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Title: Orchids
Author: O'Brien, James
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Orchids" ***

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Present-Day Gardening





[Transcriber's Note: Words surrounded by tildes, like ~this~ signifies
words in bold. Words surrounded by underscores, like _this_, signifies
words in italics.]

_Present-Day Gardening_

List of Volumes in the Series.

     1. SWEET PEAS. By HORACE J. WRIGHT, late Secretary and
     Chairman of the National Sweet Pea Society. With Chapter on
     "Sweet Peas for Exhibition" by THOS. STEVENSON.

     J.P., and R. HOOPER PEARSON.

     Chairman of the National Vegetable Society.

     4. DAFFODILS. By the Rev. J. JACOB, Secretary of the Midland
     Daffodil Society, with Preface by the Rev. W. WILKS, M.A.,
     Secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society.

     5. ORCHIDS. By JAMES O'BRIEN, V.M.H., Secretary of the
     Orchid Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society.

     6. CARNATIONS AND PINKS. By T. H. COOK, Head Gardener to
     Queen Alexandra at Sandringham; JAMES DOUGLAS, V.M.H.; and
     J. F. M'LEOD, Head Gardener to Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.

     7. RHODODENDRONS AND AZALEAS. (_The first popular volume
     published on this subject._) By WILLIAM WATSON, A.L.S.,
     Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with Preface by
     Sir FRED. W. MOORE, M.A., A.L.S., V.M.H.

     8. LILIES. By A. GROVE, F.L.S., with Preface by H. J. ELWES,

     9. APPLES AND PEARS. By GEORGE BUNYARD, V.M.H., Chairman of
     Fruit and Vegetable Committee of Royal Horticultural

     10. ROSES. By H. R. DARLINGTON, Vice-President of National
     Rose Society. (Double volume.)

     11. IRISES. By W. RICKATSON DYKES, M.A., L.-ès-L. With
     Preface by PROFESSOR I. BAYLEY BALFOUR, D.SC., F.R.S., &c.

     Sec. of the National Sweet Pea Society.

     13. CHRYSANTHEMUMS. By THOMAS STEVENSON, with chapters by C.

     14. TULIPS. By the Rev. J. JACOB.

     15. THE ROCK GARDEN. By REGINALD FARRER, Author of "Among
     the Hills," "My Rock Garden," "In a Yorkshire Garden," &c.

These will be followed by volumes on ~Dahlias~, ~Climbers~, ~Trees and
Shrubs~, ~Pæonies~, ~Primulas~, ~Window Gardens~, ~Cucumbers~, ~Melons~,
~Bedding Plants~, ~Hardy Herbaceous Plants~, ~Ferns~, ~Tomatoes~,
~Bulbous Plants~, ~Peaches and Nectarines~, ~Vines~, ~Stove and
Greenhouse Plants~, ~&c.~

[Illustration: PLATE I (_Frontispiece_)



By James O'Brien

With Eight Coloured Plates


London: T.C. & E.C. Jack

67 Long Acre, w.c., & Edinburgh


In the early days of Orchid cultivation the idea was commonly
entertained that these interesting plants could never become popular
with the general public, for the reason that their culture involves a
great initial outlay and permanent expense. That such an idea is
incompatible with the facts is now admitted by all those who are most
familiar with the subject. There is no department of "Present-Day"
gardening that exhibits such wonderful progress as is shown in the
Orchid gardens and nurseries that are to be found in every portion of
these Isles.

At the same time, the popularisation of Orchid culture is only now in
its very commencement. Amateurs are but just beginning to realise that
Orchids, like other plants, are capable of being understood by any one
who really desires to understand them; and, when once understood, the
cool species, at any rate, are not less tractable than common greenhouse
plants. So much is this the case that the author of the present volume
declares that even the house-holders in suburban districts who have but
one conservatory may, if they choose, keep that structure furnished with
Orchids at a less expenditure of time and money than is necessary for
the Palms, Ferns, and other species usually employed for the purpose.

Orchid-growing in the past has been looked upon too much as a craze.
Ruinously high prices have been asked for novelties, and "collectors"
have been ready enough to pay them in the hope of obtaining unique
varieties. This fact alone has frightened off average people.

It is hoped that the present volume will induce thousands to commence
the culture of the cooler species, as it clearly indicates the
simplicity of the cultural principles whilst explaining in full all the
principal details.

Thanks to the experiments of former workers, we are no longer dependent
entirely on the introduction of plants from other countries. Seedling
Orchids are raised as freely as seedling Fuchsias, and home-raised
seedlings, as a rule, thrive better than introduced species in the
artificial cultivation we have to offer them. Readers will find the
details of cross-breeding and seed-raising set out in the following
pages at considerable length.

The author is one of the greatest Orchid specialists the world has
known. As a practical cultivator in the old Pine Apple Nurseries of
Messrs. Henderson, he had the good fortune to flower many species for
the first time after their introduction, and ever since those early days
he has continued to specialise in these plants. He is secretary of the
Orchid Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society, and in 1897 he was
included in the first sixty horticulturists who were selected to
receive the Victoria Medal of honour in commemoration of Queen
Victoria's Jubilee.

Our grateful acknowledgments are made to Lieut.-Col. Sir G. L. Holford,
K.C.V.O., for his kindness in affording us facilities for getting the
illustrations. Every plant illustrated is a first-rate specimen of its
kind, and all have been photographed in Sir George Holford's collection
at Westonbirt, which is so well cultivated by his grower, Mr. H. G.

                                                  THE EDITOR.



INTRODUCTION,                                         1



II. STRUCTURE OF ORCHID FLOWERS,                      6

III. DIFFICULTIES TO OVERCOME,                        8

IV. STRUCTURE OF THE ORCHID HOUSE,                    9



VII. PROPAGATION BY DIVISION,                        34


IX. MANURES FOR ORCHIDS,                             39

X. RESTING ORCHIDS,                                  44


XII. DISEASES AND INSECT PESTS,                      47

XIII. PERIODICAL INSPECTION,                         50


XV. ORCHIDS AS CUT FLOWERS,                          55

XVI. IMPORTING ORCHIDS,                              59


XVIII. ODOURS OF ORCHIDS,                            65


SPECIES IN CULTIVATION,                              81

XXI. ORCHID HYBRIDS,                                109

INDEX,                                              111



I. CYPRIPEDIUM INSIGNE SANDERÆ,          _Frontispiece_


II. MILTONIA VEXILLARIA,                             12

III. DENDROBIUM WARDIANUM,                           24

IV. CATTLEYA TRIANÆ VAR. HYDRA,                      40


VI. CYMBIDIUM LOWIO-EBURNEUM,                        72

VII. ONCIDIUM MARSHALLIANUM,                         88

VIII. ODONTOGLOSSUM CRISPUM,                        102



It is not necessary here to trace the history of Orchid cultivation
since its commencement a century and a half or so ago. The earlier
introductions were few and infrequent, but they probably attracted as
much attention as the subjects in our gardens obtain to-day. It may be
said of Orchids that no class of plants has so well and consistently
sustained the interest of cultivators, which is partly because few, if
any, plants have flowers that exhibit such diversity of form, size, and
colouring. But another reason for their popularity may be found in the
fact that few plants are so easy to cultivate, if placed in the care of
a careful and earnest cultivator who applies the best methods which his
own experience indicates and is willing to avail himself of the help
which the experience of others has placed within his reach.

Upwards of fifty years' continuous experience with Orchids have
necessarily presented to us much evidence as to the right or the wrong
methods of carrying out the numerous operations connected with their
culture. Nevertheless, it may be said that common sense is one of the
most important factors in cultivation, and the grower who carefully
thinks over the various problems as they arise, and, profiting by
experience, does his best to avoid former failures, will obtain a
measure of success far exceeding his expectations. To those who know
anything about the ordinary processes of growth and flower the plants
tell their own tale. They show when actively growing the period when a
reasonable amount of heat and moisture is required, and, on the
completion of growth of the deciduous species and the turning yellow of
the leaves, they tell just as plainly when the resting period has
arrived. It is so in all the important stages of their existence.

The extent of the present work having been determined by others in the
same series, the object has been to get as much useful information into
it as possible, to confine the matter to practical subjects and to avoid
repetition. It has therefore been arranged in a series of chapters, each
dealing with an important matter, and available for reference when any
question on the subject crops up in another portion of the book. Short
notes follow on the principal genera known in gardens, but the cultural
remarks may be supplemented by reference to the cultural chapters.
Anything like an enumeration of the more important species could not be
attempted. So also in the matter of hybrid Orchids, the question is
discussed in two chapters dealing with the practical question of raising
seedlings, but only slight reference could be made to the species used
in hybridising or to the numerous hybrids themselves.[1] The amateur who
engages in Orchid culture and in the raising of seedlings will find that
"practice makes master." It is in indicating the lines on which the
practice may be best pursued that, it is hoped, this book may serve a
useful purpose.

[Footnote 1: Readers may be referred to _List of Orchid Hybrids_,
published by F. Sander and Sons.]



The first tropical Orchid to flower in the British Isles appears to have
been _Bletia verecunda_ (_Helleborine americana_), figured in _Historia
Plantorum Rariorum, 1728-1735_. It bloomed in 1732 on a plant received
by Peter Collinson from the Bahamas in the previous year. In succession
to this appeared _Cypripedium spectabile_ and one or two other North
American Cypripediums; _Vanilla aromatica_, and a few other species,
chiefly terrestrial Orchids. In 1789 Aiton's _Hortus Kewensis_
enumerated fifteen species of exotic Orchids as being in cultivation at
Kew, the tropical species being _Bletia verecunda_, _Epidendrum
fragrans_, _Epidendrum cochleatum_, and _Phaius grandifolius_. At the
end of the eighteenth century about fifty exotic species were recorded.
At that time most of the Orchids were imported only to perish as a
consequence of the unsuitable conditions in which they were grown. The
plants were potted in the most unlikely materials, such as decayed wood,
sawdust, loam, tanner's bark, or any other material which the cultivator
thought would be useful in preventing the excessive mortality among his
plants; but in all cases the chances of success were discounted by the
plants being placed near hot flues, or plunged in tan or bark beds. It
was thought that a great success had been attained if a plant bloomed
once before it died.

The year 1800 may be said to be the real starting-point of rational
Orchid culture, although, even in the earlier part of the nineteenth
century, the old traditions still hindered progress. In 1800 _Aërides
odoratum_ was introduced, this being the first East Indian Orchid
cultivated in this country. In 1817 Sir Joseph Banks brought about the
cultivation of epiphytal Orchids in light, wicker baskets which were
suspended in the Orchid house or stove; this is one of the most
noteworthy events in the early history of Orchid cultivation.

In 1818 _Cattleya labiata_ appeared, and about the same time
_Cypripedium insigne_, which has now two or three hundred varieties that
enthusiasts consider sufficiently distinct to bear varietal names. _Disa
grandiflora_ and _Oncidium Papilio_ appeared in 1825, when about 180
species of tropical Orchids were in cultivation in the Horticultural
Society's Gardens. This Society gave a great impetus to Orchid culture
by sending out collectors into distant lands, and Dr. Lindley, whilst
Editor of the _Gardeners' Chronicle_, played a no less important part in
studying and recording the species as they were received in this
country. The interest in Orchid importing gradually spread, and from the
time when Alan Cunningham sent home Australian Orchids in 1835 the
interest has never flagged, the famous Orchid collectors, Lobb, Gardner,
Skinner, Hartweg, Gibson, and others, sending consignments from time to
time from various parts of the world.

The first attempts to grow Orchids in a reasonably low temperature were
made in the first half of the nineteenth century, one of the first to
grasp the truth in this direction being Joseph Cooper, who was gardener
to Earl Fitzwilliam at Wentworth. But a considerable time elapsed before
the more rational treatment, which meant less artificial heat and more
ventilation, became general. The culture was further improved by the
introduction of the hot-water system of heating Orchid houses, a method
which is now almost perfect and has done more to further Orchid-growing
than anything else.

The spread of information respecting the climatic conditions of the
countries in which the plants were collected also helped cultivators in
this country, and the articles published in the _Gardeners' Chronicle_
in 1851 by the late B. S. Williams, and subsequent articles by other
experts, were of great service.

