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Temp and flower color

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patrix

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My questions of the day are;

Does growing temp or temp at bud set have any impact on flowere color:confused: ?

I am sure that plant genetics are the overriding factor but wondered if anyone else had any iput. I saw on the growing area site that many successful members grew fanatastic plants inside but I use a greenhouse with less control over coolness.

I know it does with my Vandas and Cattleyas. I have a shaded glass room of my kitchen where I usually display them or in the brighter foyer area. I was wondering if moving them in before they bloom, If I should move them. I know the vanda.catts tend to bloom out darker if moved to a shady area before the buds open. THanks for any ideas
 

slippertalker

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We have covered this subject before, and it's well known that temperature is a very important factor for developing flowers. Red flowers, in particular seem to be effected more, and the same plant can have flowers of different intensities of color if bloomed under varying temperatures. Cool temperature generally produce richer color, and this is very evident in phrag besseae, sophronitic coccinea, and cochlioda noezliana and their hybrids. If you bloom these plants under warm conditions the color tends to wash out.

Compare blooming an SLC in warm temperature to the same plant in cool temperatures and the difference in color is startling.
 

gonewild

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NYEric said:
OK Lance and others.. do the research and let us mortals know!
On this one I won't pretend to be an expert, I'll just fake it. :rollhappy:

It is general knowledge for commercial flower growers that shaded plants produce darker/brighter flowers than plants grown in strong light.
I don't know why but I would assume it may be for the same basic reason plants grown in shade have darker foliage than those grown in bright light.

Here is a guess....truth or dare...
Why temperature would effect flower color may be related to the rate of development (growth). It may be that at warmer temperatures the flowers grow and mature faster than the plant produces pigment. Kind of like only having time to put one coat of paint on the wall.

OK... I'm ready....Someone argue with me!
 
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gore42

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Lance, I tend to agree, but I'm in the same boat... I don't have any real research to back it up. There is NO question that my Phrags that bloom during the summer have much paler color than those that bloom during the cooler months (even on the same plants). My own experience with light levels hasn't been so conclusive, but as a general rule, it makes sense, and I've certainly heard the same thing many many times.

Chuck Acker was the first to tell me that cooler temperatures prompt the production of anthrocyanins, which are pigments responsible for purples (and reds, I think). This is another factoid that I've seen repeated scores of times, but I've never seen any published research to back it up.

- Matthew Gore
 

gonewild

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gore42 said:
Lance, I tend to agree, but I'm in the same boat... I don't have any real research to back it up. There is NO question that my Phrags that bloom during the summer have much paler color than those that bloom during the cooler months (even on the same plants). My own experience with light levels hasn't been so conclusive, but as a general rule, it makes sense, and I've certainly heard the same thing many many times.
Do you notice that Phrag flowers develop faster during the warmer summer?

Chuck Acker was the first to tell me that cooler temperatures prompt the production of anthrocyanins, which are pigments responsible for purples (and reds, I think). This is another factoid that I've seen repeated scores of times, but I've never seen any published research to back it up.
Well, a lot of plants that suffer cold damage will develop purple coloration in their foliage, so this kind of fits in with what Chuck told you.
And generally, if not always, shade on a greenhouse lowers the daytime temperature. So maybe lower light levels and/or lower temperatures are actually having the same effect on the plant.

I wonder why a plant growing in cooler temperatures would need (want) redder flowers? OH OH I have an idea, but it is your turn....

- Matthew Gore[/QUOTE]
 
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gore42

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While doing a bit of research about Paph dayanum recently, I ran across this bit of information :

There are two "varieties" of Paph dayanum, a lowland and a highland variety. Those that grow at lower elevation have larger flowers and paler colors. Those that grow at higher elevation have smaller blooms with richer color.

This fits well with the temperature / growth rate paradigm. Lower elevations = warmer temperatures and faster growth, and paler blooms. I don't konw whether those at lower elevations would see more light; this would depend on how misty the mountains are. It's a little hard to pin down the exact relationships without some controls.

I am always interested in evolution, but I would hate to start speculating about whether this relationship is an adaptation or a "Spandrel", so to speak. Organisms evolve as a whole, so it isn't always helpful to look at every characteristic from an adaptionist standpoint.

If you don't know what I'm talking about when I say Spandrels, then you shoudl read this article:

Gould, S. J. And Lewontin, R. C., "The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique Of The Adaptationist Programme," Proceedings Of The Royal Society of London, Series B, Vol. 205, No. 1161 (1979), Pp. 581-598.

Also published here, hopefully in its entirety: http://ethomas.web.wesleyan.edu/wescourses/2004s/ees227/01/spandrels.html

Before anyone misunderstands this, this article is NOT an attempt to disprove the theory of evolution and it does not claim that adaption does not occur. This article simply points out some of the theoretical difficulties with the program and some alternate approaches. Its also old, so take it with a grain of salt.

- Matthew Gore
 

gonewild

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Matt, that article is not old, it is dated 1979! I will read it.

We could say that plants growing in colder temperatures need brighter or bigger flowers to attract pollinators which may be fewer in number or slower in response than those in warmer conditions. So in a sense plants growing in cold temperatures simply decide to put a bigger and brighter welcome sign.

The plant could achieve this by using Chuck's anthrocyanins. Anthrocyanins are converted from sugars. Sugars levels in plant tissues are higher at lower temperatures.

Lower temperatures = more sugars
More sugars = more anthrocyanins
More anthrocyanins = more color
 

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gonewild said:
Matt, that article is not old, it is dated 1979! I will read it.

