Paging Jason Fischer...Japanese orchids

Discussion in 'Non-Slipper Orchid Discussion' started by PHRAG, Sep 29, 2006.

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  1. Sep 29, 2006 #1

    PHRAG

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    Since I have never had the opportunity to hear your talk on Japanese orchid species, I was wondering if you could talk about a few of your favorites here. I know there are quite a few I don't have, but I have been avoiding some of the terrestrial species. This is a list of what I do have...

    Cleisostoma scolopendrifolium
    Gastrochilus japonicus
    Habenaria radiata
    Orchis graminifolia
    Sedirea japonica ‘Seigyoku Maru’
    Sedirea japonica ‘Nagoran'
    Sedirea japonica ‘Nagoran’
    Thrixspermum japonicum

    Neofinetia falcata-
    Awaharibeni
    Chousensetsu
    Fuuran
    Fuuran
    Honamijishi
    Ounami Seikai
    Ootakamaru
    Setsuzan
    Shishikouryu
    Syutenno
    Tomakongo
    Corulea ‘Dong Chon Hong’ x Magenta ‘Joo Chon Wang’


    Hybrids
    Ascocenda ‘Blue Tahourdin’ x Neofinetia falcata
    Ascof. Cherry Blossom (Neofinetia falcata x Asctm. ampullaceum)
    Ascof. Peaches (Neof. falcata ‘Tomokongo Short’ x Asctm. curvifolium var lavieum ‘RF Orchids’ AM/AOS)
    Darwinara Charm ‘Blue Star’ HCC/AOS (Neofinetia falcata x Vascostylis Tham Yuen Hae)
    Neostylis Lou Sneary ‘Kultana’ (Rhynchostylis coelestis x Neofinetia falcata)
    Rumrillara Sugar Baby (Neostylis Lou Sneary x Asctm. miniatum)
    Neofinetia falcata x Paraphalaenopsis serpentilingua
    Neofinetia falcata x Luisia teres
     
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  2. Sep 30, 2006 #2

    Jason Fischer

    Jason Fischer

    Jason Fischer

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    Now you've got me started!

    Ah yes, my favorites... The genus? Of course, neofinetia falcata. I also love cymbidium goeringii and dendrobium moniliforme... as well as sedirea japonica. All of these species come in hundreds (in the case of neofinetia and den. moniliforme thousands) of varieties which make them a complete obsession in themselves and seperate them from the orchid world in my opinion.

    I also love the "ebine", also known as Japanese calanthe (terrestrials). Of course, these are not readily available in the US and they do tend to be VERY susceptible to virus, bacteria and scale infestation. In fact, the Japanese tell me the true way to grow calanthe is all by themselves away from any other orchid to avoid the spreading of disease/bugs etc..

    OK, getting back to the others. Three important things:

    1) If you don't know this, I wrote a 10 page article (and got the cover shot too!) for Orchid Digest magazine on the culture and history of neofinetia falcata a couple of issues back. This is a great opportunity for you to look at all I have learned over the past few years on this species and its history by talking directly to native Japanese (I’m fluent in Japanese) to learn the facts. I’m sure the Orchid Digest has extra copies if you want to contact them at www.orchiddigest.com. They are a great bunch of people!

    2) Many people don't know this, but on our website if you go to "our catalog" and go to the drop-tab under Catalog Index, you will notice the last couple of selections are for "neofinetia falcata" and "dendrobium moniliforme" to see some of the varieties we have!

    3) I have many varieties that I do not have listed on our website, you can always ask about particular varieties/divisions etc. I am trying to get them listed as I have time.

    I have over 200 different varieties of neofinetia falcata at the moment… always hoping to increase that number! I also have many varieties of den. moniliforme, which are a very affordable type of Japanese orchid. There are some neat varieties of Sedirea japonica, including variegated types as well (which I now have:clap:).

    Here are some pics of my favorite neofinetia:

    [​IMG]
    Seikai. This variety is a curved bean-leaf type with ‘ten muki’ aka ‘heavanly facing’ flowers. Awesome.

    [​IMG]
    Fugaku. Wonderful variegation. Note that neofinetia falcata are grown by the Japanese for their foliage, not so much the flowers (although they love the flowers as well!)