The latter half of the nineteenth century was the most important era in
the development of Orchid cultivation. A remarkable feature was the
beginning of that industry which has now attained such widespread
popularity, namely, the raising of hybrid Orchids from seed. The first
hybrid Orchid, Calanthe × Dominyi (obtained from a cross between _C.
furcata_ and _C. Masuca_), flowered with Messrs. James Veitch & Sons in
October 1856. The same firm subsequently produced many fine hybrid
Calanthes, Phalanopsis, Cattleyas, Lælias, and Læliocattleyas. Many of
these are now standard garden plants, whilst the work of hybridising and
raising hybrid Orchids has become general.

Another notable event in Orchid culture during the period mentioned was
the commencement of the Cool-house or Odontoglossum Section of Orchid
Culture. In 1863, Weir, Blunt, and Schlim went to New Granada in search
of Odontoglossums, and they were successful in introducing plants of
_Odontoglossum crispum_ (Alexandræ), collected above Bogota. These
collectors also contributed to our knowledge of the proper methods of
cultivating cool Orchids.

So things have gone on until our own days. Orchids hold one of the most
important places in gardens, and such genera as Odontoglossums and
Cypripediums are so popular that they are cultivated on an extensive
scale even by many who do not care to grow a general collection of



Most people are familiar with the regular arrangement of the segments of
the flowers of Amaryllids and Lilies, with their prominent pistils and
anthers. The first stage in the advance of the Orchid family is shown in
the Apostasieæ, comprising _Apostasia_, _Neuwiedia_ and _Adactylus_, in
which the perianth segments are more or less regular and the anthers in
some degree prominent, Neuwiedia, with its free stamens and prominent
style, appearing at first sight nearer to some of the Amaryllids than to
the Orchideæ commonly seen in gardens.

The Cypripedieæ, although so widely separated from other sections as to
suggest that in the operations of nature a vast number of connecting
types must have become extinct, is the next step, the labellum being
formed into a pouch with infolded side lobes. The column has a prominent
staminode with two fertile anthers below it, one on each side of the
column and behind the stigmatic plate. The upper sepal is frequently the
showiest feature in the flower; the lower sepals are joined and arranged
behind the lip, whilst the petals extend on each side and vary much in

In gardens, the whole of the genus is known as Cypripedium, although the
South American species (Selenipedium), having a three-celled ovary,
differ widely from the one-celled East Indian and Malayan species, and
other sections have such marked and consistent botanical differences as
to warrant the botanist in separating them under different sub-generic
names. The third section of Orchidæ, the largest family of the
Monocotyledons, forms the chief class of Orchids as they are known in
gardens. In this class the stamens and style unite into a column, and at
the top of the column the pollen masses are situated; these are covered
by the anther-cap, and in a cavity is the stigma with its viscid surface
to receive the pollen grains.

So diverse and intricate are the forms of the flowers, and especially
labellums, that there is little doubt that insect aid is necessary in
their natural habitats to bring about pollination. It has been proved by
the operations carried out in cross-fertilisation in gardens that no
class of plants can be so readily crossed under artificial conditions.
It is not necessary here to go further into structural details, as the
peculiarities of each section will be remarked on under their different
headings. But it may be said that in what are called abnormal flowers,
which have perfect stamens and style, can be seen instances suggesting
the evolutionary process; these would be more common but for the number
of connecting links which have dropped out in the great struggle for



Some of the difficulties which the cultivator of Orchids has to contend
against arise from the fact that his houses have to accommodate plants
which have been brought from widely separated countries, or from
different altitudes in the same region. They therefore require very
different cultural conditions, especially in the matter of temperature.

Consideration of the climatic conditions under which the plants are
found growing in their native habitats is very helpful to all engaged in
Orchid culture. Many problems have already been worked out by the
experience of cultivators, but some of the conclusions have been arrived
at only after costly failures. In the early days of Orchid culture,
before the advent of the modern Orchid house with its improved methods
of ventilation and means for the promotion of humidity, the great
mortality among cultivated Orchids was caused by excessive heat and
drought. Even at the present day more mischief is done by excessive heat
than by cold treatment.



So far as the improvements in present-day Orchid houses are concerned,
these are not due to the imagination of the horticultural builder, but
to the experience of the Orchid grower. It is owing to him that the
old-time glass sides, with their hinged ventilators on a level with the
plants, and many other harmful arrangements, have been abandoned.
Moderately low, span-roofed houses, extending north and south for
preference--although the aspect does not seem to be of vital
importance--are the best, the sides being wholly of brick, and also the
ends of all but the large houses, in which the upper part may be formed
of wood and glass.

The top ventilation should be admitted through ventilators placed at the
highest point of the ridge, and they are usually worked by a continuous
system manipulated at one end. The lower ventilators should be small
ones fixed in the brick-work at the sides of the house, and they may be
arranged to be regulated from the outside, or by means of rods attached
to the flaps on the inside and reaching to the path, being carried
beneath the staging. The natural earth is the best base for an Orchid
house, and open wood-work trellises placed on the natural earth are far
preferable to tiled paths, therefore their use is strongly recommended.
Beneath the central stage, from end to end, deep tanks with cemented
interior should be provided, because rain-water is essential for
watering the plants. To create a good appearance, narrow, ornamental
rockeries may be arranged at the edge of the side staging and beneath
it, and in any part of the basement available. These should be planted
with Begonias, Tradescantias, such ferns as are not likely to be
attacked by thrips, Selaginellas, Fittonias, and _Ficus repens_, which
are not liable to attacks from insects, whilst their presence tends to
preserve a healthy atmosphere in the house.

The rockeries beneath the staging should not be built high enough to
obstruct the passage of the heat from the hot-water piping, a rise of
one foot from the ground level being sufficient.

In the warm-house, _Eucharis grandiflora_ and other species of Eucharis;
Hymenocallis and Pancratiums, thrive and bloom well beneath the staging.
The inside of the roof should be wired for suspending baskets containing
Orchids, and this should be done before the plants are placed in the

As regards the form of structure, comparatively low, span-roofed houses,
with brick sides reaching to the eaves, and no side glass, are the best,
the ends being of brick up to the height of the side walls, the
remaining part running up to the ridge, in all but very small houses,
being formed of wood and glass. If several houses are built, spaces
should be left between each house, and no two or more houses should be
built with partition walls, for these prevent the necessary side
ventilation. A house of 100 feet or so in length should have a division
midway in its length, which for some purposes gives the advantages of
two houses. Pitch-pine or teak, being durable, are good woods for the
wood-work, and, in any case, the use of cheap, soft timber should be
avoided. In glazing, only a thin bedding of putty should be used, and
the glass should be bradded on the upper side, as top putty when
decaying or on becoming loose is worse than useless, and tends seriously
to foul the water in the cisterns. Span-roofed houses 12 feet to 15 feet
wide, and of proportionate elevation, are suitable for ordinary Orchids,
but if specimen plants are desired a loftier house will be necessary.

A range of houses should, if possible, be connected at the end which is
most exposed to the north and north-east winds by a corridor or covered
structure, in which the potting-shed stores and entrance to the boiler
hold should be arranged. The greatest care must be taken that no fumes
from the heating apparatus can find their way into either the corridor,
potting-sheds, or plant-houses, or the plants will suffer the worst
consequences. Safety can easily be assured by thoroughly ventilating the
stoke-hold and making the partition between the corridor or offices and
the stoke-hold as air-tight as possible.

The wood-work, when of pitch-pine or other hard wood planed smooth, may
be oiled or varnished, painting being undesirable for new houses. In
course of time, however, painting has to be resorted to, and it is one
of the most trying operations about the Orchid houses. Great care has to
be taken to obtain a reliable quality of paint that will not harm the
plants, and to keep the house vacant for as long a time as possible for
the gases from the paint to escape. After the plants are returned to the
house some ventilation must be maintained day and night for a time. Tar
should not be used inside an Orchid house for any purpose.


The staging must be arranged according to the width of the house. Narrow
houses may be provided with a stage on each side and a path through the
centre. Other structures of sufficient width should be furnished with a
side stage measuring 4 feet to 4 feet 6 inches in width, and a central
stage on a somewhat higher level, and rising in steps to the middle and
highest point.

[Illustration: PLATE II



(This specimen, cultivated from a single growth, bore 126 flowers.)]

Iron frame-work is the best, because it is clean and almost
indestructible. The uprights resting on the floor should be fixed in
metal saucers, which, if kept filled with water, offer great obstacles
to insects ascending from the floor. The open wood-work resting on the
iron frames, and on which the plants are to stand, should be of teak or
pitch-pine, and arranged trellis-like. For some years past it has been
the practice to have a close, moisture-holding stage of slate, or tiles,
beneath the upper and open wood-work stage. It was an invention of my
own when adapting an ordinary plant-house with a slate stage to receive
one of the earliest importations of _Odontoglossum crispum_. The
existing slate stage was made water-tight at the joints, and a fillet of
cement was run along the back; the surface was then covered with clean
shingle, and home-made trellises, raised on bricks in three levels, were
placed along the close staging to receive the plants. It proved a great
success, and in the same house the small, bottom ventilators, the first
of their kind, but which have now become general, were an equally good
innovation. At that time, and for many years afterwards, the flooring of
Orchid houses was sealed by concrete or hard tiles, and the
moisture-holding lower stage was necessary to give a reasonable amount
of evaporating surface. More recently it has occurred to many of us that
a moisture-giving surface might be obtained from the natural earth, if
the earth was left either in its natural state or was given a coating of
coke-breeze or similar porous material, and trellises used for the
paths. In a similar way provision had to be made for the second object
of the close stage, namely, the checking of the direct upward heat from
the hot-water pipes. This has been done very effectively in some gardens
by arranging a much less elaborate and costly means than the full, close
staging generally in use. An iron frame is placed midway between the
hot-water pipes and the staging on which the plants rest; a shelf of
corrugated iron, slate, or tiles, extends from the back to about half
the width of the side staging, its inner edge being about midway in the
space beneath the staging, and an inch or so of space is left between
the back of the shelf and the wall of the house to allow some of the
heat from the pipes to pass that way, the greater part being diverted
towards the middle of the house by the intervention of the shelf which
is covered with turf or some other moisture-holding material. This is
kept continually moist by frequent syringings during the warm season,
when plenty of moisture in the air is required.

In arranging new houses having the natural earth for a floor, this plan
is less expensive and altogether preferable to the formal, close staging
of full width, which, however, should still be retained in adapting
ordinary plant-houses already provided with a tiled or cemented base,
unless it is convenient to remove the tiles and restore the natural
earth surface. In arranging the staging, one essential object has to be
kept in view, namely, that no part of it shall be out of easy reach; for
very wide stages are apt to cause the plants in the back rows to suffer


In these progressive times it is not well to lay down hard-and-fast
rules with regard to the best type of appliance. It should, however, be
urged that every Orchid house ought to be heated with hot water, and,
that in all cases 4-inch piping should be used, the radiation of heat
from that size being much more gentle and equal than from smaller pipes.
Bottom heat by means of piping under closed-in beds of cocoa-nut fibre,
or any other material, is bad, although, in a very slight degree, some
arrangement of the kind may be of assistance in the house devoted to
raising seedlings. If it is used, an outlet must be provided for the
inevitable moisture thus raised so that it will not condense and fall on
the plants.

For small houses or blocks of houses, the old saddle boiler in some form
is all that can be desired; and there are several forms of
slow-combustion boilers which may be set almost on the surface of the
ground outside the house, and these are satisfactory. For blocks of
houses the English form of sectional boiler is one of the very best; in
large blocks duplicate sets of this pattern, or any other type that may
be selected, should be set down, as it provides means of heating the
houses if the ordinary boiler happens to fail. It is always better to
provide more power than may appear absolutely necessary, and work it at
low pressure, than to have barely sufficient power and work it hard
during severe weather, as the heat diffused in the latter case is

Before deciding on the means of heating to be employed, it would be well
to pay a visit to some of the collections noted for the excellent
condition of their plants, and inspect the appliances and their
arrangement. Most Orchid growers, whether in private establishments or
nurseries, are willing to assist amateurs in these matters. When the
apparatus has been got into working order, tests should be made to
ensure an equal distribution of the heat from the piping. If a draught
of hot air to any part of the house from beneath the staging is
observed, it is a good plan to build up openly-laid screens or brick
walls 4-1/2 inches thick, the layers of brick being placed so that there
is half the length of the brick opening between each brick and the next
to it. Where there is a sufficient command of heat, these openly-laid
brick walls, without mortar, built up below the side staging and running
parallel with the edge of it, if they are syringed frequently, assist
materially in preserving a healthy moisture in the house.