We could say that plants growing in colder temperatures need brighter or bigger flowers to attract pollinators which may be fewer in number or slower in response than those in warmer conditions. So in a sense plants growing in cold temperatures simply decide to put a bigger and brighter welcome sign.

The plant could achieve this by using Chuck's anthrocyanins. Anthrocyanins are converted from sugars. Sugars levels in plant tissues are higher at lower temperatures.

Lower temperatures = more sugars
More sugars = more anthrocyanins
More anthrocyanins = more color
This is pretty much in line with what I have heard in the past. More sugar basically creates more color. My understanding is that this is more of a relationship to temperature than to light. Many sophronitis species appreciate strong light, but under lower temperatures they create brighter red flowers.
 

gonewild

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slippertalker said:
This is pretty much in line with what I have heard in the past. More sugar basically creates more color. My understanding is that this is more of a relationship to temperature than to light. Many sophronitis species appreciate strong light, but under lower temperatures they create brighter red flowers.
The point about light is just a concept about flowering plants in general such as for cut flowers and potted plants, not necessarily orchids. Light intensity may have a minor effect because of the increase in temperature that comes with it, if for no other reason. I did not mean to imply that bright light will always cause flowers to be lighter regardless of species.

Temperature is definitely what effects sugar levels in plants. When temperatures rise or drop the sugar % content drops or rises accordingly.
When harvesting certain fruits the sugar content is very important for longevity in storage. During Kiwifruit harvest I used to check fruit sugar levels about every 15 minutes as the mornings warmed up. It was common to see a 5% difference in sugar level between cool early morning and hot midday. As the day warmed the % of sugar dropped and once it hit a certain point harvest stopped until the afternoon temperatures dropped and the sugar level rose back up.

I think we can assume if fruit sugar levels drop this fast levels throughout the plant would also. So moving a plant into a cool growing area may have an immediate effect on the production of anthrocyanins. If so finishing the flower spikes in cooler temperatures could make the flowers darker, or at least more red since the pigment is obviously produced late in the bud development.
 

gonewild

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patrix said:
My questions of the day are;

Does growing temp or temp at bud set have any impact on flowere color:confused: ?
Patrix, so far it looks like the answer could be No.

Temperature at "bud set" may not be as important as the temperature at final bud development... That period where the bud actually turns color.

Remember "bud set" actually occurs well before you ever see the bud.

But I should remind you I started out saying I did not know what I was talking about. :D
 
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patrix

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gonewild said:
Patrix, so far it looks like the answer could be No.

Temperature at "bud set" may not be as important as the temperature at final bud development... That period where the bud actually turns color.

Remember "bud set" actually occurs well before you ever see the bud.

But I should remind you I started out saying I did not know what I was talking about. :D
thanks GONEWILD, your response is clear and concise-some people on this forum are rude to mention that the matter has been previously discussed. I am a newby and did not not know. I am glad you are helpful thanks again.
 

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patrix said:
thanks GONEWILD, your response is clear and concise-some people on this forum are rude to mention that the matter has been previously discussed. I am a newby and did not not know. I am glad you are helpful thanks again.
No slight was intended, I was just stating that it had been covered before and implying that you might be able to find it in previous posts. I would have to go back and look, but perhaps there is more information that was covered by more knowledgable people in prior threads, A thick skin is a requirement for exchanging ideas on these forums!
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I haven't noticed much of a difference in phrags, other than that later flowers are smaller and paler than earlier flowers...and that may be due to lack of light when i display my Phrags. But paphs are definitely affected by temperature. Both haynaldianum and insigne have much clearer and distinct colors when bloomed cooler...occasionally, my insigne will bloom in August...pale and washed out. Most extreme is fairreanum...when I bloomed it in warmer temperatures, the dorsal was white with red stripes. The same clone in cool temps was nearly all red...Take care, Eric
 

Ray

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I am resurrecting this thread because of a recent observation.

I bought a piece of Phrag Sorcerer's Apprentice 'Fantasia' from Hadley Cash while on a speaking tour last spring. Seeing it in his greenhouse, it had the most strikingly-bright red petals and pouch, that I had to have it.

It is currently in-bloom for me, but the colors are far more washed out - I assume due to our very hot summer, so-far, but it is being grown very bright too, so I don't know which would have greater influence.

After searching for- and reading this thread, I get the idea that warmer temps should increase sugars and anthocyanins, leading to more colors, but it seems to me that warmer temperatures, by increasing plant metabolism, would lead to more sugar consumption too. If I "think grapes", it is sunny, cool conditions that lead to the maximum sugar content of the fruit, so shouldn't that be similar in flower production?
 
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goldenrose

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Hmmm interesting observation Ray, I'll share my observation & throw it into the mix as well.
I have a Phrag. Magdalene Rose x wallisii that is in bloom for the first time. We started out with a cool, rainy summer and then turned into typical midwest weather with several temp spikes into the 90's so far. This plant has been in bloom & blooming thruout all this. The color is a dark rich pink, it started out lighter but I swear darkened with the heat. I haven't posted a pic, I'm a bit disappointed as the petals do the criss/cross X thing & I was chalking that up to the heat. I figured I'd give it another blooming & I do have a second plant, before it goes bye-bye.
 

SlipperFan

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I've seen a significant difference in the color depth and intensity due to temperature changes in my Phrags. They are always grown bright in my new greenhouse, with at least 4 hours of direct sun (when we have it). But the temperature differences in the colder months vs. the warmer months is quite strong. The flower color of, for instance, longifolium, is very dark reddish-brown when it's cool, and very light --more greenish, now that the temps in there are warm. I've not seen that difference in other orchids, however.
 

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