Last year when I was at Ecuagenera, Ivan was just back from Panama with a bunch of nice Lepanthes he purchased there, but I can't remember if it was from Finca Dracula, or Maduro's orchid farm...
     
  10. orchidnut57

    orchidnut57 Member

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    Excellent photos! I love all the shots but the one in #44 is awesome! Thank you
     
  11. Alfonso Doucette

    Alfonso Doucette Active Member

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    Hi Naoki! That is true. Pollination is generally a rare event. Of 100+ flowers I only found two pollinators. I will be continuing this work for the next two years. I hope to get at least ten, but I will need to present what I have in order to finish my dissertation after my funding runs out.

    Hi Kelly and orchidnut57! That is Andinia schizopogon. It comes in a range of colors and sizes. This is a cold growig species that is offered for sale by Ecuagenera. Andy's Orchids also has a similar species called Andinia pogonion for sale as Pleurothallis schizopogon.

    Hi Marni! I was talking to Andres Maduro Jr. about that and he said that it has become warmer than it has in the past. They used to get an occasional frost at night. Currently the temperature does not dip much below 50F, and they have not had a frost in a long time.

    Hi pacome! In the past Finca Dracula sold species in collaboration with Woodstream Orchids. This was not profitable though and the collection is now used to illustrate orchid diversity to tourists. The plants in the greenhouses are rotated in and out of an area showcasing plants that are in bloom. Ivan may have purchased plants from Orquideas Tropicales in Panama.
     
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  12. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you for such a wonderful post.

    Do you know the differences between Lep. horrida and Lep. maxonii in terms of growths and flower details? That one on photo DSCO7935 looks a bit different than those on internet. I have a Lep. horrida and I think it is most likely Lep. maxonii, quite confusing to me.
     
  13. Alfonso Doucette

    Alfonso Doucette Active Member

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    Hi Tom, There seems to be a bit of confusion between L. horrida and L. maxonii. From what I understand the plants are basically the same, both are robust and have really prominent lepanthiform sheaths with a hairy margin. The most obvious difference is the coloration of the sepals. L. horrida is reddish with stripes on the dorsal sepal and L. maxonii is yellow with a red center (it is described as "ochraceous, with a darker reddish center" on the sheet of the type specimen http://www.epidendra.org/taxones/Lepanthes/Lepanthes maxonii/Lepanthes maxonii Isotype (NY).jpg)
     
  14. pacome

    pacome Active Member

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    there are, at least in Europe, several plants of a "species" which, while superficially looking like horrida, has a very distinctive petals/column structure. that's (probably erroneously) called maxonii, but as you say Alfonso, the real maxonii as per R. Maxon's description, has a totally different colour pattern. Leaves also are quite different from horrida (and from "sp aff. horrida), whose leaves are oval, stiff and flat. The "real" (yellow) maxonii has bigger, more lanceolate leaves , with a much thinner texture and undulated along the main ribs surface.
     
  15. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Quite interesting opinions/findings, guys.
    Last year, I was told by a Lepanthes specialist/botanist that both species have almost identical plant structure, never mentioned about different flower color or leaf shape/texture....., "Lepanthes maxonii has a distinctive little pink triangle on the column".
     
  16. piotrm

    piotrm Well-Known Member

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    great treat for eyes!