One of the most important matters in Orchid cultivation is to see that a
lower temperature is maintained at night than in the day. Nothing is
more injurious to the plants than to be kept in a high temperature at
night, nor is anything more contrary to natural conditions. All who have
travelled in the countries from whence Orchids have been imported
testify to the great difference between the temperature during the day
and that experienced at night, the difference in some parts being that
between an excessively hot day and a chilly night and early morning.
These cool conditions at night are absolutely necessary for the
well-being of the plants, and in their absence the plants suffer as do
human beings during the progress of a heat-wave, which often kills many
people. Therefore it must be urged that at night the temperature must be
from 5° to 10° Fahrenheit lower than the day temperatures. This
condition is difficult to get during hot weather, but it is necessary.
Although a scale of temperatures throughout the year must not be taken
to mean that a little more heat may not be allowed occasionally--as, for
instance, by sun-heat, which is beneficial--nevertheless it is better to
have a scale to form a basis, and especially to emphasise the lower
temperature at night.

~Table of Temperatures for Orchid Houses~

   Months.   | Warm House,   |      Cattleya or   |      Cool or        |
             | East Indian.  | Intermediate House.| Odontoglossum House.|
             |  Day. | Night.|    Day. | Night.   |    Day. | Night.
  January    | 65-70 |  60   |   60-65 |  55      |   50-55 |  45
  February   | 65-70 |  60   |   60-65 |  55      |   50-55 |  45
  March      | 65-70 |  60   |   60-65 |  55      |   55-60 |  50
  April      | 65-70 |  60   |   60-65 |  55      |   55-60 |  50
  May        | 70-75 |  65   |   65-70 |  60      |   60-65 |  55
  June       | 75-80 |  65   |   70-75 |  60      |   60-65 |  55
  July       | 75-85 |  65   |   70-80 |  65      |   60-70 |  55
  August     | 75-85 |  65   |   70-80 |  65      |   60-70 |  55
  September  | 75-80 |  65   |   70-75 |  60      |   60-65 |  55
  October    | 70-75 |  65   |   65-70 |  60      |   60-65 |  55
  November   | 65-70 |  60   |   60-65 |  55      |   55-60 |  50
  December   | 65-70 |  60   |   60-65 |  55      |   50-55 |  45

Degrees Fahrenheit. The higher day temperature should be obtained by
sun-heat when possible.

Further remarks on this and other details will be found under the
headings of the different genera, but it will be better now to state in
general terms that during the season of active growth any reasonably
high temperature by sun-heat, secured by keeping the house tolerably
close and well shaded, greatly benefits the plants. This is specially
noticeable where batches of _Dendrobium nobile_, _D. Wardianum_, and
other deciduous Dendrobiums are grown. Those who grow them best allow
the house containing the plants to become very warm; they remove the
shading early in the afternoon in order to let the plants get the
longest duration of light possible, and they keep the house very moist
until the evening.


It is doubtful whether the owner of a large collection of Orchids gets a
greater amount of pleasure than the beginner starting with but one
Orchid house, provided the owner of the single structure is careful in
selecting his plants.

In cases where only one Orchid house is possible, and a more or less
general collection of plants is desired, that house should be heated as
an intermediate house. The single Orchid house has often been the
starting-point of more extensive culture. It is generally commenced by
utilising an existing plant-house, in some cases, unfortunately, without
making the necessary preparation for the new occupants.

When it has been decided to adapt a house for Orchids, the proper course
is to clear the house of its contents, thoroughly overhaul the interior
fittings, such as staging, &c., and make any alterations necessary. The
heating apparatus should be regulated, and, above all, the best possible
provision must be made for catching and storing rain-water, even if this
necessitates the providing of a brick and cement tank beneath the

If the existing floor in the house is of concrete or tiles, or any
similar material, it must be removed, leaving the natural earth for the
surface of the basement, and providing a wood-trellis for walking on in
spaces between the stages. Let the house be thoroughly cleansed and
painted, and after a short time has elapsed it will be ready to receive
the plants.

In such a house heated as a cool, intermediate house, with a minimum
temperature of 50° to 60° Fahr. in winter, a large number of showy
Orchids can be grown successfully. Those species which require great
heat should be carefully avoided, for, although cool-house Orchids are
easily managed in a house warmer than is necessary for them, the
hot-house kinds usually fail in a temperature which is too low to allow
of their making growth under favourable conditions. In such an
intermediate house the Odontoglossums, Masdevallias and other favourite
cool-house Orchids can be grown successfully, if arranged in the cooler
part of the house and carefully watered. The Cattleyas, Lælias, and the
garden hybrids should be placed on the staging in the middle of the
house, well up to the light; the Brazilian Oncidiums, _Sophronitis
grandiflora_, and Stanhopeas should be suspended from the roof of the
house, but in such positions as will avoid placing them over the plants
on the side staging. The Odontoglossums and Cochliodas may be
accommodated on the side staging in the cooler and moister part of the
house. In such a house all the varieties of _Cypripedium insigne_, _C.
Spicerianum_, _C. Charlesworthii_, and all the green-leafed section
known as Selenipediums, will thrive admirably, and a very large
selection of other showy Orchids, including Zygopetalums; but again I
would say that species which are usually regarded as warm-house Orchids
must be rejected.


It should be distinctly understood that every Orchid house needs to be
fitted with proper means of shading, extending over the whole roof and
removable when necessary. Some cultivators think they meet the case by
providing shading only on the sunny side, or by painting the glass with
some kind of preparation more or less in the nature of whitewash. Such
preparations should never be used, because, when this is once placed on
the glass, the shade, such as it is, is there in dull as well as bright
weather, in the night time as well as the day, and for the greater part
of the time, especially in dull seasons, it obstructs light which is
necessary for the proper development of the plants. Another important
objection to their use is that shading given by these washes wears off
and leaves the plants exposed to the full sunlight. The substance is
washed off by the rains and carried into the rain-water tanks, thus
causing injuries to the plants watered with the polluted water, and
rendering unsightly the foliage moistened with it.

Proper blinds running on iron or wooden supports, raising them well
above the glass of the roof, are absolutely necessary. Lath roller
blinds are excellent for shading, being durable, clean, and easily let
down and drawn up.

Light canvas or scrim shading fixed to roller blinds answers the purpose
well, but care should be taken not to employ heavy, closely woven
canvas. Too great attention cannot be paid to the working of these
blinds, for they must never be down except when required for protection
against the sun's rays, and they must be drawn up during dull intervals.

The blinds are useful also during severe winters as a protection against
excessive cold at nights, and in this particular the lath roller blinds
are the best, and may be left in position where they are likely to be
required for this purpose.

When canvas blinds are used during the summer and removed in late
autumn, care should be taken to have them perfectly dry before they are
stored for the winter in some dry place, or they will be useless when
they are required for placing in position the following spring.



We are often asked what season is the best for potting and basketing
Orchids. Experienced growers say that, with the exception of the winter
season, they are engaged in potting operations all the year round,
potting each section as it requires it. Springtime is a period when a
general overhaul of the plants is usual, and, at that time, plants
requiring it should be repotted, but those which are not in the proper
condition, or which are showing flower-spikes, should be allowed to
remain until their flowering time has passed.

As a general rule, it may be said that the best time to perform the
operation is soon after the flowering season has passed, and that no
plant should be repotted unless it really requires it; but any plant
which has become in a bad condition in the pot by being in unsuitable
material should be repotted at once, no matter what season it may be.

Care should be taken to use the pots and crocks in a thoroughly clean
condition. Broken crocks are generally used for drainage, although they
are not now placed in the pots to the depth of one-half or more, as they
used to be. The depth of the crocks varies from about one-third in
Cypripediums and terrestrial Orchids generally, to a rather greater
depth for Cattleyas, Lælias, and similar Orchids, the depth of crocks
also being varied according to the density of the material used, fewer
crocks being necessary when a mixture of Osmunda fibre, or other
material which lets the water through quickly, is employed in place of

Sand and crushed crocks or potsherds are used by many for mixing with
the potting material, but they may easily be dispensed with, or used
only in very small quantities.

Turfy loam carefully broken up and mixed in suitable proportions with
peat and Sphagnum-moss, or Osmunda, or Polypodium fibre, is necessary
for Cypripediums, the proportion of loam being greatest for the
stronger-growing plants; certain Selenipediums and Cypripediums require
quite one-half of that ingredient. Some good growers use loam fibre
with a sprinkling of leaves and broken crocks entirely for _Cypripedium
insigne_ and others of the green-leafed class, and also for Calanthes,
Phaius, Zygopetalums, and other plants.

In preparing the peat for use in potting, the bracken rhizomes should be
set aside to place as a layer over the crocks, with a little
Sphagnum-moss. Bracken rhizomes have been used with advantage instead of
crocks to form drainage for Odontoglossums, and some growers like it so
much for that purpose that the horticultural sundriesmen supply it
sterilised in bags.

The methods of potting and choice of material vary with different
growers, each pursuing in some matters different methods to those
observed by others. It is desirable that an Orchid grower should
endeavour to find out the best methods for his own circumstances and, if
the results are satisfactory, that he should adhere to them, for there
is no more prolific cause of failure than in continually trying
experiments recommended by others. The operation of potting or basketing
Orchids is very simple, and can be readily learned by observation. The
aim should be to avoid injuring the living roots but to leave the plant
firm in the pot.

[Illustration: PLATE III


(At the time the photograph was taken this plant bore 264 flowers.)]


It is more in accordance with nature to grow epiphytal Orchids of
convenient size in baskets to be suspended from the roof of the Orchid
house, and in the case of subjects reputedly difficult to grow the best
results are often attained in this way. At the same time, this is due as
much to the plants being placed near to the glass of the roof, as to the
fact that the air has better access to the roots than when the plants
are in pots. Hence it is that for suspending plants of small and medium
growth, Orchid pans made in the same way as the flower-pot are found to
be a convenient substitute for baskets, as they are not so liable to
decay as wood-baskets.

Stanhopeas, Lueddemannias, Acinetas, and some other Orchids which
produce their flower spikes directly from the base of the growth, must
be grown in baskets to admit of the proper production of their flowers,
which, if grown in pots, are sent down into the compost and lost.
Gongoras, Cirrhæas, and similar genera, which produce slender spikes of
flowers of drooping habit, are also best in baskets, as they produce
their flowers much more freely when the plants are suspended.

The Orchid pan, for suspending, is also equally good for Masdevallias of
the Chimæra section, a large number of Bulbophyllums and Cirrhopetalums,
and generally for plants of small stature which would be too far away
from the glass if placed on the stage. For the bulk of the collection
the grower has to use the ordinary flower-pots, which are still
unsurpassed for general purposes. The elaborately designed pots,
perforated with holes or slits, which were used for Orchids years ago,
are not necessary, for there is no defect in the ordinary flower-pot
which cannot be overcome by the careful and skilful practitioner.

Rafts and cylinders of teak-wood made in the same manner as baskets are
useful for some species, but it has to be remembered that plants on
rafts are liable to suffer from lack of sufficient moisture-holding
material around them. _Broughtonia sanguinea_, however, is never so
happy as when grown on a horizontally suspended raft without the least
potting material.

The great trouble with suspended Orchids, and one which precludes the
cultivator employing this culture for so many plants as he could wish,
is the drip they cause to the plants on the stages. No Orchid should
have another plant suspended above it; if it is not possible to avoid
this, the relative positions of the suspended plants should be changed
as often as possible; water should only be given them by "dipping" the
plants, and they should be allowed to drain thoroughly before being
again suspended. As many of the suspended plants as possible should be
arranged on each side of the path, and in other situations where there
are no plants immediately under them.

Narrow rafts 4 inches wide and 1 foot or so in height are suitable for
_Angræcum infundibulare_, _A. imbricatum_, and other scandent Angræcums
of similar growth. These should be fastened to the rafts with some good
Sphagnum-moss between the plant and the raft on the lower half, the base
of the plant and the raft being afterwards fastened in a flower-pot with
Sphagnum-moss, the raft leaning at a slight angle. Sphagnum-moss can be
added on the upper part as the plant grows, and, when sufficiently
rooted up the stem, it can be severed half-way up when the base will
produce new growths.


Some years ago, when large specimens were favoured, it used to be the
practice to stake or "stick" the plants, as it was called, some of them
exhibiting almost as many sticks as pseudo-bulbs. The sticks rapidly
decayed, often leaving the stumps to harbour fungus and cause injury to
the plants.