    [​IMG]
    Shunkyuuden. A peloric variety with extra floral parts. The flowers are huge, about 4 times larger than a regular flower.

    Did you know that there is a yellow flower form of sedirea japonica? Here’s the pic and link:

    [​IMG]
    http://www.orchidweb.com/cat_dtl.asp?P_Recno=3472&f_pagenumber=1&tpn=1

    I could go on forever, but this is just a little start. Please feel free to ask questions about culture or history on these species if you’d like!

    Enjoy!
     
  3. Sep 30, 2006 #3

    SlipperFan

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    Is the yellow form of sedirea japonica fragrant?
     
  4. Sep 30, 2006 #4

    myxodex

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    It is wonderful that this forum has so many Neofinetia enthusiasts. I have recently acquired a few of these. I have many questions but will limit myself to three.
    (1) Is the growth of algae on the sphag mound detrimental to the orchid?
    (2) Are the coloured varieties less fragrant than the standard white form?
    and finally, what is your website ... I'm new around here!
    Cheers,
    Tim
     
  5. Sep 30, 2006 #5

    PHRAG

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    The algae growing on the moss is not harmful. A bit unsightly, and kind of slimy to the touch. Ewwwww. I switched from the traditional potting method to Semi-hydroponics a while ago, and I am never looking back.

    I can't honestly tell you if the colored versions are more or less fragrant. I have only had white flowered versions bloom for me, but I haven't had the colored ones for very long.

    You can find the plants Jason listed at www.orchidweb.com This is the home of Orchids Limited.
     
  6. Sep 30, 2006 #6

    PHRAG

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    Ok Jason, you asked for it.

    1. How many fuukiran are there as of this year?

    2. Can you describe the technique of shaping the Neofinetia falcata with skewers and string? Do you have photos? What characteristics are they trying to impart to the plants by training them?

    3. Can you confirm that the Neofinetia was actually cultivated in China before the Japanese gardeners picked them from the wild? This is the same with Bonsai.

    4. Are you going to start carrying any of the terrestrials? I am interested in different cultivars of Habenaria radiata and Orchis graminifolia primarily.

    5. Can you talk more about how Neofinetia breeding will work? It was my understanding after talking to you that only certain types would carry characteristics to their offspring. Do the Japanese really value bred Neofinetia, as much as they value divisions? Or are they breeding them as "supermarket" plants?

    This is part one.
     
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  7. Sep 30, 2006 #7

    Jason Fischer

    Jason Fischer

    Jason Fischer

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    OK, let me start with the answer for SlipperFan:

    Yes the yellow flower type is fragrant as well, but not as strong as the standard Sedirea.

    Jon,

    May I assume that you have not read or do not have my article from Orchid Digest? The only reason I ask is because I talk about how to mount and why they use skewers, what they are valued for and why, breeding characteristics (what will and won't carry over in the offspring) and how they are judged... and much more!

    I will go ahead and answer your questions later tonight (I'm at work right now, Saturdays are busy with customers!). And if you, or anybody else is interested, I still have a few copies of the Orchid Digest with my article. They are $12 plus postage, this is the exact same price the OD charges as far as I know. In fact, they take popular articles and charge more for them (like the kovachii issue, I think it costs $28 now or something). And I'm sure my neofinetia article will go down in history and eventually cost over $100 an issue. Heck, I'll even sign it for free if you want one :p

    OK back to work, I will get back to all those questions tonight!

    -Jason
     
  8. Oct 1, 2006 #8

    PHRAG

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    Hey Jason,

    Yeah, I have your article and I have read it a couple of times. It's good reading. I was just hoping you could be more specific. Unless my eyes deceive me, and they often do, I didn't read anything about my questions. Maybe if I am more specific about the information I am looking for it will help you figure out what I am trying to ask.

    I was wondering if you knew an exact count of all the registered fuukiran. You talk about the process to have a plant registered, but didn't name an actual number that had been registered. Above, you referenced "thousands" of Neofinetia varieties.

    Your article says that they value a "pleasing" presentation from left to right and front to back in their Neofinetia. Stray growths that aren't pleasing to the eye are removed entirely. But I guess I was wondering what exactly do they find "pleasing?" All the growths facing the same way? Tilted growths arranged like a fan? A mass of growth that resembles a tree?

