Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Puzzling Oeceoclades Sp

I got this Oeceoclades seedling from Isobyl La Croix when she offered seed-raised orchids for sale at least 5 years ago. The label suggests O. ambongensis which i had assumed to be correct. Only last year did i manage to xerox a copy of the paper titled The Genus Oeceoclades by L. Garay & P. Taylor in Botanical Museum Leaflets Harvard University, Vol. 24, No. 9. It is a taxonomic paper that suggests a need to split Oeceoclades from Eulophia... a note under O. ambongensis = syn E. ambongense caught my eye: "related species of O. maculata alliance". Looking through a couple of available papers.. it appears that my O. ambongensis have more affinities to O. decaryana. I cannot rule out O. ambongensis because i was not able to get hold of the original description of E. ambongense in an old obscure botanical publication!

The amazing find from websearch yields a mini-picture of a herbarium sheet of Eulophidium ambongense

Holotype of Eulophidium ambongense Schltr. Verified by Perrier de la B√Ęthie, H., 1950

From: West, sandy forest/wood. [Ouest: bois sablonneux], Manongarivo (Ambongo)

The wealth of online material has just help eliminate the O. ambongense possibility. I just have to wait for flowers to confirm if it is O. decaryana or O. aff*. decaryana! [*decaryana has distinctively 5-angular pseudobulbs]

It is definitely a slow grower. Enjoys drying out between watering. Onion-like 1-1.5" succulent pseudobulbs helps it tide-over long drought much better than fellow madagascan euphorbias! In fact, a distinct period of drought triggers formation of new buds for next season's growth.

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