A long-term review of the BiOrbAir (part seven)

Welcome to the seventh instalment of my long-term BiOrbAir review.  I planted up my BiOrbAir, a specialised, automated terrarium, designed by Barry Reynolds, from Reef One, on 25th September 2014.  As this was the first time I had planted a BiOrbAir terrarium, I chose a variety of different plants and ferns to trial, so I could monitor how successfully these plants, each of which have differing requirements, would grow inside the controlled environment of this terrarium.  I was keen to discover how the plants would fare when planted inside a BiOrbAir terrarium, with the constant conditions the BiOrbAir provides.

During my BiOrbAir review, I have naturally changed the planting inside this terrarium over time, to trial a variety of different plants – this terrarium now features ferns, mosses, and miniature, epiphytic orchids.

BiOrbAir Review

If you’d like to start from the beginning, you can read the first part of my long-term review of the BiOrbAir here.  I started writing this first instalment after planting my BiOrbAir in September 2014, I updated my review every month, until April 2015.  The second part of my review, then continues from May 2015, until October 2015.  The third part of my review, features updates from November 2015, through to April 2016, and the fourth instalment features updates from from April and May 2016.  The fifth instalment, continues, with updates from June and July 2016.  The sixth instalment continues with updates from July 2016 to September 2016.  The seventh instalment of my BiOrbAir review, continues right here, in this review, where you can see updates from September 2016 onwards.

I hope that by breaking my BiOrbAir review into sections it will be easier for readers to digest and use, whether you’re considering planting up your own terrarium, or choosing suitable plants to create your own indoor garden.

BiOrbAir Terrarium maintenance

Irrigation

Naturally, I will regularly top up the base reservoir of my BiOrbAir with rain water as required.  The rain water in the base reservoir will be absorbed by the capillary matting.  The capillary matting fits onto the support tray, the support tray sits above the base reservoir.  The strips of capillary matting hang down into the base reservoir, where they make contact with the rainwater in the base reservoir below.  The rainwater is absorbed by the capillary matting, which in turn moistens the coir compost above.  The absorption of rain water through the capillary matting will keep the coir compost moist, and as a result, the ferns, and any terrarium plants, planted into the coir compost, will be watered automatically.  I hope the photographs below, which were taken when I first planted a BiOrbAir terrarium will demonstrate how everything fits together.

The BiOrbAir's capillary matting, shown here fitted to the support tray, which will in a moment be fitted inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, above the base water reservoir.
The BiOrbAir’s capillary matting, shown here fitted to the support tray, which will in a moment be fitted inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, above the base water reservoir.
Here you can see the BiOrbAir's green capillary matting in position, over the support tray, which in turn fits over the base reservoir. The rain water from the base reservoir is absorbed and taken up through the capillary matting, thereby moistening the coir compost above, a process known as capillary watering. The blue wrap is a protective covering, which is ideally left in place until the BiOrbAir is planted.
Here you can see the BiOrbAir’s green capillary matting in position, over the support tray, which in turn fits over the base reservoir. The rain water from the base reservoir is absorbed and taken up through the capillary matting, thereby moistening the coir compost above, a process known as capillary watering. The blue wrap is a protective covering, which is ideally left in place until the BiOrbAir is planted.

I will regularly top up the ultrasonic misting unit with Humidimist, a pure bottled water, low in electrolytes, available from Reef One, and included as part of the package when you purchase a BiOrbAir.  The Humidimist is the only type of water recommended for use in the ultrasonic misting unit of the BiOrbAir, and it is the only product I will use.

Fertiliser

Since September 2014, when I planted my BiOrbAir, apart from the feed I have given to the miniature orchids, which are mounted onto cork, (the orchids also receive extra misting) I haven’t added any other plant feed or fertiliser to the plants inside this terrarium.  I used the peat-free coir compost that came with my BiOrbAir for planting, I didn’t add any additional compost, fertiliser or growing media to the mix – I just used the BiOrbAir coir compost as it was, nothing extra was added.