The compact specimens of the present day, when properly grown, require
no support from sticks. In respect to specimens of larger growth, such
as Aërides of tall habit, Lælias of the _L. purpurata_ class, and
Dendrobiums, when they require sticking at all, they may be securely
supported by one stick in the centre, to which one of the strongest
growths should be fastened, any others requiring support being looped to
the centre stick. The fewer sticks used the better.

Dwarf plants with creeping rhizomes between the pseudo-bulbs used often
to be secured when repotted by small wire pegs, and the custom is not
yet quite obsolete. Metal, especially galvanised iron wire, which is
most commonly used, is very injurious to any portion of an Orchid which
is allowed to come in contact with it. Such pegs are unnecessary, for
the plants can be fixed with the potting material, and later on the new
roots will effectually secure them.

In fastening Orchids on rafts or blocks, fine copper wire should be
used, and all the care possible taken to prevent it resting on the
rhizomes or stems, a small piece of peat or Sphagnum-moss being placed
beneath the wire where it crosses the plant. Where Orchids such as
Phalænopsis are grown in baskets or hanging pans, the leaves should not
be allowed to touch the wire suspenders, or injury will result. Where
leaves too closely approach the wire suspenders during their growth, the
wire should be bent to avoid contact, or have a small shred of
cotton-wool or other material bound round it at the point of contact, if
the leaf cannot be drawn aside.

For staking Orchids, bamboo canes are preferable to common deal-wood


It adds much to the interest of a collection of Orchids, either small or
large, if a proper system of recording the plants is arranged for by
means of a stock-book, in which the name of each plant is entered as it
is acquired, together with the source from which it was obtained, and
any other particulars that may be required when the plant flowers. This
entry need only be brief, and generally one, or at most two lines will
suffice for each plant. If it is intended to keep the plants under
numbers, the left-hand margin should bear consecutive numbers from one
onward, but if it is desired to have the names on each plant, the names
in the stock-book should be arranged in an alphabetical manner. In some
collections where numbering is practised the number is written across
the top of the label, and the name written lengthwise when desired.

The common deal label is not suitable, because the base soon decays in
Orchid houses, causing danger from fungal growth, and rendering the
identification of the plant after the label has perished, or fallen
away, very uncertain. The lead number for clipping the rim of the pot,
or attaching to the wires of the basket or suspending pan, is less
objectionable, but they are only convenient where numbers are alone
used. Zinc labels and various other contrivances have been tried, but
the best and safest label, either for numbers or names, or both, is the
white celluloid label, obtainable in all sizes, similar to the ordinary
wooden plant label, and in the ticket form for attaching to the baskets
by means of fine wire. This kind of label does not decay as the wood
labels, and it may be cleaned and used again as long as it remains in a
perfect condition. Let all labels be made as small as possible
consistent with their being firmly fixed, as it detracts much from the
appearance of a house of plants if the labels are too much in evidence.
Care must be taken during repotting that the labels removed from the
plants should each be returned to its proper specimen. Much trouble may
be caused by mixing the labels.



An unsightly appearance is given to many collections of Orchids by the
presence on some of the plants of a number of damaged or yellow leaves.
These are often supposed to be the result of bad cultivation, and, in
some cases, rightly so. But in all collections of Orchids the old
leaves, even of the evergreen species, do not pass off naturally as they
do in their native habitats, where they have the natural seasons with
their climatic changes to cause the leaves to fall naturally. When
cultivated under glass, the species which are known as evergreen kinds
retain their old leaves long after they would have passed away in their
native wilds; and not only that, but they decline and become unsightly
for years under glass, instead of passing away in a few months.
Consequently many Orchids in collections often carry at least twice as
many leaves as they ought to do, and the oldest are the most unsightly.
A ready example of this kind is given by most collections of
Masdevallias. The leaves are usually densely packed, many of the older
ones shabby, and not only unsightly in themselves, but interfering with
the full development of the new growths.

Masdevallias have no developed pseudo-bulbs, but a joint will be seen
where the leaf-blades join the basal stems; all damaged leaves should be
cut off just above that joint, and it will be found that some of the
plants will be benefited, both in appearance and condition, by having
from one-third to one-half the number of their old and damaged leaves
removed. The same remarks apply to all Orchids of similar growth, such
as Pleurothallis and Octomerias, and indeed to the species generally,
for damaged or decaying leaves can be of no assistance in the
development of the plant, unless in exceptional cases where the grower
must use his own discretion.


If an imported Orchid such as a Cattleya or Lælia, which has been
cultivated under glass for several years and has many pseudo-bulbs, be
turned out of the pot and the roots freed from the potting material, it
will be seen that the new roots which nourish the plant are confined to
the freshest pseudo-bulbs, and that the roots beneath the older
pseudo-bulbs are in such a condition that they are useless in the
economy of the plant. This fact goes to show that the old pseudo-bulbs
are being supported by the newer growths, and, that they are seriously
impeding the full development of the flower-producing part of the
specimen. In such cases it is a common thing to see large specimens
collapse and die off, the decay being traceable to the old bulbs in the
centre of the plant. It is, therefore, better to remove old pseudo-bulbs
behind the last three or four leading ones, and, if it is desired to
retain all leading portions of a large mass in one pot or pan to form a
specimen, they should be potted together, when it will be found that,
given reasonable treatment, they will make better specimens than if left
in a mass. In the case of varieties that need to be propagated, the
pieces removed should be placed in comparatively small Orchid pans or
baskets, properly labelled, and in due time useful and often valuable
specimens may be secured from material which would only have been
detrimental to the parent plant. The same kind of treatment will be
found equally beneficial in the case of garden hybrids which have been
cultivated long enough to have a number of back bulbs. In such cases the
plants frequently degenerate after the first two or three years, until
they produce inferior flowers, but the removal of the back pseudo-bulbs
results in giving the flowering growths the full benefit of the root
action, and consequently the plants again produce flowers of good

Potting time is a very convenient season to give special attention to
the removal of useless leaves and pseudo-bulbs, as the plants can be
readily handled when they are out of the pots.

All useless parts removed should be taken out of the house and burnt. It
is a common practice to throw the leaves under the stage. No rubbish of
this, or any other kind, should be allowed in the Orchid house, as it
forms a harbour for insects and is, in other respects, objectionable.



It used to be thought a very delicate operation to divide an Orchid, or
to remove any portion of it for the purpose of obtaining another
specimen, and, when the operation was carried out, it was thought to be
at the risk of the plant and its offset.

In the case of badly grown plants, or where the houses are unsuitable
for growing Orchids successfully, there may still be considerable risk
in the process; but under ordinary conditions, and where the plants have
proper accommodation, there is no risk whatever; it may be said that
plants are never in better health than when they are divided at
reasonable intervals. If we consider the case of _Cypripedium insigne
Sanderæ_, some of the white Cattleyas, and many other Orchids which were
imported only as single specimens originally but which are now well
represented in gardens, the advantage of dividing the plants is readily

Pseudo-bulbous Orchids with progressive rhizomes, such as Cattleyas,
Lælias, Oncidiums, and Odontoglossums, should be divided by severing the
rhizomes, retaining two or more pseudo-bulbs together. This operation
can be done at any season of the year, but it is most convenient to do
it at potting time, and, for preference, just before the commencement of
the natural growing season of the plant. Small pieces should be placed
in small Orchid pans or baskets, but larger ones may be potted at once
and placed on the stage with the other plants.

Dendrobiums may also be propagated by dividing the plants, but a large
section of the genus may also be propagated by cuttings of the
pseudo-bulbs. This method is specially useful for increasing a rare and
fine variety of _Dendrobium nobile_ or others of the section, as a good
supply of plants can quickly be obtained in this way. The method is to
cut the pseudo-bulbs into lengths of two or three inches and to place
them in small Orchid pans, six or eight in a pan, suspending the pan in
a warm, moist, house. The Thunia section of Phaius, _Epidendrum
radicans_, and some other Epidendrums and Orchids of similar growth may
be multiplied in this manner. Further remarks on propagation will be
found under the names of the genera enumerated.



Success or failure with any class of Orchids depends largely on the
exercise of discretion in watering. While it may be said that more
specimens are lost by having too little water, especially among the
smaller-growing species, than by over-watering, at the same time much
mischief is caused by a system of giving a little watering frequently
all the year round, and without any regard to the period of growth or
rest through which the plants are passing. Such treatment does not
provide for strong growth during the growing season, or adequate rest
after the growths are finished; consequently the plants decline in
health and the flowers are not satisfactory. Rain-water is the only
suitable water for Orchids, and the growers who can command a supply of
it all the year round possess a great advantage over those who have to
use water from any other source.

During the period of growth and root action, too much water at the root
cannot easily be given, provided the material in which the plants are
potted is sufficiently porous and the pots or Orchid pans have a
sufficient drainage. The rule should be to water thoroughly when
watering at all, making sure that the whole of the potting material is
moistened well, then not to give more water to that plant until the
effect of the watering is seen to be passing, the plant being still
moist but approaching dryness, when the thorough watering should be
repeated. Nothing is more misleading than to pour a little water each
day on the surface of the material in which the plant is potted. This is
often considered to be careful watering, but it results in a large
number of the plants never getting thoroughly moist at the root, while
others in a retentive compost, or where the drainage is defective,
become soddened. Such cases may arise occasionally under any conditions,
and, where a thoroughly dry plant is found at a season when it should be
moist, it is better to plunge the pot or basket in water until it is
perfectly soaked. In the case of a plant which is too wet with stagnant
moisture, it should either be repotted after the wet potting material
has been removed, or placed on a shelf to remain without water until it
is again in a proper condition to receive it.

In all cases a spouted watering-pot should be used. The rose
watering-pot and syringe are necessary things in the Orchid house, but
the use of them should be rigidly restricted to some definite work, such
as watering Orchids for the first time after repotting, sprinkling the
floors, staging, and brick walls, and other work which cannot cause
mischief. It used to be a common practice to water Orchids overhead with
a rose watering-pot, but the plants so watered made but few roots, and
the foliage was generally unsightly, owing to deposits from the water.
It is therefore best to make a rule against watering overhead in a
general way.

The syringe may be used among Dendrobiums and some other warm-house
Orchids during the height of the growing season; but it would be safer
to arrange for such work to be done by means of a sprayer and at shorter
intervals. The sprayer is a very useful and beneficial contrivance, and,
in the hands of a careful operator using clean rain-water, it affords a
valuable aid in maintaining a healthily humid condition in the
atmosphere of all the Orchid houses, especially during the heat of the

Equal in importance to the giving of sufficient water during the growing
season is the observance of the dry, resting season, which, in a varying
degree, is required by all Orchids, whether they come from hot or cold
habitats, and whether they are epiphytal or terrestrial species.


These, like the epiphytal Orchids, may be divided into two main classes,
namely, those which lose their leaves annually, and those which are more
or less evergreen. Some of the genera contain both of these classes, and
notably the Calanthes. In _C. vestita_, _C. Regnieri_, _C. rosea_, and
their varieties and hybrids the leaves turn yellow after the growths are
fully made up, a sign which gives a good indication as to the necessity
for withholding water for a lengthened period; while _Calanthe
veratrifolia_ and others of the class retain the last-made foliage green
all the year round, the loss of foliage being in the old leaves, which
should be removed at the first sign of decay. With these latter may be
classed the Phaius, Zygopetalums, Cymbidiums, Cypripediums, and many
others of evergreen habit, which require much care to be exercised in
the matter of withholding water during the resting season, otherwise the
plants will decline in vigour. After the growths are finished, most of
these plants are benefited by removal to a cooler and more freely
ventilated house for a few weeks, during which time the supply of water
should be restricted, but they should never be allowed to suffer by
being thoroughly dried. For Zygopetalums and other Orchids which it is
customary to place in a rather drier atmosphere during the time they are
in flower, such an interval would be sufficient rest.



It should be distinctly understood that, in the case of true epiphytes,
there is no need for manures, and, that artificial chemical manures are
almost certain to bring about disastrous results, the final collapse
being in proportion to the potency of the stimulant used and the
recklessness of the grower. Where rain-water can be obtained and stored
for use throughout the season, it is safest and most satisfactory to
rely on this alone, except for some terrestrial Orchids. The chief
difficulty in recommending the use of manures for any class of plants,
Orchids especially, is in the fact that, once the practice is commenced,
even those cultivators who begin cautiously frequently lose discretion
in the course of time and ruin their plants by excessive applications.
It is for this reason that the growers of plants for market purposes,
whose secret of success almost entirely depends on the use of manures,
are careful to give out the supplies to the men who have to use them,
or, with the very best intentions, they would often destroy a crop.
Indeed, it is not uncommon for foremen, or men in charge of departments
in large nurseries devoted to growing plants for market, to resort to
unfair means to get extra supplies of manure for their plants, and
frequently with bad results. There is another curious feature about the
use of manures in market-plant gardens, namely, that all concerned
observe the greatest secrecy in the matter, and rarely admit that they
use "anything but water"--that being the common expression. The same
secrecy is observed by the Orchid expert in most cases. Another thing is
that there is no common formula accepted by all practitioners. Each
seems to have his own opinions as to materials, quality, and strength of
the stimulants used.

