Phrag Mountain Maid disappointment

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Mar 11, 2023
Messages
95
Reaction score
76
Location
Oregon, USA
First bloom for this Mountain Maid (besseae v. flavum ‘Golden Rays’ x hirtzii ‘Lucio’.) I’ve been anxiously awaiting its unfurling and was expecting/ hoping for better coloring. Mostly green with little coloring on the pouch. The plant is clean and vigorous but I’m on the hunt for one with better coloration. Anyone have a division they’d be willing to part with?
 

Attachments

  • 6C07B8C8-445C-417B-AA9B-BDA1736C515E.jpeg
    6C07B8C8-445C-417B-AA9B-BDA1736C515E.jpeg
    3.1 MB · Views: 3
  • FA9CE6C0-8156-4D1B-9C63-BE22625028BA.jpeg
    FA9CE6C0-8156-4D1B-9C63-BE22625028BA.jpeg
    979 KB · Views: 2
Last edited:
Well that is a disappointing bloom color wise. I saw on line in a quick look that a few are paler, green with a pink blush.
I saw others that were decidedly influenced by the colorful besseae. But in a primary hybrid, you can not exactly predict how those genes for color will work, which will control which.
It has pretty nice shape but I guess besseae here took a backseat to hirtzii.
 
Well that is a disappointing bloom color wise. I saw on line in a quick look that a few are paler, green with a pink blush.
I saw others that were decidedly influenced by the colorful besseae. But in a primary hybrid, you can not exactly predict how those genes for color will work, which will control which.
It has pretty nice shape but I guess besseae here took a backseat to hirtzii.
Agreed. I was certainly hoping more for a besseae influence. As much as I enjoy the anticipation with seedlings of not knowing exactly what I’m going to get, I’m quickly understanding why some people choose to go the division route. I also had a Phrag Coral Jewel bloom this week that was underwhelming…
 
Me too. Coral Jewel was disappointing for me.
I recently put all my large Phrags. up for sale or trade at the 2 societies I belong to. I purchased a new light fixture for my orchids this winter. It is a 48” wide x 26” deep reflective fixture that hangs from chains.
It features 8 maximum tubes that run lengthwise. Under those lights my Rothschildianum type Paphs and Catts will spend the winter.
I just can’t allow myself to keep underperforming plants around.
 
Me too. Coral Jewel was disappointing for me.
I recently put all my large Phrags. up for sale or trade at the 2 societies I belong to. I purchased a new light fixture for my orchids this winter. It is a 48” wide x 26” deep reflective fixture that hangs from chains.
It features 8 maximum tubes that run lengthwise. Under those lights my Rothschildianum type Paphs and Catts will spend the winter.
I just can’t allow myself to keep underperforming plants around.
Yes, I’m growing my orchids under lights as well (botanical LEDs), and space is limited - so I will probably sell/give away the under whelmers/under performers fairly quickly. Is it possible that the poor coloring I’m seeing is due to my lighting or is it most likely genetics? I’ve read some posts where people have said that they hold on to plants for more than one bloom cycle but am not sure what aspects of the blooms you can realistically expect to change given time or different culture.
 
Probably genetics.
If the red hues were there and appeared muddy or dull, a bit of that might be due to lights.
But hirtzii can have so much green in it that it is likely the cause.
As a orchid guy, in the case of hybrids, so many people make a whole lot of nothing about percentages. It is 40% this and 30% that. But that is just mathematical Hokus Pokus. You can’t predict anything reliable from that.
Even in a primary hybrid, you can’t predict a 50-50 genetic split. Besseae usually dominates for color but as we see here, not in this case all the time. And the flower shape is hirtzii too. Not at all compact like a besseae.
 
Probably genetics.
If the red hues were there and appeared muddy or dull, a bit of that might be due to lights.
But hirtzii can have so much green in it that it is likely the cause.
As a orchid guy, in the case of hybrids, so many people make a whole lot of nothing about percentages. It is 40% this and 30% that. But that is just mathematical Hokus Pokus. You can’t predict anything reliable from that.
Even in a primary hybrid, you can’t predict a 50-50 genetic split. Besseae usually dominates for color but as we see here, not in this case all the time. And the flower shape is hirtzii too. Not at all compact like a besseae.
 