I have used rainwater to fill my BiOrbAir’s base water reservoir – this rainwater, together with the capillary matting keeps the coir compost moist.  Naturally, I have only used the specially designed Humidimist to fill up the reservoir for the ultrasonic misting unit.  I have replaced the BiOrbAir terrarium carbon filter as required, following the recommendations on the BiOrbAir website.  I have documented any problems I have experienced, and any indoor gardening that I have carried out in my previous reviews.  I will continue to update this review in the same manner.

I mist my miniature orchids when I think they would benefit from some additional moisture, I don’t have a set pattern or set days to mist the orchids, though I try to mist the orchids a few times a week.

To feed my miniature orchids, I use Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom.  I purchased both of these fertilisers from the shop at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  I feed my orchids sparingly, following the instructions on the pack.  These miniature epiphytic orchids wouldn’t naturally receive an abundance of nutrients in their natural environment.  Over feeding can be detrimental to your plants, causing further problems.  These are the only fertilisers I have ever used inside this terrarium.

The method I use to mount my epiphytic orchids onto cork bark

When I first included miniature orchids in this terrarium, I chose to mount the miniature orchids onto the cork using fishing line to secure the orchids in place.  I was thinking purely aesthetically when I chose to use fishing line to secure the orchids – as it’s clear material, and so not as visible – I felt it wouldn’t detract from the beauty of the orchids.  I did have real concerns that the fishing line could act as a cheese wire, and slice into the roots of the orchids, but I went ahead and used it regardless – all of the orchids were mounted onto the cork bark and secured in place with the fishing line, which I cushioned to protect the plants by placing moss over each of the orchids’ roots.  When I added the first two Restrepias to this terrarium, again, I secured them in place using fishing line.

At the end of March 2016, during a visit to the The Botanic Gardens at Kew, I spoke to the orchid experts in the tropical nurseries, where I found out that Kew use strips cut from stockings to secure all of their epiphytic orchids.  Although I hadn’t noticed any problems from using the fishing line to secure my orchids so far, I immediately took the decision to remove the fishing line securing all of my epiphytic orchids.  Where necessary, I re-mounted my orchids, using small strips of material, cut from stockings, to secure the orchids in place.

For many years now, I have used stockings as ties for trees and other garden plants, with great success.  I hadn’t previously used stockings to secure my epiphytic orchids.  This was purely for aesthetic reasons – the strips of stockings, even when cut thinly, are very visible at first, and this does detract somewhat from the beauty of the orchids and the terrarium when viewed as a display.  However, I am certain that securing the orchids using soft, flexible strips of material cut from stockings is better for the orchids, and these plants are my priority.  When using this method – using strips of material cut from stockings, there isn’t any risk of slicing through any of the orchid roots, as there was when using the fishing line.

I removed all of the fishing line from this terrarium on the 9th April 2016.  All of the orchids were then secured in place using strips of material cut from stockings.  Since April 2016, any miniature orchids that I have added to my terrariums have been secured using strips cut from stockings.  I am very happy using this method, I will continue to use strips of material, cut from stockings, to secure and mount my orchids going forward.

As you can see in my photographs, the stocking material does age and colour over time – making the material blend into the background somewhat.  The mosses inside my terrarium have also managed to grow over the stocking material, which has softened and disguised their appearance a little.

BiOrbAir Terrarium Planting list

You can see the full planting list which includes of all the plants that I have trialled growing inside the BiOrbAir featured in this review here, where you’ll also find the full details of all the nurseries and garden centres I used to purchase the plants, ferns, miniature orchids, mosses, and cork for this terrarium.

