The week of Many surprise catasetums...

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Catasetinae Crazed
Aug 12, 2013
Reaction score
Elsberry, MO USA
Let me start this off by saying how grateful and humbled I am by the kindness of others in the orchid community. It truly warms my heart.

Situation 1 - The botched awarded catasetum and redemption:

Many of you may know I got my first award this month, and mayhem ensued. The plant got fried, leaves burned, it is recovering better than expected. The night of the last OS meeting, the president and treasurer came up to me, checkbook in hand, and offered compensation for lost goods. I explained no goods were lost, only damaged, and I did not feel that one person's negligence warranted any compensation from the Society itself. After some friendly debate the checkbook was closed, but the offer stayed open.

Last weekend I got a surprise call from the president. He notified me that a few OS members took a trip down to Redlands and came back with two plants for me! I was grateful and excited to see what they had acquired! I made plans to pick the plants up after work one day the following week. As luck would have it, he had scheduling conflicts and made arrangements for me to pick up the plants at the back door of his house. I reluctantly did so after fears of nosy neighbors notifying local law enforcement that a strange man in dirty work clothes was stealing goods from the back door of a half million dollar home! That was not to be. I was sad to miss a chance to visit outside of the confines of a meeting, but I, being sweaty and full of gypsum dust, figured this might not be the best circumstance for a social encounter. A thank you card is on it's way :)

Situation 2 - The trade:

After the spring blooming of my catasetum Dagny plants (and subsequent beautiful photos at the hand of my beautiful wife, the hybrid's namesake; and the lackluster photos at the hand of yours truly), I decided to send Fred Clarke, the hybridized of said beauties, a few of the better shots. He was thankful and somewhat indifferent to the first few. He congratulated me on the award and gave the ego a good stroke. The last two caught his attention. The cultivar 'Fantastica' he had seen before and requested that the first division I make come back to him. I happily agreed then and reassured him this year that once big enough, it had his name all over it.

The cultivar 'Falkor' also piqued his interest. After seeing the beast pictured with me, arms outstretched, he asked my permission to use the photo on Facebook. I was honored and without hesitation permission was granted for any photos I sent his way. I informed him I had a division if he was interested, which was the case. It was a small backbulb division probably a year from flowering. Anxious at the chance to possibly obtain a division of something from the stock of a world class catasetum hybridizer, I suggested a trade. At first he didn't catch on, so in the last email I emphasized if he had anything sitting around, didn't have to be blooming sized, just something comparable... He agreed.

So off to sunny California went the division, and here in muggy Missouri I waited. Later that week I got an email from FedEx, the return package was on it's way! My mind raced as to what it might be, fantasizing about this or that, hybrid or specie, classic or contemporary, big or small, etc... I went to pick up the package today, a large box! I was in for a treat! What could it be?! I couldn't wait. In the parking lot I sat, peeling packing labels and tape, the sound of tape ripping off the cardboard filled the car, my blood pumped hard, pulling packing paper back, and... Leaves. Green, thin, small leaves? Hmm, perplexion set in.

Lifting the parcel wrapped in paper, I started to unwrap. A seedling. Two seedlings. There were more. I looked at the tags, new crosses, a box with seemingly endless parcels layered in the box. When it was over and the box was empty and paper and tape and bits of cardboard scraps filled the passenger seat, I counted nine. I couldn't believe it! I felt tears of gratitude welling up behind my eyes. Nine seedlings for one division? I felt like a thief, a grateful, humbled thief.

So, my haul, from one burned plant and one division and no money changing hands, eleven beautiful baby catasetums, now nestled nicely amongst tall, strong cousins in a basement grow room under warm, humid, artificial light. And now the conundrum... What am I going to do when these babies grow up? Manifest destiny of orchids. Outward expansion. I see more lights in my future... The future is bright.

And, the list


Ctsm pileatum (jumbo green gold x dinner plate)

Ctsm (Louise Clarke x Frilly Doris)

From Fred

Ctsm (Louise Clarke x Frilly Doris)

Ctsm (Portagee Star x Louise Clarke)

Ctsm Ten Dragons

Ctsm Louise Clarke

Ctsm Susan Fuchs

Cycd Lorraine Lee

Mo. Painted Desert x ctsm Louise Clarke

Mo. Painted Desert x ctsm Jose Abalo

Mo. Painted Desert x ctsm Orchidglade 'Jamie's Tortured Midnight'

Pics to come soon. Thanks for reading! I hope I didn't bore you to sleep.
I love a good orchid story! Orchid people are some of the
best people I know. I also love opening and unwrapping
boxes of plants. I make a mess and the dogs take off with
styrofoam peanuts, but it's always fun...even chasing down the dogs.
Nice haul. I just received 5 new seedlings from Fred yesterday.
Can't resist these catasetum hybrids.

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