Cypripedium farreri -2017

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Steve G

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Cypripedium farreri -first two images are of two different plants. The flowers last between two to three weeks depending on temperature. The third image is of the senescent flower (after 16 days) of the first plant; sadly this stage only lasts 3 days before the flower wilts.
Altogether a bonny wee thing.

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Steve G

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Thanks.
To answer Abax, unfortunately there are no cypripedium native to Scotland.
Cypripedium farreri is a range-restricted montane species found in South-west China (Northern Yunnan, North-west Sichuan and southern Gansu).

I currently have three adult and four seedling farreri. The adults were bought from a German vendor but came originally from the late Holger Perner. The seedlings were bought from Jan Moors of Albiflora (Belgium) two years ago as de-flasked seedlings; I have had 100% survival. I believe that Jan still has some seedlings for sale.

Perhaps it is just beginner's luck but I have not found farreri to be too demanding. My adult plants are grown in pots (both clay and plastic) in a mix 1:1:1 of perlite/pumice(3-8mm)/cat litter with NO added organics. The cat litter is a proprietary brand which is made from baked moler clay granules -these granules are hard, about 5mm in diameter and are highly absorbent. The rooting mix is very free-draining but quite moisture retentive and with a high air-filled porosity: this drastically reduces the risk of root/rhizome rot. The pots sit in a sand-filled plunge bed which is kept permanently moist. This is a raised bed which has a polycarbonate roof shaded with Aluminet and netted sides for ventilation. I water with rainwater and feed about every 10 days with Akernes Rain mix (based loosely on the Michigan State University fertiliser). I also water twice per year with a proprietary trace elements mix at half-strength. The seedlings grow in a polystyrene box -the substrate being very coarse-grade silica sand with some chopped living sphagnum moss. The polystyrene box has drainage holes about 2cm above the inner base so there is always a "moisture reservoir" which helps prevent the substrate from drying out. The damp sand-sphagnum mix facilitates evaporative cooling and keeps a buoyant humidity.

I find farreri to be easier to grow than some of the macranthum group or the Chinese spot-leaved species such as fargesii, sichuanense or lichiangense.
 

Linus_Cello

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Thanks.
To answer Abax, unfortunately there are no cypripedium native to Scotland.
Cypripedium farreri is a range-restricted montane species found in South-west China (Northern Yunnan, North-west Sichuan and southern Gansu).

I currently have three adult and four seedling farreri. The adults were bought from a German vendor but came originally from the late Holger Perner. The seedlings were bought from Jan Moors of Albiflora (Belgium) two years ago as de-flasked seedlings; I have had 100% survival. I believe that Jan still has some seedlings for sale.

Perhaps it is just beginner's luck but I have not found farreri to be too demanding. My adult plants are grown in pots (both clay and plastic) in a mix 1:1:1 of perlite/pumice(3-8mm)/cat litter with NO added organics. The cat litter is a proprietary brand which is made from baked moler clay granules -these granules are hard, about 5mm in diameter and are highly absorbent. The rooting mix is very free-draining but quite moisture retentive and with a high air-filled porosity: this drastically reduces the risk of root/rhizome rot. The pots sit in a sand-filled plunge bed which is kept permanently moist. This is a raised bed which has a polycarbonate roof shaded with Aluminet and netted sides for ventilation. I water with rainwater and feed about every 10 days with Akernes Rain mix (based loosely on the Michigan State University fertiliser). I also water twice per year with a proprietary trace elements mix at half-strength. The seedlings grow in a polystyrene box -the substrate being very coarse-grade silica sand with some chopped living sphagnum moss. The polystyrene box has drainage holes about 2cm above the inner base so there is always a "moisture reservoir" which helps prevent the substrate from drying out. The damp sand-sphagnum mix facilitates evaporative cooling and keeps a buoyant humidity.

I find farreri to be easier to grow than some of the macranthum group or the Chinese spot-leaved species such as fargesii, sichuanense or lichiangense.

Thanks. Can you post a pick of the polystyrene box contraption?
 

Steve G

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Thanks. Can you post a pick of the polystyrene box contraption?

These boxes are normally used to transport frozen fish from fish markets.
The boxes are waterproof and require drainage holes. The position of the drainage holes dictates the size of the "water reservoir" in the base of the box. I also include a pipe or plastic pot which allows the water reservoir to be replenished without wetting the surface layer of the substrate. The 2 year post-deflasked seedlings are clearly visible.

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Linus_Cello

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These boxes are normally used to transport frozen fish from fish markets.
The boxes are waterproof and require drainage holes. The position of the drainage holes dictates the size of the "water reservoir" in the base of the box. I also include a pipe or plastic pot which allows the water reservoir to be replenished without wetting the surface layer of the substrate. The 2 year post-deflasked seedlings are clearly visible.

35392859286_eac84aa2bd_o_d.jpg

Thanks for posting. Another version of s/h (someone I think used plastic bins). What do you do in the winter? Or is it mild and hard freezes are rare so you leave it outside all year round?
 

Steve G

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Thanks for posting. Another version of s/h (someone I think used plastic bins). What do you do in the winter? Or is it mild and hard freezes are rare so you leave it outside all year round?

Our Winters are problematic. Latitude is a wee tad north that of Moscow, about the same as the south of Hudson Bay, though the Gulf Stream has a very strong influence. In most winters temperatures are above freezing for most of the time and snow cover is rare (I live on the coast) but every so often we get very cold spells. Cool damp wet winters are anathema to Cyps.

I leave the polystyrene boxes out until the first frost then stack them in a cold but frost-free garage. The first Cyps to break cover here usually show their noses in late March.
 

fundulopanchax

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Thank you for the description of your growth conditions. I too have several of Holger's farreri which he brought to the US in 2015. Yours look quite wonderful!

I would also appreciate an image of your growing setup, although your description was detailed enough that I have a mental image already.
 

Steve G

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Here are some images of my setup as requested.

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Essentially a wire mesh critter-proof enclosure with a clear polycarbonate roof shaded by aluminet containing an 8ftx4ft "coffin" filled with damp sand in which the cyp pots are plunged. There is a micro-drip system to keep the sand moist and a thermostatically controlled sand plunge heating element which kicks in when the temperature drops below 0ºC. I recently added a couple of small fans to increase air movement and reduce the risk of fungal infection.
The aluminium frames to the right are for growing pleione.
 

Linus_Cello

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Thanks for posting a pic of your setup.
Do you have a lot of light which is why you use the shade cloth?
And what is the plant in the top right corner with patterned leaves; trillium?
 

Steve G

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Thanks for posting a pic of your setup.
Do you have a lot of light which is why you use the shade cloth?
And what is the plant in the top right corner with patterned leaves; trillium?

We get a lot of heavy summer rain with frequent strong winds here which tends to flatten delicate herbaceous perennials in the open -hence the need for a transparent roof (whilst the fine netting on the sides reduces wind flow dramatically). Polycarbonate, like glass can create scorching of plants in direct sunlight and sun-damage was a real problem with many Chinese Cyps before I introduced the shading. The Trigonipedia group of Cyps were particularly susceptible and I found that the scorched leaves quickly died back to the rhizome. At this latitude in mid summer we have almost 19 hours of light which helps compensate for the shading however I find that many of my Cyps don't like the heavy shading of the above set-up (some forms of tibeticum, reginae, calceolus, guttatum, kentuckiense, flavum, plectrochilon, candida) and so these are grown elsewhere.

The plant with the patterned leaves is a Trillium relative: Paris luquanensis. It is a good companion plant for cypripedium but can be just as awkward to grow.
Here is an image:

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