Currently the following plants are growing inside this BiOrbAir terrarium:

  • Aerangis fastuosa*
  • Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ (PBR)
  • Barbosella australis
  • Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’
  • Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’
  • Ornithophora radicans
  • Polystichum tsussimense
  • Restrepia antennifera
  • Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’
  • Restrepia sanguinea
  • Restrepia seketii
  • Restrepia trichoglossa
  • Stelis muscifera

Of the plants growing inside this terrarium, the following plants were included in my original, first planting of this terrarium, back in September 2014.  After numerous changes and re-plantings, these ferns are still growing inside the terrarium today – two years later in September 2016:

  • Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ (PBR)
  • Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’
  • Polystichum tsussimense

* I received a question from a reader in January 2016, who asked if my Aerangis fastuosa, might in fact be an Aerangis fuscata – a rarer miniature orchid, which is also from Madagascar.  When the Aerangis fastuosa arrived in the post, I had a question mark in my mind as to whether I had been sent the orchid that I had requested when I placed my order.  I referred to a number of library books on orchids and searched online for photographs of different Aerangis cultivars.  Currently I cannot say with any certainty which variety of Aerangis I have received – I have shown photographs of this orchid to a number of orchid experts from around the world, so far no one has been able to identify the specimen.  The best and easiest way to identify this orchid will be if it flowers.  I will continue to refer to this orchid as Aerangis fastuosa for ease of reference – as that’s how I have always referred to this plant, but I do hope to make a definite identification, if and when, the orchid flowers.

Two year terrarium anniversary!

This BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old!  I first planted this terrarium on the 25th September 2014.  Here’s a photograph I took, after I planted up this terrarium for the first time:

My BiOrbAir terrarium pictured on the 25th September 2014.
My BiOrbAir terrarium pictured on the 25th September 2014.

Over the two years that I have had this BiOrbAir terrarium, I have created a number of different planting schemes.  Here are some of the planting schemes I have created so far:

The BiOrbAir on 9th November 2014. The terrarium is planted with a variety of plants, ferns and mosses.
The BiOrbAir on 9th November 2014. The terrarium is planted with a variety of plants, ferns and mosses.
My BiOrbAir, as pictured on the 18th January 2015.
My BiOrbAir, as pictured on the 18th January 2015.
My BiOrbAir on 29th August 2015.
My BiOrbAir on 29th August 2015.
My BiOrbAIR terrarium, as pictured on the 18th October 2015.
My BiOrbAIR terrarium, as pictured on the 18th October 2015.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 1st January 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 1st January 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia antennifera are all in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera are all in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, this photograph was taken on the 16th September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are in flower, and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' is in bud.
My BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, this photograph was taken on the 16th September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are in flower, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ is in bud.

Terrarium plants

I am thrilled to see a new leaf being produced by the Aerangis fastuosa. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
I am thrilled to see a new leaf being produced by the Aerangis fastuosa. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Stelis muscifera, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 16th September 2016.
Stelis muscifera, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 16th September 2016.
Stelis muscifera, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 16th September 2016.
Stelis muscifera, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 16th September 2016.
Barbosella australis, pictured inside the BiOrbAir on the 16th September 2016.
Barbosella australis, pictured inside the BiOrbAir on the 16th September 2016.
Ornithophora radicans, pictured inside my BiOrbAir on the 16th September 2016. This miniature orchid usually flowers at this time of year, I haven't spotted any flower buds or spikes as yet.
Ornithophora radicans, pictured inside my BiOrbAir on the 16th September 2016. This miniature orchid usually flowers at this time of year, I haven’t spotted any flower buds or spikes as yet.
Restrepia seketii, as pictured on the 17th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. You might be able to see a self seeded fern growing near this miniature orchid, I removed this seedling after I took this photograph.
Restrepia seketii, as pictured on the 17th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. You might be able to see a self seeded fern growing near this miniature orchid, I removed this seedling after I took this photograph.
Restrepia trichoglossa, as pictured on the 17th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia trichoglossa, as pictured on the 17th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia antennifera, as pictured on the 17th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia antennifera, as pictured on the 17th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