I see what you mean about the color and agree with the discussion points above. My only add is whether or not temperature played a role in the color. Cooler temperatures often bring out deeper colors. The color won't change completely but it could change some if it were to bloom under color conditions.

I kind of like it. However if you don't love it and space is at a premium moving it out makes sense.
 
It is my experience that with Cattleyas for example, cooler night time temperatures gave me raspberry reds. A purplish shade or hue was added.
Under warmer night time temperatures, I got more of a Cardinal or cherry red color.
Look up Slc. Jewel Box ‘Scheherazade’ that is a red red clone produced by warmer night time readings.
Then look at Slc. Jewel Box ‘Dark Waters’, that is more of a raspberry red color. You can see a purple hue to the red.

Temperatures can change shades of red a little, maybe intensify it somewhat but change green to red? I am doubtful.
 
I do not think that that matters very much! As the genes enter the pool and ‘swim around’, does it matter at all who got in the pool first? I don’t think so.
Hirtzii x besseae or
Besseae x hirtzii is Mountain Maid. It is registered as the same hybrid.
What matters in my mind, at that critical juncture, does hirtzii dominate for color or does besseae?
Same thing goes for plant size, inflorescence size, flower color and shape.

But a geneticist I am not.

Some fertilized cells are predisposed for red, others for green.
 
Except there are some factors that tend to be preferentially controlled by mitochondrial DNA, making the result lean in that direction.
 
Temperature highly impacts the coolers of phrags, especially besseae. I see the difference in my collection when they decided to bloom in the summer. When they bloom during the summer heat, they present a washed out orange color. However the color is much richer in the winter.

There are also a lot of Mountain Maid created with the flavum form of besseae. @Skoester - are the parents listed on the tag? I would guess this is made with the flavum form.

Also, the more I look at it, the more I like it. You just let me know if it needs a new home ;)
 
I think it's incredibly beautiful and would love to have a flower like that in my collection.

I haven't seen a non-flavum P. Mountain Maid for sale in probably 20 years. Not saying they don't exist, but in my experience the overwhelming majority of the time this is made with besseae flavum for some reason.

As others have stated, it's currently still summer and overall warmer temperatures during development will lead to less intense coloring in most phrags.

Another aspect of P. hirtzii is that the pouch color in this species tends to intensify / darken as the flower ages. It can sometimes impart this characteristic in its hybrids. So, it's possible that the pouch will develop a bit more color as this flower gets older. However, if it's still fairly warm in the growing area, then the effect might not be as noticeable as it could otherwise be.
 
Temperature highly impacts the coolers of phrags, especially besseae. I see the difference in my collection when they decided to bloom in the summer. When they bloom during the summer heat, they present a washed out orange color. However the color is much richer in the winter.

There are also a lot of Mountain Maid created with the flavum form of besseae. @Skoester - are the parents listed on the tag? I would guess this is made with the flavum form.

Also, the more I look at it, the more I like it. You just let me know if it needs a new home ;)

All of my orchids are indoors and day temps are 73-75 deg F and drop to mid 60s at night during the summer. (Now that I’m acquiring more warm growers I may move some of them outdoors next summer- I’m in the PNW so summers are fairly mild).

The parentage is besseae v flavum ‘Golden Rays’ x hirtzii ‘Lucho’.

Lol, Darlene I’ll definitely let you know if I decide to rehome it.
 
I think it's incredibly beautiful and would love to have a flower like that in my collection.

I haven't seen a non-flavum P. Mountain Maid for sale in probably 20 years. Not saying they don't exist, but in my experience the overwhelming majority of the time this is made with besseae flavum for some reason.

As others have stated, it's currently still summer and overall warmer temperatures during development will lead to less intense coloring in most phrags.

Another aspect of P. hirtzii is that the pouch color in this species tends to intensify / darken as the flower ages. It can sometimes impart this characteristic in its hybrids. So, it's possible that the pouch will develop a bit more color as this flower gets older. However, if it's still fairly warm in the growing area, then the effect might not be as noticeable as it could otherwise be.

Thanks for sharing about the pouch color intensifying with age. I didn’t realize that it did so. I’ll keep an eye on it. My day temps are 73-75 deg F and nights drop to mid 60s so I would think I’d be growing it on the cool side.
 
Back
Top