Lily Lion Heart

Saturday, 23 February 2013

The lengthening days!

I enjoy the month of February. One really begins to take note of the lengthening days, and light.  I feel the exuberance of life awakening within me.  The Vernal Equinox soon approaches.

Crocus etruscus

Draba aff. mollissima

Chrysosplenium macrophyllum
Iris reticulata 'Storm'
Gladiolus virescens

Episcia fimbriata 'Blue Heaven'

Saturday, 16 February 2013


The Southern Ontario Orchid Society held its annual show at the Toronto Botanical Gardens. This occurs every February. It was a perfect day to be in the tropics, as the temperatures outdoor were sub-zero.
It never disappoints, and today was no different. I met many friends, some of whom I haven't seen in many years. It was lovely to reconnect with them. The draw was the kaleidoscope of beautiful orchids in every colour known to man, with the unusual colours chocolate brown, and black velvet. The shapes, textures, foliage, scents, hues and sizes, completely overwhelm you. I like to call it, sensory overload. Orchids are alluring and mysterious conjuring up images of orchids thieves, high prices, and dangerous plant expeditions. There are between  20,000-26,000 species with over 800 Genera. Orchidaceae are one of the two largest families in the plant kingdom. They exist all over the world, with the exception of Antarctica.

Whimsical Hanging Orchid Display

Paphiopedilum malipoense

Dendrobium alexandrae

Bulbophyllum echinolabium
Pleurothallis sp.

Display of Masdevallia sp.

Dracula vampira
Paph. fairrieanum x godefroyae

Paph. sangii

Japanese Neofinetia falcata ( Fukiran)

Phalaenopsis cultivar
Catasetum Orchidglade Davie Ranch
Dendrobium Burgundy Black

Paph. niveum

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Bold Beauties!

I always look forward to February as this is when my Sinnigias wake up from their brief dormancy to once again display their gorgeous tubular  flowers in colours of  red, pink, orange , white, purple, mauve, and some are spotted. The species featured here are Sinningia micans and S. iarae. They both come from the Sao Paolo state of Brazil. I grow mine with the tuber raised to create an unusual aesthetic.

 Sinningia micans has red candelabra-like flowers which rise from the top of a set of 4 leaves. This Sinningia is harder to bloom , and I find that when it sprouts new growth I end up taking most of it off.  If I do not, the result will be no buds, as the tuber has put all of its energy into the growth points. Leaving 1 or 2 tips gets results. The pollen from Sinnigia flowers tends to fall onto the leaves dotting it with a dusting of sulphur yellow.  The tuber surface looks like the parched desert of  the Kalahari.

Sinningia iarae- has orange or salmon coloured blooms. This Sinningia is easy to please, and I can flower it 2-3 times per year. It is very floriferous, with the tuber somewhat rounded. The dormant period is very brief, as least under my growing methods. The leaves are deep forest green in contrast to S. micans which is a lawn green.

Sinningia mican

Sinningia iarae

S. micans (top)
S. iarae( below)