Terrarium ferns

Polystichum tsussimense, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 16th September 2016. This fern was included in my original planting of this terrarium on the 25th September 2014. In the two years since I originally planting this terrarium, I have divided this fern, and moved it many times. This Polystichum tsussimense has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
Polystichum tsussimense, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 16th September 2016. This fern was included in my original planting of this terrarium on the 25th September 2014. In the two years since I originally planting this terrarium, I have divided this fern, and moved it many times. This Polystichum tsussimense has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' pictured on the 16th September inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. I removed the yellow-brown decaying frond from this fern after I had finished taking my photographs.
Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ pictured on the 16th September inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. I removed the yellow-brown decaying frond from this fern after I had finished taking my photographs.
As you can see, the Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles' has thrived growing inside the BiOrbAir terrarium. The verdant green colour of this fern is very refreshing to look at, and the fern's fronds are beautifully lacy and intricate. This Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles' was planted near the edge of this terrarium and has grown up, mirroring the arch of the terrarium's globe. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
As you can see, the Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’ has thrived growing inside the BiOrbAir terrarium. The verdant green colour of this fern is very refreshing to look at, and the fern’s fronds are beautifully lacy and intricate. This Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’ was planted near the edge of this terrarium and has grown up, mirroring the arch of the terrarium’s globe. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, I have trialled growing many different plants inside this terrarium over the two year period. The Polystichum tsussimense, Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles', and Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' were all included in my original planting, these ferns are growing well two years later - they have thrived growing inside the BiOrbAir. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
This BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, I have trialled growing many different plants inside this terrarium over the two year period. The Polystichum tsussimense, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’, and Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ were all included in my original planting, these ferns are growing well two years later – they have thrived growing inside the BiOrbAir. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
Here you can see the Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles' mirroring the curve of the BiOrbAir's globe. On the left hand side of the picture you can see Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto'. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
Here you can see the Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’ mirroring the curve of the BiOrbAir’s globe. On the left hand side of the picture you can see Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.

Restrepia flowers

This Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' specimen is so floriferous; this miniature orchid has flowered continuously since the 8th February 2016. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
This Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen is so floriferous; this miniature orchid has flowered continuously since the 8th February 2016. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
This Restrepia sanguinea specimen has been flowering since the 10th June 2016, it currently has two open blooms. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Restrepia sanguinea specimen has been flowering since the 10th June 2016, it currently has two open blooms. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', pictured in bloom, on the 17th September 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured in bloom, on the 17th September 2016.
Restrepia sanguinea pictured flowering on the 17th September 2017.
Restrepia sanguinea pictured flowering on the 17th September 2017.
A Restrepia sanguinea inflorescence, as pictured on the 17th September 2016.
A Restrepia sanguinea inflorescence, as pictured on the 17th September 2016.
A Restrepia sanguinea inflorescence, as pictured on the 17th September 2016.
A Restrepia sanguinea inflorescence, as pictured on the 17th September 2016.
The flowers of Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' (on the left) and Restrepia sanguinea (on the right hand side). Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
The flowers of Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ (on the left) and Restrepia sanguinea (on the right hand side). Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
I've included a British five pence-piece in this photograph, to show you the size of the Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia sanguinea blooms. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
I’ve included a British five pence-piece in this photograph, to show you the size of the Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia sanguinea blooms. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
I've included a British five pence-piece in this photograph, to show you the size of the Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia sanguinea blooms. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
I’ve included a British five pence-piece in this photograph, to show you the size of the Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia sanguinea blooms. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.

Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flower buds and leaf damage

I removed this Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen from my BiOrbAir terrarium to examine the plant, as I noticed some damage on a couple of the leaves. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
I removed this Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen from my BiOrbAir terrarium to examine the plant, as I noticed some damage on a couple of the leaves. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
Here's a closer look at one leaf that has experienced some damage. You might just make out a flower spike behind. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
Here’s a closer look at one leaf that has experienced some damage. You might just make out a flower spike behind. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
A closer look at one of the damaged Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' leaves. I removed this leaf after taking this picture on the 17th September 2016.
A closer look at one of the damaged Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ leaves. I removed this leaf after taking this picture on the 17th September 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen has produced a number of flower spikes, these have yet to open. I wanted to show you how minuscule the flower spikes of this miniature orchid are, so I have included a British five pence-piece in this photograph. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen has produced a number of flower spikes, these have yet to open. I wanted to show you how minuscule the flower spikes of this miniature orchid are, so I have included a British five pence-piece in this photograph. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
Here's one of the Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' flower spikes. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
Here’s one of the Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flower spikes. Pictured on the 17th September 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen is in bud and will be flowering soon. Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' is a dear little orchid, it is an endearing plant to grow. I enjoy seeing this miniature orchid each day. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen is in bud and will be flowering soon. Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ is a dear little orchid, it is an endearing plant to grow. I enjoy seeing this miniature orchid each day. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Another Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' flower spike. Pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 16th September 2016.
Another Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flower spike. Pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 16th September 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen is in bud and will be flowering soon. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen is in bud and will be flowering soon. Pictured on the 16th September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