    Your article mentions the variegated varieties that won't breed true, and the one that will, but fails to mention the other varieties like bean leaf, pine needle, colored flower and so on. Will all the other varieties breed true? I am asking this because I thought I read somewhere that you are going to start breeding Neo's. You said the Japanese had already started some breeding and I also wondered if they looked negatively on bred plants.

    And the other question was do you have any plans on carrying Japanese terrestrial species in the future? Specifically Habenaria radiata and Orchis graminifolia?

    John
     
  9. Oct 1, 2006 #9
    In addition to autographing his articles, I think Jason forgot to mention that his article was a bestseller and has saved thousands of Neofinetias, etc... :p
     
  10. Oct 1, 2006 #10

    Jason Fischer

    Jason Fischer

    Jason Fischer

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    Pheeeeeew, answers to part 1!

    John,

    OK, I am drinking my green tea and shifting my brain into ‘Zen Master’ mode. I’ve been trying to save most of this info for a book I’m working on… but what the hell, I love this stuff.

    First off, I must apologize for assuming that you might have not read my article being that Japanese orchids are one of your great interests! I have not read my own article in a while and often forget the fact that it was edited by Orchid Digest from 15 pages down to 10. Many of the info that was edited out are answers to your questions! I am sure that Orchid Digest wanted the article to cover a certain amount of information on each category, and that paragraph after paragraph on breeding/offspring would ruin the balance of reading. In fact, I am very happy with the way they edited the article and do not think that they could have done it better.

    Now, to get to those questions:

    1. How many fuukiran are there of this year? (very good question)

    -This is a question I do not have the perfect answer to yet as it is somewhat sketchy. There are recorded varieties before the All Japan Fuukiran Society was created, and those varieties that were named afterwards. When the fuukiran society was founded in 1920, new varieties were registered depending on their distinct differences. Any variety up until that point was either described or illustrated with a certain variety name. Some people rumor that there are roughly over 2000 varieties if you include all traceable records (which I have yet proof to see). I do have a connection to the current registration committee, and perhaps I can get some info out of them my next trip to Japan. The recent charts generally hold around 315 registered names. About 2 to 5 new types make the chart each year, in which that many drop off in order for them to fit. This does not mean they are not fuukiran, it only means they don’t fit the chart anymore.

    2. . Can you describe the technique of shaping the Neofinetia falcata with skewers and string? Do you have photos? What characteristics are they trying to impart to the plants by training them?

    -The pleasant appearance to the eye means balance. As in Japanese gardening, ‘balance’ does not hold the same meaning as it does to the west. When we think balance, we think 50/50. When the Japanese think balance, they think 10/90, 40/60, 20/80 etc.. As long as something counterweights the other, balance can be found. In the case of neofinetia, you could have an old growth with many leaves and newer growths on the left side of the plant as long as one good sized growth was leaning towards the other side (this is to the extreme and not often seen). New growths often emerge, and depending on what direction they face or if their leaves bump into other leaves/growths they could bend one way or another. This is simply fixed by skewers placed in the moss, which can usually be removed in about 2 or 3 months when the growths have re-adjusted. An over all balance of growths is appreciated, which is why window sill growers will turn their fuukiran year round to induce more growth production on each side. The skewer technique is only done with standard type leaves. Bean leaf, needle leaf and contorted leaf do not need leaf training. The only thing you can do in this case is train for good growth production around the base. I can take pics of using the skewers (don’t have any now).

    3. Can you confirm that the Neofinetia was actually cultivated in China before the Japanese gardeners picked them from the wild? This is the same with Bonsai.

    -The only confirmation (this is according to the Japanese Fuukiran Society) is that there was some book (no title specified) published in the 1600’s (no exact date to my knowledge) that described the neofinetia falcata as the wind orchid. They are naturally found in China, Japan and Korea… and perhaps sparsely in other surrounding countries as well. The Japanese took them to the highest level of appreciation, and collected the most varieties they could from the wild.

    4. Are you going to start carrying any of the terrestrials? I am interested in different cultivars of Habenaria radiata and Orchis graminifolia primarily.

    I am pretty tied up with what I get now, BUT… The first terrestrial I would like to import are Calanthe. I know, they are a pain, but the colors are just amazing! I know the Habenaria have already hit the states here and there. I would LOVE to start getting the Uchoran, also known as the Ponerorchis (which is closely related to the Orchis). I know the Japanese can ship them in the spring or fall. I just need to ask a grower I know to recommend a grower that sells them in the tuber form before they sprout. You can expect to see Ponerorchis available next spring.

