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Polystachya bennettiana

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by leo, Aug 4, 2015.

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  1. leo

    leo African orchids only :-)

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    Got this one for just over 8 years now and it keeps flowering better each year. Got slightly sun burned earlier this year but it still produced beautiful spikes with dozens of flowers with a faint, slightly lemon-like scent.

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  2. sam1147

    sam1147 sam1147

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    Well done
     
  3. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Lots of happy roots there.
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is so much nicer than other pictures I've seen of this. Nice looking foliage too.
     
  5. W. Malewa

    W. Malewa Member

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    Nice Pictures! We (also) have P. bennettiana and I am not 100% sure yours is. Normally the inflorescence is erect and also fairly erect 1-2 cm wide leaves. From which place did it originate from? Also, it can withstand bright sunshine without any problem, as it is not uncommon to see them in nature in bright sunshine at least part of the day. A possible explanation which I have for this phenotype is that it was first grown under low light and high humidity and then gotten in higher light?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  6. leo

    leo African orchids only :-)

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    Hi, would you mind posting a picture of yours? I am by no means sure about the ID. Apparently, it comes from West Africa. Initially, I identified it as P. sricta using the book ‘Les Orchidées de Côte d‘Ivoire‘ by Francisco Perez-Vera and stricta is a synonym for bennettiana. Do you have a idea what else it could be?
     
  7. W. Malewa

    W. Malewa Member

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    Hi Leo (Leo is Today in Swahili, much better name than Kesho = Tomorrow, tomorrow never comes....) I don't have an idea what it then could be. No problem, here some pictures: first as a lithophyte, second note the seed pod higher up (facing away) the erect flower stalk, third taken earlier during the flowering season. NB: Leaves are rather thick leathery, rigid. P bennettiana lithophyte.JPG P bennettiana on Ash tree.JPG P bennettiana in flower.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    Marni, leo, wpinnix and 1 other person like this.
  8. leo

    leo African orchids only :-)

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    Sorry for answering only ‘leo‘, I wanted to write ‘jana‘, but didn‘t have the time to check on my plant, which is just showing the last of this years flowers.

    As much as can be seen from pictures, the flowers look very similar. Are you sure the posture of the spike is a distinctive feature? Could be just an effect of different growing conditions.

    Where are your plants from?
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I noticed a difference in the leaves of the plants shown here, so I looked up this species in the Monograph of the Subtribe Polystachyinae. The leaves are described as oblong-laceoatle to ligulate, tapering gradually towards the apex, acute or slightly bilobed at the apex. That seems to match W. Malewa's better than Leo's. Also it states that the inflorescence is upright or somewhat nodding at the apex, many branched, up to 8 lateral well spaced brances up to 4 cm long, some of the branches arrested and represnted by undeveloped buds.
     
  10. leo

    leo African orchids only :-)

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    Thanks, Marni, for introducing me to this book. I ordered it on the spot :)
     
  11. W. Malewa

    W. Malewa Member

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    Ah, even more Swahili! Phenotypes can very a lot and as the distribution in Africa is nearly from east coast to west coast even more so, and then I guess it comes down to the shape of the flower and / or dna. They are not always in flower and I don't always carry my dna testing kit, but when I see them in Kenya I recognize them mostly by the erect flower stalks. May I revisit the sunburn, not common in this specie, can you think about an explanation?
     
  12. leo

    leo African orchids only :-)

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    I received that book in record time and came up with another name: P. laxiflora. Still have to closely check on the shape of the flower parts though.
    The sunburn is due the fact that I grow my plants in a greenhouse in Switzerland and I take the shading off the roof in winter to let more light in. In spring, when the sun becomes strong again, I‘ve been too late to put it back a couple of times.
     
  13. W. Malewa

    W. Malewa Member

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    Yeah, that is a very likely cause of the sunburn. Shade-leaves don't like sunshine and sun-leaves don't like shade.