BiOrbAir terrarium

I love my BiOrbAir terrarium!  This specialised terrarium has enabled me to grow a wide variety of different plants over the two years that I have had this terrarium.  The room that this BiOrbAir terrarium resides in is very dark, without the LED lights, that are a feature of this terrarium, I would not have been able to grow any of these plants successfully.

My BiOrbAir terrarium is an attractive feature of the room it resides in, this terrarium adds an attractive light and warmth to the room.  The BiOrbAir brings the calming effect of nature indoors, where it would otherwise be unable to grow.

I am looking forward to watching the plants I have develop and flower inside this terrarium.  I am also looking forward to trialling other plants inside this super terrarium.  To see the full list of plants that I have already trialled inside this terrarium, please click here.

This BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, I have trialled growing many different plants inside this terrarium over the two year period. The Polystichum tsussimense, Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles', and Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' were all included in my original planting, these ferns are growing well two years later. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are currently flowering, and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' is in bud. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
This BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, I have trialled growing many different plants inside this terrarium over the two year period. The Polystichum tsussimense, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’, and Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ were all included in my original planting, these ferns are growing well two years later. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are currently flowering, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ is in bud. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
This BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, I have trialled growing many different plants inside this terrarium over the two year period. The Polystichum tsussimense, Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles', and Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' were all included in my original planting, these ferns are growing well two years later. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are currently flowering, and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' is in bud. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
This BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, I have trialled growing many different plants inside this terrarium over the two year period. The Polystichum tsussimense, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’, and Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ were all included in my original planting, these ferns are growing well two years later. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are currently flowering, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ is in bud. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are in flower, and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' is in bud. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are in flower, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ is in bud. Pictured on the 16th September 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, this photograph was taken on the 16th September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are in flower, and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' is in bud.
My BiOrbAir terrarium is now two years old, this photograph was taken on the 16th September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are in flower, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ is in bud.

28th September 2016

Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ in bloom

It’s wonderful to see the beautiful purple, glistening flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ opening inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.  I recently got around to removing this Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen from its cork bark, so that I could add a layer of moss over the cork and then add the miniature orchid back on top of the moss.  I then secured the orchid in place, with a strip of material cut from a stocking.

This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen has produced a number of flower spikes. Pictured on the 28th September 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen has produced a number of flower spikes. Pictured on the 28th September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' pictured in bloom, on the 28th September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ pictured in bloom, on the 28th September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' flowering on the 28th September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flowering on the 28th September 2016.
I included a British five-pence piece in this photograph, to help you get an idea of how diminutive this miniature orchid is. Pictured on the 28th September 2016.
I included a British five-pence piece in this photograph, to help you get an idea of how diminutive this miniature orchid is. Pictured on the 28th September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' in flower, as pictured on the 28th September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ in flower, as pictured on the 28th September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' flowers, pictured on the 28th September 2016. This miniature orchid has thrived inside my BiOrbAir terrarium since I introduced it to this terrarium in August 2015.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flowers, pictured on the 28th September 2016. This miniature orchid has thrived inside my BiOrbAir terrarium since I introduced it to this terrarium in August 2015.
I love Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', it is such a dear little miniature orchid. It's a very attractive plant, even when it isn't flowering, but it is a real joy to see its pretty purple flowers which have a shimmer to the petals when you look closely. This flower spike was pictured on the 28th September 2016.
I love Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, it is such a dear little miniature orchid. It’s a very attractive plant, even when it isn’t flowering, but it is a real joy to see its pretty purple flowers which have a shimmer to the petals when you look closely. This flower spike was pictured on the 28th September 2016.
I recently removed this Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen from the piece of cork I had secured it to, so that I could add an additional piece of moss under the plant's roots. I then secured the miniature orchid back into place on the cork bark. This flower spike was pictured on the 28th September 2016.
I recently removed this Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen from the piece of cork I had secured it to, so that I could add an additional piece of moss under the plant’s roots. I then secured the miniature orchid back into place on the cork bark. This flower spike was pictured on the 28th September 2016.
A closer look at one of the individual Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' flowers. Pictured on the 28th September 2016.
A closer look at one of the individual Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flowers. Pictured on the 28th September 2016.