One thing is certain, that even where artificial manures are used, the
time of application and its discontinuance has more to do with success
or failure than the nature of the manure itself. Even in cases where the
administration of a mild stimulant is of use during the period of active
growth and free rooting, if the manure is not discontinued after growth
is completed much mischief is done.

It is not necessary to go into the relative merits of chemical manures,
which are not recommended for use, but it may be stated that some
growers do use small quantities with apparently good results,
restricting the use of the manure to the active growing season and
during the time the flower-spikes are forming. Aërides, Saccolabiums,
and Vandas seem to be exceptions, as they represent the highest
development of the epiphyte. Odontoglossums and some similar Orchids
have been treated to a very small quantity of Peruvian guano sprinkled
in the water used for watering them in spring while the flowers were
forming, and without a bad effect; but the quantity used was very small,
and the water was not allowed to touch the leaves or pseudo-bulbs. One
grower on the Continent was in the habit of sprinkling a handful of
nitrate of soda in the gutter of the house, especially before, or during
heavy rain, in order that a little solution of it might be carried into
the rain-water tanks in the Orchid house. His plants throve well, and
this shows that even with epiphytal Orchids there is a field open for
experiment; but the operator must not lose sight of the fact that he is
"playing with edged tools." We will now state what has been proved to be
beneficial when carefully carried out. Those who grow batches of the
showy Dendrobiums such as _D. nobile_, _D. Wardianum_, _D. Phalænopsis_,
and others of the class, and who, at the growing season, place them in a
warm, moist house, suspended from the roof for preference, frequently
give them weak doses of liquid manure during the season of growth, and
the plants make very fine growth.

[Illustration: PLATE IV



(The plant bore 88 flowers.)]

The liquid from farm-yard manure, or from a stable, should be avoided,
as its strength cannot be known; sometimes it is very weak, and at
others fatally strong. A large tub with liquid manure made of cow-dung,
and in which a coarse bag of soot has been sunk, is a safe manure for
any plant, and if properly diluted can do no harm to plants requiring
such a stimulant.

Terrestrial Orchids such as Calanthes and Phaius can scarcely be grown
to their best without a liberal application of this, or some other
manure known to the operator to be safe, during their season of growth.
Cymbidiums, Zygopetalums, Peristerias, and other strong-growing Orchids
have also been treated to weak liquid manure from the commencement of
growth until the flowers expanded, with advantage so far as evidence is

An occasional watering of liquid manure, or slight sprinkling of guano,
may be given beneath the staging in the evenings during the growing

The structure of the roots of Orchids does not favour the idea that
they are suited for taking up stimulating liquid in the manner common to
fibrous-rooted plants.

On the general question of the use of stimulants in Orchid culture many
clever men have carried out experiments. The late Dr. A. H. Smee went
into the question, basing his experiments on the chemical constituents
of the plants themselves, which is not an infallible guide.

The late Norman C. Cookson carefully studied the subject, and he
recommended for experiment the following formula:--

    Potassium nitrate (saltpetre),   3 oz.
    Ammonium phosphate,              2 oz.

Dissolve in a three-gallon jar of soft water, and when watering growing
Orchids, or those perfecting their flowers, add one ounce of the
solution to each gallon of water.

Again it must be urged that those experimenting with manures must do so
only on growing plants, and when growth is completed it must be stopped.
No Orchid grower should undertake such experiments without first
obtaining his employer's concurrence.



Whilst we may definitely say that all Orchids require a resting season
in some degree, the cultivator must be careful to arrange the resting
season, in the matter of its duration and other particulars, in
accordance with the nature of the plant, for in some classes of Orchids
it is very easy to do much mischief by subjecting them to a too
prolonged and rigorous resting time. Seedling Orchids, as a rule,
require little or no resting season until after their first flowering,
and Cattleyas, Læliocattleyas, and other evergreen hybrids require a
rather shorter period of rest than deciduous species.

Bulbophyllums, Cirrhopetalums, and many other small-growing Orchids are
frequently killed by attempting to give them a dry resting season,
although there is a section which lose their leaves in winter like the
deciduous Dendrobiums, and these are benefited by being dried off in a
cooler house when the leaves fall, keeping them dry until growth starts
again, in the same manner as _Dendrobium nobile_, _D. Wardianum_, _D.
crassinode_, and other deciduous Dendrobiums.

The evergreen Dendrobiums of the _D. densiflorum_ and _D. Farmeri_ class
require a short rest in a lower temperature, and should be watered a
little occasionally, especially if they show a tendency to shrivel,
which is not a good thing for any Orchid.

Aërides, Vandas, and Saccolabiums require a lower temperature in winter,
and less water. Many of these begin to grow in March; after that season
they require heat and moisture more liberally.

As a rule, the plants themselves give the best indication when the
resting season has arrived, and, in the case of those which lose their
leaves, they show how much rest is necessary. The starting of the new
growth indicates when growing conditions should be restored. In respect
to the very small-growing species, and especially evergreen kinds, it is
much better to ignore the resting season rather than to lower the
vitality of the plants by a severe drying off.



While every plant in the collection should be given the best possible
care and attention, it is advisable to keep the more rare and valuable
specimens immediately under the eye of the grower. It is often the case
that albinos, rare varieties, and new species are allowed to get mixed
up in the general collection, and a plant that could not be replaced may
be hidden by the commoner things which are not of so much consequence.
In the case of the best spotted varieties of _Odontoglossum crispum_,
albino Cattleyas, and other exceptionally rare things, it is a good plan
to arrange a batch of them together in the most suitable part of the
house, or to place each on an inverted flower-pot at intervals along the
staging, thus bringing them into prominence and facilitating the
inspection of each at all times. Some use wire plant stands instead of
inverted pots, but the moisture-holding flower-pots are preferable, if
they are inspected occasionally to see that they are not harbouring
insects. Albinos and fine varieties of Cattleyas and Lælias could be
grown in suspended Orchid pans or baskets, to take them out of the
general collection, and so grown they would make better progress than if
placed on the stages. In the case of any plant not making satisfactory
growth it is often beneficial to place it on an inverted pot to bring it
more prominently under notice.



There is very much in the old-time advice, "Grow your plants clean," for
a very large proportion of Orchid diseases and insect pests are due to
errors in cultivation, more especially in the regulation of the
temperature and the ventilation. Insanitary houses lower the vitality of
the plants, and vegetation, like human beings, is a prey to disease when
kept in unhealthy conditions.

Spot, or Orchid disease, exhibits itself in various forms. It is caused,
as scientists say, by different micro-organisms, but in effect it is
practically the same whether in the form known as "Spot," often seen in
Phalænopsis, Aërides, and Vandas, or in the decayed and blackened
pseudo-bulbs of Cattleyas, especially _C. Warscewiczii_ (gigas), which
from an apparently healthy plant may develop a diseased condition of the
pseudo-bulbs, and become useless in a few days. In all such diseases it
will be seen that the tissues have collapsed, the result being brown or
blackish spots on leaves or bulbs. Imperfect nutrition from lack of
healthy roots is a frequent cause of this mischief, for Aërides and
Vandas which have been affected with "Spot" recover in the new growth,
for a time at least, if a satisfactory root action can be set up.

Propagation, by freeing the recently made parts of the plants from the
old and worn-out back portions, which are not furnished with the roots
necessary to support themselves is one of the best means of preventing
Orchid diseases, and efforts should be made to keep the plants vigorous
and, therefore, capable of resisting attacks by insect pests.

Plants are also benefited greatly by having their position in the houses
changed, and that is one of the great advantages of the periodical
inspection, for during this process the relative positions of the plants
are altered.

It should be said that Cattleyas and other common Orchids badly affected
by disease had better be burnt, for it is cheaper to buy a healthy young
plant than to waste time in trying to bring the unsightly and diseased
specimens back to health.

The Cattleya Fly (_Isosoma orchidearum_), first imported probably with
_Cattleya Dowiana_, and frequently with other Cattleyas since, affects
the new growths, the grubs causing them to swell and rendering the
growth useless. The same species, or one closely allied, also attacks
the young roots of Cattleyas, Lælias, and their hybrids, causing
unsightly galls on the points of the roots. Fumigation, with some safe
preparation to destroy the fly, should be carried out, and every young
growth and root-point as soon as they are seen to be affected should be
cut off and burnt. By adopting these remedies it is possible to get rid
of the pest. In purchasing freshly imported plants, care should be taken
to reject those which show signs of having been affected by the fly.

Thrips, Red Spider, and Aphides occasionally appear in every collection,
and the remedy is fumigation and sponging with an insecticide, which
some growers prepare for themselves, either by pouring boiling water
over coarse tobacco tied up in a cloth and adding a little soft soap, or
by making an infusion of quassia chips. But excellent insecticides can
be purchased already prepared, which are guaranteed to be safe and
effective, and being of uniform strength, they may be used with
confidence if the instructions given with the preparations are observed

Avoid using paraffin and emulsions of paraffin, for it is dangerous, not
only to the plants sponged with it, but to all the plants in the house,
for it affects the atmosphere.


These appear much less in collections now than formerly, because the old
large specimens are replaced by young and vigorous plants. Thirty or
forty years ago, it was a usual thing to spend several days every year
scraping the brown scales from tall plants of _Aërides odoratum_, _Vanda
tricolor_, and other specimen Orchids, and what was called "cleaning"
was going on all the year round. Now there is much less need of such
work, although scale will appear in its various species on one section
of plants or another. In the periodical inspections, all plants attacked
by it should have the insects removed by a piece of stick blunted at the
edge and point, sponging the leaves afterwards with some diluted
insecticide. Syringing with an insecticide, or dipping the plants in the
liquid, should be avoided, for the quantity applied is likely to
saturate the material in which the plants are potted and to run into the
centres of the young growths and cause injury. By means of a sponge, it
may be applied lightly or heavily, but the operator has command in each
case over what he is doing.


Fortunately this pest is rare in Orchid houses, but when it appears it
is easily destroyed in the same manner as scale.


The first of these insects to be noticed should be the signal for the
laying of poison. Search should be made for the breeding quarters, which
are often in the stoke-hole, or in some hot, dry corner of the house.
Various preparations are recommended, but the best still seems to be the
old phosphor paste, which should be placed on pieces of paper in the
haunts of the insects in the evening, and removed the next morning, a
fresh supply being put down every two or three days so long as one of
the insects remains.


To combat these is more a question of diligence than anything else. The
old remedies to attract them, such as lettuce leaves, or hollowed halves
of potatoes, are still effective, and a walk round the houses with a
light at night never goes unrewarded.



Whenever the time is to be spared, it is a good plan to overhaul one or
other of the sections of Orchids thoroughly, and to have a more general
inspection as soon as possible after the winter has passed, and at the
end of the summer, this latter inspection being the more important.
Cleanliness in everything around Orchids is one of the most important
aids to successful culture, and, during the periodical inspections,
plants which are not clean should be cleansed, their pots where it is
required washed, and the staging and any part of the house requiring it
thoroughly cleansed before the plants are rearranged. During the course
of the work certain plants which would be benefited by being repotted,
or divided, will be found, and these should be given attention. The
water in the tub in which the green deposit on the pots has been removed
by scrubbing, and as much of the other water used in cleansing as can be
dealt with, should be poured down a drain outside the Orchid house. If
thrown on the floor of the house, it leaves an unpleasant odour, which
is harmful and lasts a long time.

During the inspection at the end of the summer the staging should be
repaired where necessary, the heating apparatus carefully overhauled and
defects made good, in order to minimise the risk of having to do the
work during the cold weather. Where it is deemed advisable to black the
hot-water piping, use only lamp-black and oil. Paint gives off injurious
gases for a considerable time, and where persons have been incautious
enough to use gas-tar the most lamentable results have followed, the
mischief lasting for years. These periodical inspections and
rearrangement of the plants are also useful in preventing the same
plants occupying the same positions for too long a time. A change of
position in the house is beneficial, even where the plants are not
crowded; but in collections where the plants are closely arranged, to
change their positions frequently, goes far to mitigate the evil
arising from want of space. In preparing for a thorough inspection of
the plants in a house, it is desirable to remove a number of the plants
to another house to make room to examine the rest without risk of
breakage, the plants removed at the commencement being returned to fill
the space remaining after the work has been completed.

