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Hybrid "evolution" question

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Heather

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I think, because this is hybrid related, that it deserves it's own thread here.

I am curious about what traits Phrag. besseae and other micropetalum are dominant in their hybrids. Clearly, there tends to be a stoloniferous growth habit in plants such as Hanne Popow, but not plants such as St. Ouen. The scent from schlimii passes on to Hanne Popow, but not generally St. Ouen, or Barbara LeAnn, but Beverly Fischer has the schlimii scent.

I'm particularly interested in this today because my allergen patch test came back mildly positive to besseae (which is the only species, and only constant hybrid parent in my entire Phrag. collection of 20 of 21 Phrags. So, I'm wondering if certain traits that are passed on to some hybrids may not be passed on to others.

Before anyone (NYEric!) suggests it, I'm not ready to ditch my Phrags yet, but I am going to do further (longer) patch tests on myself with my Phrags.

I am also (more) allergic to nickel. I'm mentioning this because maybe one of you can think of something that orchid growers use regularly that contains nickel. Something is making me break out in a nasty rash on my face every week or two (I tried for a long time to blame it on the "ex" but, apparently, no.) and it seems to coincide with my working with the plants.

Thankfully, I had no reaction to my multiflorals. You can all breathe a sigh of relief now. :)
 
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gore42

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I read in a journal somewhere that someone in Australia had a bad allergic reaction to Paph parishii. How awful.

Anyway, nickel is a common micro-nutrient in MSU fertilizer, but it should be such a small amount that I doubt it would cause a reaction (I'm assuming you're not bathing in it). Although, perhaps if you're using a sprayer and you're getting mist on your skin or in your lungs...

Can't think of anything that would have higher levels. Hope you figure it out!

As Ever,
Matthew
 

gonewild

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Some plant species have high concentrations of nickel in their leaf tissues. It would be interesting for you to have a leaf analysis done to test your plants. Test besseae and test your multiflorals for nickel content.

Matt has pointed out MSU fertilizers have nickel content. even though the fertilizer content might be small there may be some accumulation somewhere. Another suspect could be your mix. You use PrimeAgra as I recall. Prime Agra is made from clay and some clays are very high in nickel content. Are your multiflorals and besseae all in PrimAgra?
 

Heather

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Hrm...

I wondered about the fertilizer and brought it in, but my Dr. said that he'd talked to someone who was an expert in plant allergies and she said that she'd never heard of an allergy to fertilizer, so he decided not to test it. (I can test it tho!)

Then again, I'm not bathing in it and last week I broke out after watering, but I haven't fertilized in two weeks. So...

Thanks Matt. :)
 

Heather

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gonewild said:
Some plant species have high concentrations of nickel in their leaf tissues. It would be interesting for you to have a leaf analysis done to test your plants. Test besseae and test your multiflorals for nickel content.

Matt has pointed out MSU fertilizers have nickel content. even though the fertilizer content might be small there may be some accumulation somewhere. Another suspect could be your mix. You use PrimeAgra as I recall. Prime Agra is made from clay and some clays are very high in nickel content. Are your multiflorals and besseae all in PrimAgra?

Yes, everything is in Prime Agra, and ONLY since April/May of last year (when I started getting the rash!)

Who could I have test this stuff? Any ideas?
 

gonewild

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Heather said:
Yes, everything is in Prime Agra, and ONLY since April/May of last year (when I started getting the rash!)

Who could I have test this stuff? Any ideas?
Ask Ray about nickel content, he may already have an analysis.
Any lab that can do a soil analysis could test it for you.
 

Heather

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I just emailed Ray. Thanks for the idea. Of course, I didn't think to test for this. However, I think I have some PA dust hanging around in the bottom of my PA boiling pot, so I will test for it next week.
 

gonewild

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Don't forget about the diner next door that gives you some fumes. Maybe their grills are emitting nickel in the exhaust.

We need to vindicate besseae somehow!
 

Heather

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gonewild said:
Don't forget about the diner next door that gives you some fumes. Maybe their grills are emitting nickel in the exhaust.

We need to vindicate besseae somehow!
Maybe, but the rash started when I moved from Shirley, MA to Boston, not when I moved from Boston to RI. The prime agra switch coincided with both moves. May and August were my major repotting times. (I moved in April, August, and September.)