2nd October 2016

Restrepia antennifera, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ are all flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium today.

Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’

Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 2nd October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 2nd October 2016.
A closer look at the pretty star-shaped blooms of Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. This miniature orchid is currently flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 2nd October 2016.
A closer look at the pretty star-shaped blooms of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. This miniature orchid is currently flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 2nd October 2016.
A closer look at the pretty star-shaped blooms of Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. This miniature orchid is currently flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 2nd October 2016.
A closer look at the pretty star-shaped blooms of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. This miniature orchid is currently flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 2nd October 2016.

Restrepia antennifera

This Restrepia antennifera flower opened a couple of days ago. I photographed the flower with a British five-pence piece, so you can clearly gauge the size of the bloom. Pictured on the 2nd October 2016.
This Restrepia antennifera flower opened a couple of days ago. I photographed the flower with a British five-pence piece, so you can clearly gauge the size of the bloom. Pictured on the 2nd October 2016.
This Restrepia antennifera flower opened a couple of days ago. I have photographed the flower with a British five-pence piece, so you can clearly gauge the size of the bloom. Pictured on the 2nd October 2016.
This Restrepia antennifera flower opened a couple of days ago. I have photographed the flower with a British five-pence piece, so you can clearly gauge the size of the bloom. Pictured on the 2nd October 2016.

Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’

Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 5th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 5th October 2016.

10th October 2016

My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' are in bloom, and Restrepia sanguinea is in bud.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ are in bloom, and Restrepia sanguinea is in bud.

Miniature orchids

Aerangis fastuosa

Aerangis fastuosa, as pictured on the 10th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Aerangis fastuosa, as pictured on the 10th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Aerangis fastuosa, as pictured on the 10th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Aerangis fastuosa, as pictured on the 10th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

Restrepia seketii

Restrepia seketii as pictured on the 10th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia seketii as pictured on the 10th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

Restrepia antennifera

Restrepia antennifera, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. The last bloom this miniature orchid produced faded on the 6th October 2016.
Restrepia antennifera, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. The last bloom this miniature orchid produced faded on the 6th October 2016.

Stelis muscifera

Stelis muscifera, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th October 2016.
Stelis muscifera, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th October 2016.
Stelis muscifera, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th October 2016.
Stelis muscifera, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th October 2016.

Restrepia trichoglossa

Restrepia trichoglossa, as pictured on the 10th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia trichoglossa, as pictured on the 10th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

Ornithophora radicans

Ornithophora radicans, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 10th October 2016. This miniature orchid usually flowers at this time of year, so it's disappointing not to see any flower buds as yet.
Ornithophora radicans, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 10th October 2016. This miniature orchid usually flowers at this time of year, so it’s disappointing not to see any flower buds as yet.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' are in bloom, and Restrepia sanguinea is in bud. The ferns inside this terrarium are growing well, particularly Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles', which has now grown to be quite a large specimen.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ are in bloom, and Restrepia sanguinea is in bud. The ferns inside this terrarium are growing well, particularly Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’, which has now grown to be quite a large specimen.
Another view of my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 10th October 2016.
Another view of my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 10th October 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. Inside this terrarium, the ferns are growing well. Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles' has grown to quite a height, as you can see in this photograph.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. Inside this terrarium, the ferns are growing well. Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’ has grown to quite a height, as you can see in this photograph.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' are in bloom, and Restrepia sanguinea is in bud.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th October 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ are in bloom, and Restrepia sanguinea is in bud.

