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? About species

Posted by poolia 6 (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 23:51

Being a novice in the orchid culture i have a question about species. I find that in so many sites and nurseries the plants are divided by groups or alliances but then they also list a group named "species". Coming from the carnivorous plants world where plants belong to families and genera i find this very confusing. Please explain.

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RE: ? About species

  • Posted by arthurm Sydney, NSW AUST (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 3:35

"Orchids" is a branch of horticulture with perhaps obsessive record keeping. The are about 180,000 recorded Orchid Hybrids recorded on the register of Hybrids kept at Kew in England.
Kew also keeps a checklist of selected plant families where orchid species names are kept.
Haven't people done any fiddling in the carnivorous plant world by crossing species A with species B to produce hybrids?
You said in another post that you had joined an orchid society. If they have a benching of orchids, you will find that the benching is split up into categories depending on where the society is, what the members grow and the type of orchid society.
There are orchid societies where the only type of orchid shown are species. Specialist orchid societies where only one Genera are displayed eg. Cymbidium Orchid Societies; Australian Native Orchid Societies and so on. Most are general orchid societies where you can exhibit any type of orchid.
Have a look at the Newsletter from your orchid society to see how the show benching at monthly meetings is split up.

RE: ? About species

According to the AKC, when you cross any breed of dogs with any other breed you get a mutt. All hybrid dogs are called mutts. Recently an organization which recognizes mixes has emerged, for example a cross between a Lab and a Poodle is called a Labradoddle. In the orchid world it was decided centuries ago that any cross between any orchid deserved naming a new branch of the family tree and the result is the unbelievable plethora of hybrids.

I go to species groups where only species are discussed and I continue with my original or 'Home' society which is a general interest orchid society. Newbies usually start with a general society and after a few years some move on to species group if this appeals to them. I do both, people who strictly limit themselves to species are sometimes called 'Species Snobs' especially if they wear their belief on their sleeve.

Then there are societies which limit themselves to one genus eg Cymbidiums, Pleurothallis, Odontoglossum, Bulbophyllums etc where both species and hybrids are welcome as long as they belong to the genus. My interest evolved from General where all orchids were welcome and bought to Australian Dedrobiums, then the cloud forest plants such as Dracula, Pleuros etc. and in the last few years moved on to Cypripediums and lastly Parvosepalum and Brachypetalum Paphs which hold my current interest.

I no longer buy Catt hybrids or Oncidium intergenerics but thoroughly enjoy the flowers of the ones I bought years ago. I have gotten rid of a bunch of Cymbidiums I bought in the very beginning as they got too big, taking up too much space and were no longer appreciated. I have a bunch of Dend speciosums which are also getting big but I find their flowers to attractive to limit them, the Cymbidiums are the only group I eliminated. I only kept 5 of my favorite ones.

I think pursuit of species is more interesting but their hybrids are definitely welcome. Where it becomes a push is a group like the Catt hybrids for example, where there are so many and new ones are continuously being added. Nothing wrong with enjoying their beautiful flowers. I have a whole bunch I purchased years ago but would never get rid of them as their flowers have a lasting beauty.

In the end, the purpose of the hobby is the pursuit of pleasure and happiness and whatever produces that will work.


RE: ? About species

Thanks for clarifying. So species are still species. Lol. And yes there is hybridizing in the carn plant world. Maybe i'm just used to it because i'm very familiar with that order of plants

RE: ? About species

I like both species and hybrids. An additional consideration by owning species in a small way but sometimes big is the conservation component. I have a species tolumnia bahamense. A local endangered species. It has been given to me a long time ago by a person that collected it before it was considered endangered. In time it is possible that the species in a collection can become rare and endangered and be meaningful in potential restoration.

RE: ? About species

Plants are divided up into Family, Order, Tribe, Genera, and Species. Orchids are quite possibly the largest family of flowering plants on earth, although their numbers are based on estimations. The estimations are about 25,000 species where current researched lists can only come up with 11,000. They are divided into tribes or "alliances" and even subtribes and then into genus and species. Some orchid species will cross breed with other species of another genus within a tribe and some cannot. Those that breed within a tribe are called intergeneric hybrids and are commonly associated with the Oncidiinae and Laeliinae tribe. Other common genera of orchids such as phalaenopsis and cymbidiums are only hybridized within their genus.

Matt Swift

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