    5. Can you talk more about how Neofinetia breeding will work? It was my understanding after talking to you that only certain types would carry characteristics to their offspring. Do the Japanese really value bred Neofinetia, as much as they value divisions? Or are they breeding them as "supermarket" plants?

    The Japanese breed for a few different reasons. First of all, there really are no fuukiran left in the wild to be picked (they are protected now, but that doesn’t stop the Japanese), and of course the Big Amami Island form is most commonly found on Shikoku island. So how do they come up with new variegated types? From the flask. They will germinate hundreds of thousands of neofinetia in hopes of finding that one little plant that turned out to be an oddball, whether it be variegated, or have a strange shape. They grow very slow in the flask, and many new variegated types that are discovered in flask (yes, one in 100,000 is your best chance… in fact it is less than that) will take 5 to 6 years before they can come out of the flask because they are mutated and their cells divide very, very slow. They are given names, but those are not registered names on the chart as you need 3 divisions of a plant to do so (which could take up to 20 years or more depending on how slow the plant grows). This is the reason why many growers just don’t bother with this breeding, they just collect the rare divisions and grow to sell other divisions.

    Of course the true divisions of rare varieties are always going to be valued higher as they cannot be mass produced. Anything that can, goes way down in value. For example, when hisui (the green flower form) was first discovered in Shikoku, the original divisions were selling for over $20,000. All colored neofinetia will breed true, so eventually (20 years later) the price dropped down to as low as $30 a plant. Still, nice dark green ones today go from $100 to $300 for a one to 3 growth plant. There is variation in seed grown plants, which originally eliminated them from fuukiran status, but just 3 years ago they passed a new rule allowing seed grown color varieties to keep their name (shojyo, hisui etc.) as long as they were from self pollinated plants.

    So yes, seed grown stuff does lose its $ value, but not its appreciation. You can find common varieties and intergeneric hybrids of this in Japan for pretty cheap, but it is not a mass marketed plant from what I have seen.

    I hope this helped cover part 1… I’m ready for part 2… I think!!

    All the best,

    Jason
     
  11. Oct 1, 2006 #11

    Jason Fischer

    Jason Fischer

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    One more thing

    I knew I forgot to mention something!

    On the breeding:

    Bean leaf and needle leaf will breed true if selfed. It is not certain what all the varieties do when they are crossed to regular leaf forms. However, here is some very interesting info.

    The Japanese have crossed Seikai (which is sterile, but the pollen is good) onto a regular fuuran and guess what? All the plants turned out normal leaf shape. This to me is extremely excited as it means there are recessive genes! If you sib those offspring you have the chance of 25% bean leaf, but maybe they will be big bean leaf types with new types of flowers! And maybe we can breed that bean leaf to have new colored flowers, or even tiger pattern leaves! This is what excites and interests me the most, and I am at the perfect age to start the breeding process (which I have), because, if I live a healthy and long life to lets say... 85, I will actually be able to see results based upon this type of breeding. My current Japanese orchid provider (who is only 48 I think) says he has no interest because he'll be dead before it happens and strongly recommends I go forward with this project.

    If we ever do sell and move, I think the future of the orchid business for me will be focused primarily on Japanese species and select paphs and phrags. I think it is best to master a specific field in the orchid world if you want to really make a statement and be successful.
     
  12. Oct 1, 2006 #12

    SlipperFan

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    Thanks, Jason. I was hoping it might be.
     
  13. Oct 1, 2006 #13

    PHRAG

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    I am tired, and my brain is melted from walking around in the desert today, but I just wanted to post and thank you for the info. I will try and post more questions (I still have a dozen or so) tomorrow.

    The breeding of Neo x Neo hybrids is an interesting project. I still have 2000+ more fuukiran to buy, so maybe by then you will be ready to start selling some hybrids. :)
     
  14. Oct 1, 2006 #14

    likespaphs

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    what does fuukiran mean? (can it be translated?)
    are the names typically after a person? a thing? are any named after me?:viking:
     
  15. Oct 1, 2006 #15

    Jason Fischer

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    Fuukiran means 'Wealth and Rank Orchid', it has also been translated as 'Orchid of the Rich and Noble', but I think the first listing is the most direct translation.