16th October 2016

Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flowers

I love Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', this is such a dear little orchid. This 'Stalky' specimen came into bloom again last month, since then I have been so enjoying seeing this miniature orchid's star shaped flowers which, if you look closely, sparkle! As you can see, although currently this miniature orchid has a lot of open flowers, the plant has also produced a lot of flower buds at various stages of development, which are still to open, so this orchid's flowering display should last a little while yet.
I love Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, this is such a dear little orchid. This ‘Stalky’ specimen came into bloom again last month, since then I have been so enjoying seeing this miniature orchid’s star shaped flowers which, if you look closely, sparkle! As you can see, although currently this miniature orchid has a lot of open flowers, the plant has also produced a lot of flower buds at various stages of development, which are still to open, so this orchid’s flowering display should last a little while yet.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' pictured in bloom on the 16th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ pictured in bloom on the 16th October 2016.
A closer look at one of the Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' flowers. Note the immature buds. Pictured on the 16th October 2016.
A closer look at one of the Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flowers. Note the immature buds. Pictured on the 16th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', pictured in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 16th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, pictured in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 16th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', pictured in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 16th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, pictured in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 16th October 2016.

Restrepia antennifera keiki

This Restrepia antennifera specimen has produced a keiki. Pictured on the 16th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Restrepia antennifera specimen has produced a keiki. Pictured on the 16th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

The Restrepia antennifera specimen growing inside this BiOrbAir terrarium has produced a a new baby plant, or keiki.  Keiki is an Hawaiian word for a baby or young child.  This new plant was produced asexually, and is a genetic clone of its mother plant.  Keikis grow very rapidly while they are attached to their mother plant, as the growing plants receive all the nutrients they require to grow, from their fully established mother plant.  I notice this keiki’s rapid growth and development each day – keikis are fun to watch growing!

As you might notice in the photograph above, it looks as if a snail or an insect has visited this new keiki and tasted it.  The damage to the keiki is insignificant, but I will look out for snails, slugs and any other insects that might be residing inside this terrarium.  Any I find I will relocate to a new home outside.

23rd October 2016

This Restrepia antennifera keiki has grown larger in size, and its produced some lovely new roots since my last update, pictured here on the 23rd October 2016.
This Restrepia antennifera keiki has grown larger in size, and its produced some lovely new roots since my last update, pictured here on the 23rd October 2016.
A closer look at the older Restrepia antennifera keiki's roots. Pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 23rd October 2016.
A closer look at the older Restrepia antennifera keiki’s roots. Pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 23rd October 2016.

Another Restrepia antennifera keiki!

Today I noticed that this Restrepia antennifera specimen is currently producing another, second keiki!

Today I noticed that this Restrepia antennifera specimen has produced a second, smaller keiki! Pictured on the 23rd October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Today I noticed that this Restrepia antennifera specimen has produced a second, smaller keiki! Pictured on the 23rd October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flowers

I am so enjoying seeing the beautiful, tiny, purple, star-shaped flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ blooming inside this BiOrbAir terrarium.

I have another, smaller Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ that’s blooming as I write, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

The Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen that you see in the photographs below is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, this is my largest specimen of this cultivar.  This plant has a large number of flowering sprays, featuring flowers at all stages of development – from the tiniest of buds, to a couple of flowers which are now past their best, and at every stage in between.

This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured here on the 23rd October 2016. This diminutive miniature orchid has a large number of open blooms, as well as a large number of buds which are still to open.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured here on the 23rd October 2016. This diminutive miniature orchid has a large number of open blooms, as well as a large number of buds which are still to open.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. This specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. This specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. This specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. This specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. This specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. This specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. This specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. This specimen is flowering inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016.

Restrepia sanguinea flowers

This Restrepia sanguinea specimen has been flowering continuously since June 2016.

Restrepia sanguinea, in bloom inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 23rd October 2016.
Restrepia sanguinea, in bloom inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 23rd October 2016.

Restrepia sanguinea keiki

Today, I noticed that this Restrepia sanguinea specimen has produced another keiki.  The first keiki that this plant produced, was mounted onto cork bark, on the 10th June 2016.  I gave the first Restrepia sanguinea keiki to a friend, it has now flowered and is growing well.

