Far East Sister Cyps (mini-book)

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KyushuCalanthe

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Two species very closely related, but considered by most taxonomists to be distinct, are C. japonicum and C. formosanum (sometimes referred to as a variety of C. japonicum). They are different in regard to stature, flower color and shape, and importantly, ease of culture. The following are plants I've been growing over the past 5-7 years.

C. formosanum is found only in the higher elevations of Taiwan's north central mountains where it is has become very rare due to collecting pressure. Thankfully, it is a pretty easy species and a natural clumper. This group is in fact one plant that I started with 5 seasons ago as a single, unflowered division. This spring it has 10 growths and 9 flowers. The flowers have a pink base color throughout with darker purple-pink spots and mottling - these form striations within the lip orifice and are more concentrated at the bases of the petals and dorsal sepal. The petals are quite broad and the lip has an inflated, puffy look. The staminode is a deep reddish-purple color. Pure white forms exist and are as rare as hen's teeth. The plant itself is a bit smaller than C. japonicum and the main stem is far less pubescent.

CypFormosanumSDSM.jpg


Here is a pot of the same species that I've grown for 7 years. As you can see, the plants are healthy, but mostly not flowering. There are perhaps 4 separate plants in the pot. So, why is it doing poorly? Simple - hot roots in summer. More about that later.

CypFormosanumPot.jpg


C. japoncium is a far ranging species found over a large area in central China, the Korean Peninsula, and throughout the mainland islands of Japan. It is absent from Taiwan however. Still fairly common in parts of its range, but becoming increasingly rare from collecting. This species in particular has been difficult to grow from seed, so virtually all plants being grown are either wild collected or divisions of wild plants. The lip has an overall pink base color, but usually not as rich pink as C. formosanum, and is suffused with purple-red striations and blotches particularly around the lip orifice which is front facing (as in C. formosanum and C. acaule). Chinese specimens tend to have more of this purple-red color than Japanese plants. The lip shape is a bit more elongate and has prominant "horns" around its orifice. The sepals and petals have a pleasant light apple green color with a few purple speckles at their bases as well as light green hair. Alba forms do exist and are exquisite as well as expensive. A flowering size division will set you back $500-$1000 per even here in Japan. The plant itself is more robust than C. formosanum and the main stem is much more pubescent.

These plants have been growing for three years now. They tend to not do to well one year after transplanting, then pick up steam the second season and start to rock the third season and on. This year there are 24 stems in all from 3 separate batches I've grown. There were 10 buds; 3 were taken before opening because they were new plants, 1 bud aborted, 6 flowered. Next year there should be a larger crop.

CypJaponicumFLS.jpg


This bed was made 4 years ago on the edge of a woodland (that's why everything is pointed in one direction). The plants are growing in a mix of native soil (a sticky volcanic loam), kanuma, and composted wood and leaves. Over this is a 1 cm thick layer of pumice to prevent leaf rot when the monsoon rains come in June. Both species like a rich compost with a good amount of organics and must not dry out, in particular C. japonicum hates dry roots.

CypJaponForm.jpg


Luckily both do not require a long, cold winter to vernalize well. All that is needed is 3 months below 10 C (50F). Likewise, though they don't like it, both can withstand very hot temperatures in summer. Last summer was the hottest on record for my area with an AVERAGE temperature of 30.4 C (86.7 F) for the month of August and you can see these just sailed through without a hiccup! One thing - like all Cyps they do not like hot roots and so in warm climates growing them in pots is a bad idea. That's why the pot grown C. formosanum are growing much slower than the ground based ones (yes, I'll move them into the ground this year).

The most important difference between the too (other than looks) is ease of culture. Hands down, C. formosanum is easier and can even take a fair amount of abuse before dying outright. C. japonicum is the bigger, spoiled sister to be sure. Important to note is that C. formosanum appears to be less cold hardy which isn't surprising given its home on the very edge of the tropics (albeit at high altitude). If grown in a greenhouse it can stay green from late February through early December. C. japonicum grows well up into Hokkaido where winters are far more severe, but it too can stay green from April to mid November. In general C. formosanum is a good USDA zone 6-8 plant while C. japonicum will grow from zone 5-8 well. Probably zone 7 is best for both species though, at least in the eastern USA.

Anyway, that's quite enough. If you've made it this far, I thank you for your patience. More Cyps coming on now, so I'll post a separate thread about those later once they all flower.
 

yijiawang

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Hello Tom, I very happy to see these beautiful rare species grow well in your garden!!! I think you are the first one who grow these species in Zone 8 successfully. Next step, maybe you try albino?
 

Hakone

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Hello Tom,

thank you very much for the info and photos.
 

tocarmar

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Tom very nice reading!!! I love the pics!! I grow mine in pots, this year I am going to build a bed under some pine trees to put in some acid lovers.. I bury the pots to help when it gets real hot in the summers it gets up in the 90-100here usually for short time.. I have a north facing bed that gets only morning sun & they seem to do very well there..
 

s1214215

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Nice Tom

Hope the seed you sent me of the formosanum germinates.. I think I can actually get that one to grow in Australia without cooling, but will have to see.

Good growing

Brett
 
D

Dido

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Thanks Tom for your comments and pict.

Did you try to Hybrid japonicum to other kinds?
 

KyushuCalanthe

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Thanks Tom for your comments and pict.

Did you try to Hybrid japonicum to other kinds?

No, I didn't. I did try to cross formosanum with Aki and fasciolatum though. We'll see if they produce seed. I think japonicum is going to be an "ugly ducking" parent. Kind of like plechtrochilum - not a good plant for hybrids but wonderful in and of itself.
 
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Dido

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No, I didn't. I did try to cross formosanum with Aki and fasciolatum though. We'll see if they produce seed. I think japonicum is going to be an "ugly ducking" parent. Kind of like plechtrochilum - not a good plant for hybrids but wonderful in and of itself.

Did you see hybrids with japonicum or plectrochilum before.

I only have seen hybrids with formosanum and the hybrid with fasciolatum looks really great. Or the picture i have seen with Acaule.

Till now I have this year the first japonicum who flowered will flower the second time for me, so maybe I will try to do a hybrid with it.

plectrochilum ones till now never started germinate in different labs, when corssed. So till now no success.
The same with pure plectrocilums.

This is the only picture I know

http://www.w-frosch.de/Cypris/Hybriden/hybrid_d.htm
 

KyushuCalanthe

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PS: did you test your soil temperature?

Yijia, sorry missed your question. No, I have not monitored soil temperatures, but I can tell you they are higher than 20 C in the summer months, say from July through all of September. Now you know why I struggle to keep Cyps alive here :eek:

Hmm, an albino C. japonicum sounds wonderful and I even have a bit of (foolish) confidence about growing one now, but dinner sounds better! :rollhappy:
 

yijiawang

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Yijia, sorry missed your question. No, I have not monitored soil temperatures, but I can tell you they are higher than 20 C in the summer months, say from July through all of September. Now you know why I struggle to keep Cyps alive here :eek:

Hmm, an albino C. japonicum sounds wonderful and I even have a bit of (foolish) confidence about growing one now, but dinner sounds better! :rollhappy:

Thank you for answer, these plants grow really nice in warm climate. I remember you said some hybrid can not live long time in your garden(or your neighbor's? lol) You grow them by this way? Because I just want to try hybrids because heard easier~
 

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