The Orchid grower is always supposed to have the plants under his direct
inspection and to treat them with individual care, but these occasional
reviews often reveal defects in some of the specimens which would
otherwise have escaped for some considerable time.



There are many dwelling-houses of moderate pretensions, especially in
towns and suburban districts, in which the sole accommodation for
plant-growing consists of the conservatory adjoining the house, and this
is, in most cases, heated by one or other of the simple means at command
for the purpose. The contents of such structures are usually
unsatisfactory, the Pelargoniums, Fuchsias, and other soft-wooded plants
which are arranged with some of the hardier Palms and Ferns being drawn
into spindly growth, which results in a miserable supply of flowers for
a short season, and afterwards in decaying foliage, which is not
ornamental. Quite a new interest would open up to the owners of such
places were they to turn their attention to acquiring from time to time
a few of the Orchids which are now to be procured as cheaply as the less
suitable plants, such as Pelargoniums. Already some successes have been
recorded in this direction.

Let us consider the different classes of conservatories, and the species
most likely to succeed in them.

To take first the commonest kind of small conservatory attached to villa
gardens. These are unheated structures except in the winter months, when
the temperature cannot be kept from getting below 45° Fahr. without the
aid of one of the oil-stove heating apparatus, or heat turned on from
the pipe connected with the kitchen range, where arrangements for doing
so have been provided. These means of applying artificial heat should be
used as little as possible, and only to prevent the temperature falling
below 45° Fahr., for in confined spaces and with such means of heating,
the atmosphere is better for the plants without the use of artificial
heat, whenever the house can be kept from getting too cold without it.
In such conservatories, many of the Odontoglossums, Masdevallias,
_Oncidium varicosum_, _O. crispum_, _O. prætextum_, _O. Gardneri_, the
pretty scarlet _Sophronitis grandiflora_, _Epidendrum vitellinum_,
_Lycaste Skinneri_, _Cypripedium insigne_, _Disa grandiflora_, and a
number of other pretty and inexpensive species can be grown
satisfactorily, especially if the Oncidiums, Sophronitis, _Odontoglossum
Rossii majus_, and other of the smaller species be placed in baskets for
suspending, a means of cultivation which suits them best, and adds to
their decorative effect.

The next step is the larger conservatory adjoining many town and
suburban dwellings. These are heated by a small boiler with hot-water
pipes, a means, it should be said, which is the only satisfactory method
of heating glass structures. To the species indicated for the smaller
and less safely heated structures may be added a very wide range of
subjects of great beauty. In such a structure the Palms supplying
decorative foliage may be much restricted, or entirely dispensed with,
as _Cymbidium Lowianum_, _C. giganteum_, _C. Tracyanum_, and any others
of the section having evergreen leaves of much grace, are decorative
plants at all seasons, and possess the further advantage of being
furnished with fine spikes of flowers for several months in the year.
These large and strong-growing species are specially adapted for the
conservatory, an Orchid house being unnecessary for them.

To the heated conservatory also may now be handed over the showier
species and hybrids of the South American Cypripediums (Selenipediums),
which, probably because of their very free-growing nature rendering them
too large for the Orchid house, and the ready manner in which they may
be increased, have caused them to be slighted lately by growers of
collections of Orchids. The air of the conservatory, rather drier than
that of the Orchid house, suits these plants admirably. Their bright
evergreen foliage and tall sprays of white and rose, or greenish flowers
tinged with purple, which often by succession keep the specimens in
bloom for six months in the year, render them beautiful and interesting
subjects for the conservatory.

The strongest and best kinds to be acquired are _Selenipedium
longifolium_, _S. Sedenii_, _S. cardinale_, _S. calurum_, _S. grande_,
_S. Schröderæ_, and _S. albo-purpureum_.

_Cypriperium Charlesworthii_, _C. Spicerianum_, and _C. Leeanum_ should
also be added. The larger, heated conservatories might well be furnished
with the Orchids recommended rather than the plants generally used for
decorating them, for these have to be changed frequently. The Orchids,
if carefully tended, will grow permanently in the conservatory and be a
source of never-failing interest. In these large conservatories,
Stanhopeas in baskets for suspending are ornamental plants, and
Sobralias on the floor or central bed would prove satisfactory. To those
enumerated many more might be added, but in all cases it is best to get
only evergreen kinds, which may be grown continuously in the same house.



Orchids having flowers with persistent perianths, in which the segments
do not drop as in many other flowers, are of the highest value for cut
flowers, as some or other of them can be obtained in every month in the
year. Large quantities of the large-flowered Cattleyas, especially _C.
labiata_, of _C. Harrisoniana_ and its near ally _C. Loddigesii_,
_Odontoglossum crispum_, _O. Pescatorei_, Dendrobiums, and other showy
Orchids are grown for cut flowers in nurseries where Orchids are not
required for other than market purposes. In many private gardens, also,
the same kinds of Orchids are grown for decorative purposes, even
without a desire to grow a general collection. Those who arrange for a
general collection of Orchids as their primary object often cut the
flowers for their own use, or to give to their friends, and the
following remarks may be useful to all classes of growers.

A large proportion of the flowers of Orchids used for decorative
purposes are in a great degree wasted by being cut in an immature state
soon after the buds have expanded. Such flowers last but a very short
time, and, if used for decoration by night, are only presentable for one
evening. Orchid flowers should not be cut until they are fully mature
and their tissues hardened. They last longer even if they are cut after
they are past their best, than they do if cut too soon after expanding.
When mature, the flowers require less support from moisture passing up
the stem than most flowers, but if cut in an undeveloped state
sufficient moisture cannot be obtained through the stems, even if well
supplied with water, to continue the development, and the petals droop
and the flowers soon wither.

[Illustration: PLATE V



(Raised from a cross between _Brassavola Digbyana_ and _Cattleya

When Orchid flowers are to be used for decorative purposes, no matter in
what stage of development they may be, it adds greatly to their
durability if they are placed head downward, thoroughly immersed in
clean water (rain-water for preference), and kept so immersed until an
hour or so before they are set up, gently shaking the water from them,
and placing them on a cloth or some dry, cool surface until wanted.
Treated in this way, Orchid flowers will last for weeks instead of days.
The method should be to take them out of the dining-room or other place
where they have been used after the guests have departed each evening.
Have ready a large earthenware pan filled with water, and in it immerse
the Orchid flowers, leaving them immersed until shortly before they are
required to be set up again next day, repeating the same treatment every
night. Managed in this way, sprays of Odontoglossums and other Orchids
often last for weeks, and look better than freshly cut immature flowers
do even on the first day. Flowers received by post should always be
treated to the bath for some hours, and, during immersion, any defects
which are reparable will be made good and the duration of the flowers
ensured, especially if the immersion be repeated as before recommended.
In this way Masdevallia, Sobralia, and other fugacious flowers may be
used for decorative purposes for two evenings at least, but in the
absence of immersion they would wither in a very short time. It might
also be said that the Maidenhair Fern, also _Asparagus plumosus_, and
other foliage used with the cut Orchids are materially benefited by
immersion, the Maidenhair Fern especially; it should always be kept
immersed until required for use.



Many interesting Orchids have been imported by amateurs who have friends
or correspondents in the countries which the Orchids inhabit, and many
more would have arrived alive if the persons who sent them possessed
some knowledge of the best methods of collecting, packing, and
forwarding the plants. The want of this knowledge often results in the
trouble the collector has taken being in vain, and disappointment to the
receiver who gets the dead plants and has to tell his correspondent the
sad tale of failure.

Orchids should be gathered and forwarded during their resting season,
and with a sufficient time between their being sent off and their
natural growing season to allow of the period of their transit being
made before their resting season expires. This rule is often needlessly
violated by those who are settled in the district from whence they are
sending the Orchids, and who could easily wait until the resting season
comes round. For those who are travelling and have to take the Orchids
when they can and in whatever condition they may be, however, there is
some excuse, and by carefully forwarding the plants, even although at
the wrong season, many may get them over alive. Residents in the tropics
often grow a collection of Orchids, bringing to the gardens around their
residences the plants collected in distant parts of their districts.
These growers have a notion that cultivated plants are the best to send
their correspondents, therefore, although they could collect fresh
plants, they think it safer to send those in their own gardens. These
are the very worst plants to travel. They are usually collected in high
localities, and their sojourn in a garden results in lowered vitality,
which explains why a large proportion die during the journey to this

Freshly collected plants, in whatever stage they may be, are the best,
the ideal conditions being to take the plants at mid-resting season, to
have the case to receive them beneath the trees on which they are
growing, to pack them off at once to a shipping agent at the port of
embarkation, to catch a steamer previously timed, and to consign the
case or cases to a reliable shipping agent in England.

Another cause of mortality in Orchids during transit arises from the
mistaken notion that the plants require to be prepared by drying before
packing, and this practice is continued so long and rigorously in many
cases that the plants are half dead before they are despatched.

No such preparation is needed; the plants should be packed at once after
collecting, and any moisture which may be in them will escape through
the small holes in the case. The parcels post is available from many
parts of the tropics, and from some places it is the only reliable means
of getting Orchids over in a reasonable time. But it is only available
for small lots, and for these it forms the best means of forwarding.
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks even to these means, for the parcels,
especially from some ports, are frequently stowed in hot chambers on
board the mail steamer, the object being to keep the mails dry, and
plant-life is destroyed by the excessive heat.

Epiphytal Orchids with pseudo-bulbs, such as Cattleyas, Lælias, and
Epidendrums, if collected at or near the proper season, require very
little packing. The cases being ready, it is necessary to place a layer
of plants at the bottom, with their heads all facing one way. The next
layer is placed with the heads the reverse way, and so on until the box
is full of plants firmly pressed in, but not sufficiently close to cause
injury. During the packing a few struts of wood should be placed across
the inside and fastened by nails driven into their ends from the
outside; these will prevent the plants from forming a mass and rolling
about when the boxes are moved. A few small holes should be bored in the
boxes to admit a little air.

Leafy epiphytal Orchids, such as Phalænopsis, Aërides, Vandas, and
Saccolabiums, may be forwarded in the same way, but with a sprinkling of
fine paper cuttings, layers of paper, fine but not resinous shavings, or
dry moss between each row of plants. In respect to species which do not
possess pseudo-bulbs it is absolutely necessary that they be sent at the
proper resting season, if forwarded in bulk in boxes.

Phalænopsis for sending at any time are prepared by collectors in Java
and the Philippines by establishing the plants on blocks. They are
almost the only temporarily cultivated Orchids which often travel well
when so managed, and they are usually sent fastened round the sides and
backs of Wardian cases, a method which is somewhat costly. Terrestrial
Orchids, such as Phaius, Calanthes, and others with above-ground
pseudo-bulbs, if collected at the proper resting season, travel well
packed in cases of moderate size and with a little dry packing material
placed between the rows. The danger with these kinds is that the
pseudo-bulbs, being soft and containing much moisture, are liable to
decay, and a few damaged plants may cause the loss of all contained in
the box.

Tuberous-rooted, terrestrial Orchids of the same nature as the British
Orchis, and including the African Disas, and Satyriums, also the
Habenarias of different regions, should be marked when in flower and
lifted in the resting season, the tubers being placed in small boxes
with a sprinkling of nearly dry sandy peat or sand, run in between the
tubers. If there are several different kinds to be forwarded, all the
small boxes containing them may be packed together in a larger box.

Next to the trouble caused by loss in transit is that of having plants
arrive without any means of identification. The collector should be
careful to write the name of every specimen on an imperishable label,
or, better still, send each under a number and forward a numbered list
with the names corresponding to the numbers on each kind sent. Those who
are collecting Orchids should, as often as possible, dry specimens of
the growth and flowers of each kind, forwarding one set, numbered
similarly to the set retained, to their correspondent, or to some
authority, for identification. A description or rough sketch of the
plant should be given on the same sheet as the dried specimens, stating
such important particulars as colour of flowers, altitude of habitat,
and exact locality.