A new Restrepia sanguinea keiki. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
A new Restrepia sanguinea keiki. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
A new Restrepia sanguinea keiki. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. This is the second keiki that this Restrepia has produced since it has been in my care. I gave the first keiki to one of my friends.
A new Restrepia sanguinea keiki. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. This is the second keiki that this Restrepia has produced since it has been in my care. I gave the first keiki to one of my friends.
A new Restrepia sanguinea keiki. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
A new Restrepia sanguinea keiki. Pictured on the 23rd October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ flowers

This Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen has been flowering continuously since early February 2016.

Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' in bloom inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 23rd October 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in bloom inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 23rd October 2016.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' in bloom inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 23rd October 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in bloom inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 23rd October 2016.

27th October 2016

An abundance of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ blooms

This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen has produced 13 flowering spikes. This miniature orchid currently has open flowers, and flower buds at every stage of development, from the teeny, tiniest of flower buds, through to flowers that are fading, and every stage in between. Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' is pictured on the 27th October 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen has produced 13 flowering spikes. This miniature orchid currently has open flowers, and flower buds at every stage of development, from the teeny, tiniest of flower buds, through to flowers that are fading, and every stage in between. Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ is pictured on the 27th October 2016.
I so enjoy growing Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. This really is a dear little miniature orchid, its star shaped flowers always spark so much joy in my heart, they are like little heart warming jesters. Pictured on the 27th October 2016.
I so enjoy growing Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. This really is a dear little miniature orchid, its star shaped flowers always spark so much joy in my heart, they are like little heart warming jesters. Pictured on the 27th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', as pictured on the 27th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, as pictured on the 27th October 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', as pictured on the 27th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, as pictured on the 27th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', as pictured on the 27th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, as pictured on the 27th October 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen is currently in bloom, it features an abundance of pretty, purple, star-shaped blooms that have a crystalline quality and sparkle in the light. Pictured on the 27th October 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen is currently in bloom, it features an abundance of pretty, purple, star-shaped blooms that have a crystalline quality and sparkle in the light. Pictured on the 27th October 2016.

3rd November 2016

More Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flowers

I so appreciate this beautiful Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen.  This is the larger of my two plants, it’s currently looking at its best, having produced an abundance of blooms.  Currently this miniature orchid has thirteen flowering stems in bloom.  As you can see in my photographs, there are quite a number of buds still to open.

This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen is the larger of the two that I have, this plant is adorned with flowers, it's a pure delight! Pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen is the larger of the two that I have, this plant is adorned with flowers, it’s a pure delight! Pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' specimen has produced an abundance of tiny, star-shaped, glistening purple flowers, it's a real delight. Pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen has produced an abundance of tiny, star-shaped, glistening purple flowers, it’s a real delight. Pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
The tiny blooms of Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
The tiny blooms of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
A closer look at the tiny blooms of Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. Pictured on the 3rd November 2016.
A closer look at the tiny blooms of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. Pictured on the 3rd November 2016.

More Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ flowers

I am still not sure that there’s any difference between Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia purpurea, but I continue to list this orchid with its longer name.  Certainly, I am absolutely thrilled with this Restrepia purpurea specimen that I purchased from Burnham Nurseries in January 2016.

Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd November 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd November 2016.
This Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' specimen is very floriferous, this specimen has been flowering almost continually, since the 8th February 2016. This flower is pictured on the 3rd February 2016.
This Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen is very floriferous, this specimen has been flowering almost continually, since the 8th February 2016. This flower is pictured on the 3rd February 2016.

To continue reading the next part of this review, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you……………

To see a planting list of miniature orchids suitable for growing inside terrariums, please click here.

To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid Trial – Growing Miniature Orchids inside the BiOrbAir, please click here.

To read about the special features and design of the BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.

For a planting list of a wide range of terrarium plants, please click here.

To read about using decorative features inside terrariums, please click here.

To read about the RHS London Orchid Show 2016, please click here.

To see a planting list for the terrarium featured in this review, complete with the full information of all the places I have purchased plants, miniature orchids, mosses, cork etc for this terrarium, please click here.

To visit the BiOrbAir website, please click here.

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