Also, I didn't mention that when I lived in Shirley, the plants were not in a really lived in area of my house, and went to living in my living/dining rooms in W. Rox, and in RI they are in all three of my main living rooms (bedroom, kitchen, living room (which are all connected, pretty much). So, I spend every home moment in a room with my plants now.
 

gonewild

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Does besseae naturally occur growing on serpentine soils? I seem to remember reading that at some time, but maybe it was a Paph species or something.
 

gonewild

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Heather said:
Maybe, but the rash started when I moved from Shirley, MA to Boston, not when I moved from Boston to RI. The prime agra switch coincided with both moves. May and August were my major repotting times. (I moved in April, August, and September.)

Also, I didn't mention that when I lived in Shirley, the plants were not in a really lived in area of my house, and went to living in my living/dining rooms in W. Rox, and in RI they are in all three of my main living rooms (bedroom, kitchen, living room (which are all connected, pretty much). So, I spend every home moment in a room with my plants now.
OK, you can't sue the diner.
 

Heather

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gonewild said:
We need to vindicate besseae somehow!

Definitely!

Jon, I already answered via IM but in case anyone else wonders, yeah, I wear my glasses (metal rims) almost all the time. I've had them for more than 5 years though and this just started in April or May. I only wear my contacts when I plan to be swimming or really exercisiing in the summertime.

Darn, I really liked that Prime Agra! :confused:
 
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Barbara

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Nasty fertilizer! Can't be those besseae's. I knew someone who would have an asthma attack if Mircle Gro got within ten paces of her. Thank God it's not those multiflorals.:poke:
 

gonewild

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Heather said:
Definitely!

Jon, I already answered via IM but in case anyone else wonders, yeah, I wear my glasses (metal rims) almost all the time. I've had them for more than 5 years though and this just started in April or May. I only wear my contacts when I plan to be swimming or really exercisiing in the summertime.

Darn, I really liked that Prime Agra! :confused:
Yes, but maybe you only developed the nickel allergy in April or May?
 

gonewild

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When you work with your besseae do you use any tools or metal containers that you don't use for your multiflorals? Think hard!

Are your besseae on or in chrome plated shelves and the multiflorals not?

It there any chrome associated with your besseae and not the multiflorals?
 

Heather

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I don't use a watering can. I use a plastic hozelock sprayer or water from the faucet.
I have two plant misters. One is copper and one is glass. Both have chromed metal as the pumping/spraying mechanism. I try to remember to use them daily, but I don't have prelonged contact with them.

The Phrags (all but one are bess or bess hybrids) are on a metal rack. It is painted a tan color, the nuts and bolts holding it together may be nickel. I don't know, but I would imagine the frame is probably aluminum, it's very light metal.

I talked to my mom, who said the only time I had a reaction to nickel growing up, was with a certain belt buckle that was in contact with my skin for a long time and left a similarly shaped rash.

The "breakout" I get on my face since April/May (I don't recall which but it was within a month of moving to W.Rox, I thought at the time perhaps it was paint related) is not from any prolonged contact with anything. I notice it sometimes happens when I am stressed, if my face sweats (when I moved it was a problem every day I was lugging stuff around), salt seems to aggrevate it. If I am on the phone for a long time, or if I am anxious at work it creeps up. When it's been "plant related" others of these triggers have also been going on. For example, last week when it happened, it was after a day of plant care, but then I got on the phone and had an arguement about work w/ my "ex". So, there was stress, phone, etc. involved in addition to the plant care in the morning, and my working at the flower shop in the afternoon.

Also, it's not hives, or a real rash. It's a tickle, and if I scratch it, I get all red and it burns. It's usually gone within 24-36 hours.

I have ALWAYS had sensitive skin, being fair, and a red-head. I've never had anything like this, that was so sporadic with regards to recurrance.

Sorry if this is TMI, I'm just trying to figure it out and you guys are good troubleshooters, and know the plants better than anyone else in my life!
Thanks!
 

gonewild

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OK at least now we know it is not all besseae's fault.
Stress is a factor?? Here is a clip from a this page.

"Sweating increases dermatitis in nickel-sensitive people as well. Items containing nickel can cause an itchy, prickly sensation with 15 to 20 minutes after touching sweaty skin. A rash my appear within a day or two. These same items can be often worn for several hours without any problems if sweat is not present."
 

Heather

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Prickley is a really good way to describe it.
Okay, that's very interesting.

BTW, the spot where the nickel patch was was REALLY itchy when removed, but not at all where the besseae patch was.

I felt it coming on a bit tonight. Then I vacuumed. Then I washed my face off, and it stopped feeling like it was coming on. I think that's beginning to be key, my washing my face when I feel it coming on, or if I sweat at all.

Thanks Lance. You can bet I'll be doing some more searches about nickel sensitivity tomorrow!
 

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