Much depends on the condition of the importations, whether they have
been collected at the proper time, and whether they have been properly
packed and forwarded. Many imported Orchids offered for sale cannot
possibly do well, as from improper packing they have "heated," or been
subjected to excessive heat or cold whilst on board. Cases of Orchids
awaiting transit are often left on the landings in the full sun and
become partially desiccated, though while dry still retaining a green
appearance. Such collectors' failures die rapidly as soon as heat and
moisture are given, and, even in the case of those which seem to
establish a healthy appearance of the pseudo-bulbs, growth is not
possible, as the growth-buds have been dried up. It is waste of time
trying to bring such plants round, therefore care should be taken not to
purchase them at any price.

Imported Orchids of all kinds should be trimmed over as soon as they are
received, the damaged parts removed, and the plants placed in a
cool-intermediate temperature after they have been sponged over. They
may be suspended for a few days and afterwards placed in small pots of
broken crocks. Pseudo-bulbous Orchids, such as Odontoglossums and
Cattleyas, should not be watered, but they may be sponged occasionally
until growth commences, when they should be potted in the usual manner.

Aërides, Saccolabiums, Vandas, Angræcums, and other Orchids not having
pseudo-bulbs may be treated in the same way as the pseudo-bulbous kinds,
it being probably the safer and more cautious policy. But good results,
and a quicker establishment may be secured, if the plants are
recoverable by immersing them for five minutes in a rain-water tank
immediately on arrival, suspending them head downwards from the roof of
the house afterwards, and repeating the dipping two or three times a
week. This method has the advantage at least that those which were not
recoverable are quickly discovered, while the sound plants soon plump
up. With all imported plants there is no use potting them permanently
and watering them until growth commences, but they must not be kept too
hot in the meantime.



Many Orchids have fragrant flowers, while in some sections the fragrance
is emitted by the whole plant. A large number of Burmese and Indian,
highland Orchids, such as _Dendrobium moschatum_, the section of
deciduous Bulbophyllums which includes _B. auricomum_, _B. hirtum_, _B.
comosum_, and _B. suavissimum_, have leaves that on becoming dry after
falling give off a strong odour of newly-mown hay, the plants also in
all their parts being similarly scented when dry, even the cases
containing them being pleasantly scented by the plants.

The odours of Orchid flowers may generally be likened to well-known
perfumes. _Trichopilia suavis_, _Miltonia Roezlii_, and others are
scented like the Rose; _Odontoglossum odoratum_ and some other
Odontoglossums, _Maxillaria picta_ and other Maxillarias, like the
Hawthorn. Certain Maxillarias of the _M. luteo-alba_ section are scented
like Honeysuckle, and odour similar to the Tuberose is given off by many
Angræcums. Some have a much stronger odour at night than in the day, a
peculiarity which is found in _Epidendrum nocturnum_, _E. ciliare_, and
many species. Vanilla is a common scent in Orchids, being present in
some Vandas. The odour of Violets is furnished by _Dendrobium
heterocarpum_ and others of its class, and the Primrose, Wallflower, and
other common garden plants have their exact imitators in the matter of
scent in some tropical Orchids--indeed, it is an interesting subject to
consider how plants resemble each other in this particular. Then there
are large numbers of Orchids with such delicate odours that some are
unable to appreciate them, but they are specially grateful to those who
detect them. Again, some Orchids have different odours at different
times in the day. It is not safe, therefore, to declare a plant
scentless unless it has been tested repeatedly at different times.

Variation in odour has been noticed. We remember flowering the first
_Odontoglossum hebraicum_, and on testing it its odour was of cinnamon.
It passed to Sir Trevor Lawrence's collection, and we asked the late Mr.
Spyers to test the odour, and he replied that it was of Hawthorn, like
others of its class. He tested it several times with the same result,
but for some time before it passed off he reported to us that it smelt
exactly like cinnamon. Then there are odours in Orchids about which
opinions are divided as to whether they are pleasant or not. _Oncidium
ornithorhynchum_ is an example; some like the odour of it very much,
while it is disagreeable to others. The same applies to Anguloas, some
Lycastes and Stanhopeas with strongly aromatic scent, which are pleasant
at a distance, but not so when too closely approached. But the majority
are distinctly pleasant, _Cattleya Dowiana_ and its hybrids, _C.
Eldorado_ and others, being delicately fragrant.

A very few are malodorous, _Bulbophyllum Beccari_ not being tolerable
under any circumstances, the flowers smelling like some of the



A new interest has been added to Orchid culture by the pursuit of
hybridising and raising seedling Orchids, which commenced with _Calanthe
Dominyi_, raised in the nurseries of Messrs. Veitch and recorded in the
_Gardeners' Chronicle_ in 1858. The practice has now become general, and
a large number of Orchidists arrange for the production of new Orchids
from seeds, while even in small collections some attention is given to
the matter. When the engrossing pursuit is first taken up, the operator
should neglect no opportunity to make himself conversant with the
structure of the flowers. This may be done effectually by carefully
examining any available flowers, and by making longitudinal sections of
the bloom by cutting them in two, commencing at the apex of the column
and finishing at the ovary and pedicel. This operation exposes the
various organs that are concerned in the fertilisation of the flower.

In most Orchids, such for instance as Lælias and Cattleyas, it will be
seen that the pollen masses are situated at the apex of the column
covered by the anther cap, the stigma being in a cavity in the face of
the column beneath it.

In Cypripedium there are two developed anthers; the viscous pollen
masses are not enclosed in cases, but are placed opposite each other;
the stigma is a shield-shaped body seen inside the lip on the under
side of the column, and the stigmatic surface is not viscous.

The details of the structure of the flowers being fully understood, it
will readily be seen that the first process in the production of seeds
is to fertilise the flower intended to bear the seed capsule with the
pollen of the other parent selected. This is readily accomplished by
lifting the pollen masses beneath the anther-cap with a thin pencil or
sharpened stick and placing them on the stigmatic surface of the
seed-bearing parent.

Flowers which are intended to be fertilised for seed-bearing should have
their own pollen carefully removed before the pollen taken from the
other plant is introduced, the pollen removed being used to effect the
reverse cross, or to fertilise another species if desired.

In fertilising small flowers with the pollen of larger species, as in
the case of _Sophronitis grandiflora_ with the pollinia of the larger
species, the pollen masses may be cut and a portion of it used in
crossing the smaller flower. When the flower of a plant has been
fertilised, the plant should receive special attention; if it is a
Cattleya, Lælia, or one of the large-growing epiphytes, it should, after
the pseudo-bulb bearing the flower has had a number attached to it
corresponding to the number in the stock-book in which the crosses are
recorded, be suspended from the roof in a comfortable and not draughty
situation. If the plant is in a pot, the pot should be placed in a
basket and suspended; or if a suitable position can be found on the
stage, it could be placed on an inverted pot to bring it into prominence
and secure for it careful attention. Where there is a number of
seed-bearing plants, they should be arranged together in the respective
houses in which they are grown.

Early in its development, the seed capsule should be supported by ties,
which, however, should not bring it into an unnatural position, or press
tightly on the part supported. From this time failure may arise from the
conflicting natures of the agents used, or from various causes. Even the
production of a fine and seemingly mature fruit is not a certain
indication of good seeds, for seed capsules have been produced by
irritation of the stigmatic surface by grit or dust, but no fertile
seeds can be thus produced. On approaching maturity, a tie should be
made round the middle of the capsule to prevent loss of seed when the
splitting of the capsule takes place, and, when it is thoroughly mature,
it should be removed, placed in a flower-pot lined with tissue-paper,
and put on a shelf in a dry potting-shed until so thoroughly ripe that
the seeds are being shed in the tissue-paper covering.

At this stage it is possible for the first time to determine whether the
seed, or any of it, is good or not. Examination with a strong lens will
show whether the minute seeds are good or not by the presence or absence
of the embryo in the centre of the elongated covering, which in
imperfectly developed specimens is chaff-like and not thickened in the
middle as are good seeds. Where no good seeds are found, it is the
custom of some growers to discard it at once, and where but few good
seeds appear, attempts are made to discard the chaff and to retain the
supposed good ones for sowing. Where space admits, however, especially
with the beginner, it would be more prudent to sow a portion of the
contents of the capsule, whether supposed to be good or not.


A number of the seeds of all seed capsules should be sown as soon as
they are ready, the remainder being carefully stored for sowing later if
required, the seeds sown and those retained being carefully marked with
the number in the record book.

The manner of sowing the seeds varies in different establishments,
satisfactory results having been obtained under very dissimilar
conditions. Failure at first is the usual record of the amateur taking
up Orchid hybridisation, although some few get fairly good success from
the commencement, while those who have had a run of bad luck usually
conquer in the end if they persevere. A scientific reason for some
failures has been given, namely, that an endophytic fungus said to be
necessary to the development of the freshly germinated seeds is wanting
in the early stages, but may be developed naturally after a time, and a
better state of growth result. Be that as it may, it is a curious fact
that the line of demarcation between failure and success in the matter
of raising seedling Orchids is very narrow, and, when the operator
succeeds in raising a fair proportion of the seeds sown, he is generally
surprised at his former want of success, apparently under practically
similar conditions. Formerly the common practice was to sow the seeds on
the surface of the material in which the parent plant was growing, or a
plant of some kindred variety. This practice has been generally
satisfactory and continues in most amateur collections to the present
day. A plant in a basket, or suspended pan or pot, is best, the subject
being chosen for the good quality of the peat, Osmunda fibre, or
whatever material the plant may be growing in. The Sphagnum-moss on the
surface should be clipped very short, the plant thoroughly watered with
rain water, and allowed to drain for a few hours. The seeds should be
sown a few at a time, on the point of a knife or thin strip of hard wood
or ivory, and carefully and evenly distributed over the surface of the
material in which the selected plant is growing. In all cases the number
of the record in the stock-book should be attached, a small celluloid
tablet fastened by a thin wire being the best label, as it is clean and
durable. Hybrids of Lælia, Cattleya, and other true epiphytes should be
suspended in a warm, intermediate house, and Cypripediums and
terrestrial Orchids may be sown in a similar manner in the pots of
either the seed-bearing subject or similar kinds and placed in a moist,
sheltered corner of a house, in which a genial warmth is maintained, the
plants being elevated on inverted flower-pots. Once the seeds are sown,
the plants fostering them should never be allowed to get dry.

Odontoglossum seeds come up best when sown on the surface of established
plants in the manner described. To ensure the best results two or three
sowings of each should be made, and the plants bearing the freshly sown
seeds placed in different parts of the house, some being suspended and
others placed on the stage.

The maintenance of a continual and even amount of moisture after sowing,
and until the seedling plants send forth roots, is of the highest
importance. To water either with a spouted or a rose pot overhead would
wash the seeds away. To avoid this, some resort to the practice of
dipping the plants on which the seeds are sown, allowing the water to
reach only to within an inch of the surface of the compost. This is
better than watering overhead. Spraying with rain-water is an excellent
means of securing uniform moisture, although it requires more care and
attention than dipping. The sprayer is a great help in all stages of
seedling Orchid growth, not only as a means of conveying moisture
direct, but by spraying around the plants and on the staging it is a
great aid to maintaining a moist atmosphere. Let the moisture be
conveyed in whatever manner it may, it must not be forgotten that the
seeds will perish soon after germination if allowed to get quite dry,
either from failure of moisture in the material on which they are sown,
or from an excessively dry air surrounding them. Against the
above-mentioned practice of sowing the seeds on established plants, it
is urged that in that way there is no certain means of keeping the
different crosses from being mixed, by reason of the seeds of one kind
getting into the water-tank and being thus conveyed and mixed with
others; and by seeds falling from plants suspended overhead and coming
up on plants beneath, and in other unexpected places. Such acquisitions,
though often very acceptable, are puzzling, as there is no record of
their origin, or if they come up amongst seeds which have a record, the
chance introductions sometimes have a wrong parentage assigned to them.

[Illustration: PLATE VI


(This plant has been commended for its culture on two separate occasions
by the R.H.S.)]

