Sunday, March 21, 2010

Phal 'Ember'-- First Bloom

I present phal 'Ember'-- a smaller rich purple flower with a wax-like petal that is common among orchids that retain their blooms for extended periods of time-- anywhere from a month to several (even up to six!). Ember is an interesting plant not only because of its beautiful flower but because of the interesting floppy leaves it develops over time. The leaves start off as small, shiny/waxed leaves from the center and elongate to this impressive pale-green leaf that colors to a reddish purple colors near the tips. By itself, its quite impressive. This plant was bought from Logee's Greenhouse in Connecticut. A word about these guys-- impressive selection and excellent customer service. I cannot say enough about how awesome these guys are. Anyway, this plant began its spike in September 2009. If you're looking for a fast-growing, fast-flowering plant, this is not it. The spike is short, not long and arching like many phals are. I believe this is simply because of its lineage, of which I'm not sure, but the plant in general looks decidedly different from most other orchids and seems to relate in terms of leaf shape and look to those of violecea coerulea family-- these are found in hot and very tropical environments prone to a lot of rain-- hence the waxy look and feel of the plant.

Anyway, the spike is in fact short but full of blooms and is exhibiting several branches. None are growing much like the main spike but its likely they will continue on after the main spike subsides or stops growing. Again, this plant spiked in September 2009 and it bloomed on the first day of Spring! March 20 2010!

Without further delay... the bloom of phal 'Ember'-- a rich purple with an intense yet mouth-watering scent exhibited only in the morning (and if you're lucky, at sunset!).

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