My friend, Gary Firth kindly gave me this Phalaenopsis pulchra plant, for my National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis Species, exactly two years and eight months ago. I must say, it’s always a huge relief when I don’t immediately kill a plant that a friend has given me! Consequently, I’m celebrating the fact that this orchid remains alive and well and I am delighted to be able to share my photographs of this Phalaenopsis pulchra specimen’s first flowering with you.
This is Aerangis citrata, a miniature orchid species, that’s endemic to Madagascar.Aerangis citrata naming
The genus ‘Aerangis’ gets its name from the Greek words aer (air) and angos (vessel or container), as plants grow in the air (epiphytically) using aerial roots, and the flowers each feature a nectar filled spur. The second part of the name, (the specific epithet) ‘citrata’, refers to this orchid’s flowers, which are sometimes pale lemon in colour, when they first open.
Last year, I discovered Crematogaster scutellaris ants on the cork I purchased for my new Tall Orchidarium. Crematogaster scutellaris ants are known as acrobat ants, but these ants are found in many different countries, so they’re bound to have many other common names, too. With their distinctive amber coloured heads and pointed abdomens, these ants are easy to identify.
I’m currently in the process of setting up a new terrarium, which is very exciting! Don’t worry, I’ll take you on a tour of my new Tall Orchidarium in due course. However, today I wanted to tell you about something unexpected that happened to me, while I was gathering together the materials for this new enclosure.
It may surprise you to know that in the garden, as well as on the catwalk, fashions change and evolve, often quicker than we expect. A plant that’s regarded as a ‘must have’ plant one minute, can soon be taken for granted and neglected, before being cast aside to make way for the latest modern plant introductions, when the superseded ‘must have’ plant is then at risk of being forgotten, often within a shorter time period than you might anticipate.
When I was a child, it was my aim that by the time I became an adult I would have saved up sufficient funds to purchase, and forever after protect a beautiful woodland or forest, and at least one meadow! I haven’t succeeded in my aim – I sadly have been unable to protect any of our woodlands, forests, or meadows, but I still feel just as passionately about plant conservation.