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Old 22-10-2003, 06:02 PM
Larry Dighera
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Default Breeding Reed-stem Epidendrums for Fragrance. (Was: Your Orchid Cultur Nots Published Here.)

On Tue, 21 Oct 2003 12:55:22 -0700, profpam wrote in
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How did the reedstem orchids do?

My breeding program* to introduce fragrance into reed-stem Epidendra
(is that the correct plural form of Epidendrum?) experienced some
success this summer. Many capsules were harvested (~about 20% - 30%
of those attempted), and many are still maturing. I'm patiently
waiting for the Cattleya Skinneri Coerulescens and Rhyncholaelia
digbyana plants to mature and flower, so that they may be used for
introducing blue color and fragrance per your December 2002
suggestions: or was it:

Below is a list of the potentially fragrant crosses that took (seed

Epi. criniferum [fragrant] X Epi. 'Compact Yellow' [fragrant]

Epi. enongatum X Epi. 'Compact Yellow' [fragrant]

Epi. 'Lavender Lass' X Epi. raniferum [fragrant]

Epi. CAL 2692 (Pacific Ember 'Orange Ice' X Star Valley 'Yamada')
X Epi. raniferum [fragrant]

Epi. 'Pink Princess' X Epi. 'Compact Yellow' [fragrant]

Epi. criniferum [fragrant] X Epi. 'Big Orange/Red'

Epi. elongatum X Oerstedella tetraceros [fragrant]

Epi. raniferum [fragrant] X Epi. CAL 2537 (Eagle Valley 'Fiesta' X
Pacific Ember 'Minimandarin')

Epi. 'Compact Yellow' [fragrant] Epi. CAL 2508 (Star Valley
'Yamada' X Pacific Ember 'Minimandarin')

Epi. 'Tokyo Snow' X Epi. 'Compact Yellow' [fragrant]

Oerstedella tetraceros [fragrant] X B. 'Little Stars' [night
fragrant] [Not a reed-stem Epi, but interesting nun the less]

Epi. 'Compact Yellow' [fragrant] X Epi. Hellen Yamada 'Kauai

Oerstedella tetraceros [fragrant] X Epi. Hellen Yamada 'Kauai

Oerstedella tetraceros [fragrant] X Epi. CAL Venus Diane 'Lemon

When these plants flower, I should have a pretty good idea of what to
expect genetically from future crosses. It will be interesting to see
which traits are sex-linked to which parent, and which are
dominent/rescessive. Dressler's THE ORCHIDS: NATURAL HISTORY AND
CLASSIFICATION should assist me in interpreting the results.

Now it's a matter of flasking the seed, and waiting. I expect to have
the room to grow many of these to flowering in about a year (if my
Santa Barbara home purchase plans are completed on schedule).

I am considering offering some of the seed/flasks/compots to the
public gratis with the proviso, that they report (and provide a
division of) any progeny that express fragrance. That way, many more
can be grown to maturity, and distributed worldwide. Anyone
interested in such an endeavor may notify me via e-mail, and I'll get
in touch when and if that time comes.

I've also found additional fragrant reed-stem Epis by sniffing all the
blooming stock I come across. George Norris has put the word out to
his jungle collectors to keep an eye (nostril?) out for fragrant
reed-stems too. I am optimistic, and enjoying the project.

So the program is progressing, but as I'm sure you are only too well
aware, it takes a lot of luck, effort, and time.

Thanks for the inquiry.

Larry Dighera


1. Adding fragrance (probably from Encyclia and Brassavola)
2. Creation of a true (as possible) blue flower
3. Increasing the size of flowers (as Al Yamada has)
4. Changing flower morphology:
A. Creation of a deeply fringed lip probably from Epi.
B. Relocating the lip from 12 O'clock to 6 O'clock
5. Retaining the cool weather tolerance and reed-stem foliage

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