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Thread: This one will never win a beauty contest .......

  1. #1
    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    This one will never win a beauty contest .......


    Orchids, by and large, are coveted by many for their exotic beauty. However, not all are so graced. Not exactly a “pretty face” – many folks find the flowers of Coryanthes to be rather grotesque or even obscene in appearance. Still, I find members of this genus to be fascinating in design and complexity.

    For those unfamiliar with this genus, the following information may be of interest, whilst there rest of you can just skip ahead to the photos…

    Members of this genus are commonly referred to as “bucket” orchids due to their deep, bucket-shaped lips/labella. Each flower comes equipped with a pair of “faucets” which drip liquid into the bucket. While this may sound like a prelude to life of carnivory, it instead plays a role in the plant’s reproductive strategy.

    Coryanthes are pollinated by euglossine bees – typically a single species of bee for each species of Coryanthes. Only the males visit and hence pollinate the flowers. The flowers offer neither food nor nectar. Instead, the flowers produce aromatic oils/compounds which the males gather and mix with other harvested fragrances to create a pheromone attractive to the females of their species.

    When a male lands on the flower, he begins to gather the waxy oils with specialized hairs on his legs. As he is busily working away, he may slip and fall into the bucket. The liquid in the bucket gets his wings wet and thus prevents him from flying out. Furthermore, most of the bucket is lined with slippery downward pointing hairs preventing his climbing out. (Sounds like many of the pitcher plants, no?) There is one path he can take, however. It is “paved” with small knobs he can get a foothold upon and leads out through the spout at the back of the bucket. As he passes through the spout and passes the column wherein the pollinia are located, the pollinia are deposited onto his thorax. The passageway then constricts holding him immobile until the glue binding the pollinia to him has set. Once the glue has set, he is released … hopefully to visit and pollinate another flower.

    The flower bud developed fairly quickly … for an orchid … particularly near the end.



    The bud looking like something out of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” or some kind of weird “man in the moon” face. Those are droplets produced by the plant along the bottom right edge of the bud.



    It swelled over the course of a couple of days to about 3in tall.



    First day open. Faintly fragrant. Hopefully will grow stronger over the next couple of days. Difficult to ID just what the fragrance is like.



    A peek down into the bucket.



    The “leaky” faucet



    View of the backside of the hypochile & pedicel



    The spout through which the bee would exit.



    For those who can find beauty in such a flower, one must take the time to enjoy them while one can. For, unfortunately, like most if not all members of the Stanhopea alliance, the flowers are short-lived – typically only 4 or 5 days.



    "Blessed are the cracked….
    For they are the ones who let in the light."



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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Nice, very nice! Coryanthes are the one group in the Stanhopea/Catasetum alliance I haven't tried yet. That definitely needs to change!
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    One of my favorite genera. I haven't gotten ahold of one either. Might have a lead at ABG though.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theplantman View Post
    One of my favorite genera. I haven't gotten ahold of one either. Might have a lead at ABG though.
    I've seen them for sale a few times, and always on the pricey side. If possible I'd like to trade for one, but I expect one will be coming my way before it gets too cold to ship regardless,!
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    Great information and pictures. Thank you for sharing this.
    I do find them attractive to look at.
    It's a tough life being a Sarracenia farmer
    My Grow List http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123776

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    Definitely one of the odder groups of plants within a group of many odd plants. The series of cohesive evolutionary steps involved with pollination between the bees and flowers is one of the more mind blowing adaptations I can think of. There are so many facets to the relationships between them it's incredible. There are some great videos out there showing the entire pollination process in minute detail. Truly amazing stuff.

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    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubRosa View Post
    I've seen them for sale a few times, and always on the pricey side. If possible I'd like to trade for one, but I expect one will be coming my way before it gets too cold to ship regardless,!
    I was fortunate ... it didn't cost me anything. A guy I know from orchid shows knew that I have been longing to give one of these a go for some time now. He also knew that my current financial situation limits me from doing anything but occasional trades. At a recent show -- for which his society was the host, only four people from his os stayed to clean up and put the place back the way they found it. Two of those were in their late 70s. So I stayed and helped them out. As a thank you, he gave me the plant.
    "Blessed are the cracked….
    For they are the ones who let in the light."



  8. #8
    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsEye View Post
    I was fortunate ... it didn't cost me anything. A guy I know from orchid shows knew that I have been longing to give one of these a go for some time now. He also knew that my current financial situation limits me from doing anything but occasional trades. At a recent show -- for which his society was the host, only four people from his os stayed to clean up and put the place back the way they found it. Two of those were in their late 70s. So I stayed and helped them out. As a thank you, he gave me the plant.
    Good karma all around!
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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