    It gets that name only after the society was formed as they wanted to give the plants a special status name in honor of the people who started the the whole boom, the Shogun. It is said that in the 1800's, only the shogun and high ranked officers were allowed to view and own fuukiran (at that time it would have been called Fuuran).

    Today this tradition continues, and if you are to purchase a single neofinetia with fuukiran status, you too will be a member of the wealth and rank orchid. Come join us.
     
  16. Oct 2, 2006 #16

    NYEric

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    Ohhh? Orchid snobbery, eh? :pity:
     
  17. Oct 2, 2006 #17

    Jason Fischer

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    :) I'm such a snob aren't I? :p
     
  18. Oct 4, 2006 #18

    PHRAG

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    Ok Jason, round two.

    Why was Chousensetsu re-registered as Yoroidoushi? Does that apply to all Chousensetsu?

    What does Kayaran mean in Japanese? I know ran means orchid, but I can't find any translation for Kaya.

    When are you going to build a site around fuukiran.com?

    Why do Neofinetia turn blue? I have seen the leaves turn as blue as smurfs.

    Do you give your Neo's a winter temperature change? Or just reduce watering?

    Do you have a personal collection of orchids seperate from anything you maintain for the business? What's in it?
     
  19. Oct 4, 2006 #19

    NYEric

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    Actually, I'll let you have it at 'cockiness'. It's okay to be cocky because you're really good at something. E. :wink:
     
  20. Oct 4, 2006 #20

    Jason Fischer

    Jason Fischer

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    Answers to part 2

    Hey John,

    Thanks for going easy on me this time. Here are your answers:

    Why was Chousensetsu re-registered as Yoroidoushi? Does that apply to all Chousensetsu?

    -Chousen is the old style of how to say 'Korea' and is now associated with 'North Korea' which is pronounced 'Kita Chosen'... it has a bad tie with the past war, and they changed it to Yoroidoushi to take away that tension with Korea (or maybe out of respect?). The Koreans are also very much into the neofinetia and about 7 or 8 Koreans were at the last Fuukiran meeting I attended. I also believe that variety of neofinetia was discovered in Korea.

    What does Kayaran mean in Japanese? I know ran means orchid, but I can't find any translation for Kaya.

    'Kaya' means nutmeg tree or plum-yew tree, and is the tree that the Thrixspermum japonicum is most commonly found growing on.

    When are you going to build a site around fuukiran.com?

    I purchased this domain name a couple of years ago and it has become a project that is taking more time than I had hoped for. I am a perfectionist when it comes to neo's, so it is hard for me to satisfy my needs for this website at my level of programming. I am looking into using the Adobe Golive web-builder now as it seems very user friendly. I do hope to launch something next year. My traveling has dropped quite a bit recently, so I try to put more time into the website. I think it is the one thing I need to do, besides lectures, that will really help this market take off. It has to be very informative, eye pleasing and classy... perfection is hard to acheive...

    Why do Neofinetia turn blue? I have seen the leaves turn as blue as smurfs.

    Hmm, that's interesting, do you have a pic? I've only seen them turn red/purple, and that is always because of high exposure to light.

    Do you give your Neo's a winter temperature change? Or just reduce watering?

    Yes, I let them get down to the high 50's and cut the watering down by 75%. It is not a really cool drop, I've seen the Japanese drop to 30 to 40 degrees F, but a little rest really makes a big difference. In the spring, when temps go up and light increases, they almost explode in new roots and growth. Very fun stuff!

    Do you have a personal collection of orchids seperate from anything you maintain for the business? What's in it?

    Well, you'll have to give me some time to make up that list... mostly neos and asian cymbidiums. It's all here at the greenhouses now as after I bought a house, I've wanted to build a grow-room, and again wanting it to be perfect have been taking forever... I might just settle for a metal halide in a room lined with poly for now. Back in the days of the apartment life, I grew in wardian cases under lights.

    All the best,

    Jason

    P.S., Eric, the Japanese say it takes 30 years to master an art form... I've got quite a few more to go before I can get too cocky... but I think I'm supposed to be humble about it so I'll start working on that part :eek: .
     

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