To lessen such risks, it is the custom of some growers to arrange a
seed-raising case, constructed like an ordinary propagating case, in
form like a miniature lean-to, or span-roofed Orchid house. This is
arranged over a part of the staging where there is a slight warmth from
the hot-water pipes. The staging has a few inches of cocoa-nut fibre, or
chopped Osmunda fibre, fine ballast, or other moisture-holding
substance, and on this a number of inverted flower-pots are closely
arranged to form stands for the pots or pans in which the material for
sowing the seeds on is placed: or a light, open wood-work staging is
arranged. The favourite surface for sowing the seeds on is prepared by
stretching a small square of coarse calico or fine light muslin shading
material over a ball of Sphagnum-moss, and pressing it into a 60 or
small 48 size flower-pot, so that the unwrinkled convex surface of the
ball has the centre just below the level of the rim of the pots, the
sides being lower. These are thoroughly soaked and allowed to drain
before sowing the seeds on them, and they are then placed on the
inverted pots in the case. The covering of the case is sometimes of the
nature of hinged sashes to lift from the front, but the most convenient
and best covering is that formed of sheets or panes of glass cut about
one foot wide and of a length sufficient to cover the frame, by resting
one end on a groove in the front side of the case, and the other on the
top bar. A sufficient number of these sheets of glass should be provided
to cover the frame; they are excellent, as they give a certain means of
continual ventilation in some degree through the laps of the glass, even
when closed, and they may be closely or openly arranged to regulate the
amount of air admitted. Such pieces of glass can easily be removed to
inspect the seedlings.

What is commonly called "coddling" causes great mortality among Orchids,
and in this particular the use of seedling cases, if not very carefully
and sensibly worked is less likely to be satisfactory than sowing the
seeds on plants growing in the houses. Too much heat is very harmful.
Odontoglossums proved difficult to raise at first, and this was mainly
because the seedlings were kept too warm and close. If the cultures are
carried on in the Odontoglossum house, success is generally attained,
although the products are seldom so numerous as in Cattleya, Lælia, and
Cypripedium hybrids.

Another plan adopted by some growers, and with tolerable success, is to
place squares of Osmunda fibre in pans, and after soaking them, sow the
seed on them. Others have discs of soft wood, such as Willow, cut across
the grain and placed in flower-pots or pans with the fibre of the
wood-grain uppermost; after soaking the discs, the seeds are sown on
them. When not raised in glass cases, round or square pieces of glass
are placed on the pots. Indeed, there is ample evidence that, provided
good seeds are sown and placed in a suitable temperature, Orchid seeds
germinate readily. The first sign of vitality is given by the good seeds
assuming a green appearance; in time they become little spherical green
bodies, which later produce a growing point; in due course the true root
appears, and the little plants are ready for pricking off or
transplanting into previously prepared store pots prepared with a good
drainage of small crocks or broken charcoal in the bottom, some Osmunda
fibre or other Orchid potting material, and an inch or so of very fine
compost formed of decayed leaves, Osmunda fibre, or good Orchid peat and
Sphagnum-moss in equal parts, the whole rubbed together through a fine
sieve. Some add a proportion of sand to this compost. The whole should
be thoroughly well watered before the tiny seedlings are placed a
quarter of an inch or so apart in small holes in the surface of the
compost and sprayed to settle them in position. Up to this stage the
greatest mortality is observed. Wide crosses between species of
dissimilar nature, and which have up to the production of the growth
point or root appeared to be doing well, having shown that they did not
belong to the unfertile, suddenly collapse. Those which have taken a
long time to germinate have fallen victims to the minute fungi, and
other low forms of vegetable organism, which, commencing at one or two
spots, have gradually overgrown the surface of the pot and destroyed
them. The stronger are often destroyed by small insects, while drip,
however carefully guarded against, claims its share of the spoil. These
things are specially vexing to the amateur who is working in a small
way. To the expert cultivator who has a multitude of subjects in hand,
and whose methods and appliances mitigate the evils, the losses are not
so serious, for when Orchid seeds germinate freely they provide for
losses when sown on a large scale. Nothing is gained by removing the
little seedlings from the seed pot or basket too early. If thriving,
they should be left until they are large enough to be handled safely.
But where there is overcrowding, or "damping off," or decay from fungus,
it is best to remove some or all of the little seedlings in any stage of
growth to the store-pots.

The store-pots should be returned to the seedling case, or placed on a
shelf near the glass in a warm, moist house, where the seedlings should
increase in size until they are ready to remove to fresh store-pots,
when they may be given more room; or if large enough, they may be placed
singly in thimble pots, or three or four seedlings may be placed round
the rims of thumb pots.

Seedling Odontoglossums, when large enough to occupy thimble pots, are
found to thrive well when the pots are fixed in pans or shallow
seed-boxes in Sphagnum-moss, and placed on a shelf near the glass in the
Odontoglossum house, where, like other seedling Orchids, they should be
lightly sprayed several times each day in fine, warm weather, and as
often as may be deemed necessary in colder and dull weather.

From the time the little plants are established in small pots until
their flowering stage, it is only a matter of ordinary culture,
although, as a rule, the small seedlings are safer with four or five
degrees more heat than is afforded the established plants. In the matter
of growth from the seedling stage to the flowering plant, there is but
little need of a resting season, even with species such as are deciduous
when mature, although a diminished supply of water may be given for a
short time to any which, having completed a growth, show no sign of
developing a fresh one. In most cases, a thorough drying, even if it
does not destroy a seedling, causes the flowering season to be delayed
by a year, or even longer.

The careful shading of the seedling house is a very important matter.
Very young plants do best in a subdued light, and until they are quite
strong plants they should not be exposed to direct sunlight. A hot
summer often kills even the plants which have been brought
satisfactorily through a long winter. It is, therefore, advisable to
have on the seedling house, in addition to the lath roller blind,
running on supports carrying it well above the glass of the roof, either
a second lath roller blind running an inch or so above the glass and
beneath the upper one, or a permanent thin cotton shading, which may be
tacked on in spring and left until autumn; or, preferably, so fitted
that it can be rolled up when it is not required.


The best varieties procurable should always be selected for hybridising,
it having been proved that crosses originally made with indifferent
varieties are much finer when raised again from more carefully selected

There seems to be no certain limit to the possibility of crossing; even
the most dissimilar genera may be crossed with some probability of
getting a successful result.


From the time the little plants are well established in single pots, the
same potting material used for all of their kind may be employed, the
plants in the earlier stage having the potting material in a finer
condition than that provided for the larger plants as they approach the
flowering stage.

As with other important operations, in Orchid potting and in the
material used the practice varies considerably, even in the best
collections, and this points to the fact that if the accommodation is
good, the houses properly heated, and other details of culture carefully
carried out, the exact composition of the potting material is of minor
importance. For Cattleya and Lælia hybrids and a large number of
epiphytes grown with them the compost is made by tearing up the
materials with the hand, or in some other way which will not break the
fibres very much. Osmunda fibre forms one-half to two-thirds of the
compost, the other third being made up of good Sphagnum-moss and Oak
leaves or other decayed, dryish leaves. We do not recommend leaf-soil or
leaf-mould, which was formerly strongly advocated, especially by
Continental growers, who used it with disastrous results. The most that
is done now is to mix a proportion of it with other potting material for
Lycastes, Calanthes, Phaius, and similar strong-growing terrestrial

For mixing with the compost for hybrid Orchids, some use crushed crocks,
sand, charcoal, and a small proportion of each or either may be employed
safely, although there is no real need for such materials.

Polypodium fibre may also be substituted for Osmunda fibre, or a
proportion of each may be used. Orchid peat fibre, which used to be the
chief potting material for Orchids, is still perhaps as good as any of
the other fibres, provided a really good quality can be obtained, a
matter which has become increasingly difficult.

For Cypripediums, and especially Selenipediums, a proportion of good,
fibrous loam should be added to the compost recommended for epiphytal
Orchids, the proportion of loam being increased as the plants get
larger. Phaius, Calanthes, Zygopetalums, Zygocolax, and other plants of
a similar character should also have a proportion of loam-fibre in the
compost, and in these cases Orchid peat may be substituted for Osmunda
fibre, if it is of good quality. So far as it has been tested, Osmunda
fibre has an advantage over other fibres, in that it is more durable,
retaining its fibre intact longer than any other. Osmunda fibre and
Polypodium fibre in equal proportions, with an addition of leaves and
Sphagnum-moss, make an excellent material for all young, epiphytal
Orchids, the finer Polypodium fibre, if well worked in, giving substance
to the more open Osmunda fibre.

For very small plants it is well to rub the mixture through a coarse
sieve, but after the early stages the use of the sieve should be
discontinued, and the compost carefully mixed with the hands.



~Acanthophippium.~--A small genus of terrestrial plants with oblong
pseudo-bulbs, and broad, plicate leaves. Scape erect, flowers
ventricose, yellow and reddish-purple. Warm house. Pot in equal parts of
turfy loam, peat, and leaves. Rest dry after the leaves fade and growth
is completed. The most familiar species are _A. bicolor_, _A.
javanicum_, and _A. striatum_.

~Acineta.~--The species of Acineta are epiphytal Orchids with stout
pseudo-bulbs and broad, coriaceous leaves. The flowers are produced in
pendulous racemes; they are fleshy, whitish, or yellow, and spotted
with purple or brown. They should be grown in baskets suspended in the
intermediate house. _A. Barkeri_, _A. densa_, and _A. Humboldtii_ are
free-growing species.

~Acropera.~ _See_ ~Gongora~.

~Ada.~--Cool-house genus from Colombia. Leafy evergreen plants with
racemes of orange-scarlet flowers. _Ada aurantiaca_ is almost the sole
representative of the genus in gardens, and should be grown even in the
smallest collections.

~Aëranthus.~ _See_ ~Angræcum~.

~Aërides.~--A large genus of evergreen Orchids with distichously arranged,
leathery, green leaves, the stem producing air-roots freely. Natives of
India, the Malay Archipelago, and other parts of that region, extending
to Japan.

All the species of Aërides may be grown in pots, crocked from one-half
to two-thirds of the way up, the old stems of the plants, when long,
being placed in the pots before the crocks are filled in. The surface
should be of good living Sphagnum-moss, and the plants should be
liberally watered from the end of February or beginning of March until
autumn, when the supply of water should be restricted according to the
condition of growth of the plants. Those which have finished their
growth and are not showing new leaves in the centre should be given the
least supply, but it is not advisable to dry any off completely, unless
for some reason they have to be kept comparatively cool throughout the
winter, when they are safest if kept tolerably dry. The smaller species
may be grown in baskets with advantage when convenient--indeed, the
true epiphytal character of the whole genus would suggest that method as
the better, but experience has proved that they may be equally well
grown in pots. The warm house, or warm end of the intermediate house,
suits all the species, but _A. japonicum_ may be grown in the cool
house. Most of the species have white and rose-coloured flowers, and
they are very fragrant.

_A. odoratum_, one of the oldest of garden Orchids, is one of the best
and most free-growing species. _A. crispum_, _A. crassifolium_, _A.
Fieldingii_, _A. Houlletianum_, _A. falcatum_, _A. Lawrenciæ_, _A.
multiflorum_ in its many forms, _A. quinquevulnera_, _A. suavissimum_,
and _A. virens_ are the best for amateurs.

_A. cylindricum_ and _A. Vandarum_ have terete leaves like _Vanda
teres_, the former with white flowers, having a fleshy yellow and red
lip, and the latter, which is more membraneous in substance, being
white. Although often confused with each other in gardens, there is
little resemblance between these two species.

~Aganisia.~--This genus thrives best in Orchid pans in the intermediate
house, in the ordinary compost used for epiphytal Orchids, with an
addition of leaves. Place the plants in a moist situation.

_A. cærulea_ is of trailing habit, and has blue and white flowers. _A.
ionoptera_ is white and purple, and _A. lepida_ white.

~Angræcum.~--A large genus chiefly from Africa and Madagascar, and
requiring similar treatment to Aërides. Botanists have divided the genus
into Aëranthus, Listrostachys, Mystacidium, &c., but for garden purposes
the one generic title suffices. The flowers of nearly all the species
are white and fragrant, many of them being furnished with long, greenish

A representative selection could be made with _A. arcuatum_, _A.
Ellisii_, _A. Humblotii_, _A. infundibulare_, _A. Kotschyi_, _A.
modestum_, _A. Scottianum_, _A. superbum_ (_eburneum_), and _A.
sesquipedale_, the last-named Madagascar species being the finest of the

~Anguloa.~--Colombian and Peruvian Orchids of strong growth, and similar
in habit to Lycaste. The flowers are usually produced singly on upright
stems. Pot in two-thirds peat and one-third Sphagnum-moss or Osmunda
fibre. When good loam fibre can be obtained, a small proportion may be
added. Intermediate house. Rest tolerably dry and cool after growth is
completed. _A. Clowesii_, yellow; _A. Ruckeri_, yellow and dark-red; _A.
uniflora_ and its variety _eburnea_, white.

~Anoectochilus.~--A dwarf genus with fleshy, creeping stems and very
handsomely marked leaves. The plants should be grown in shallow Orchid
pots, using a mixture of one-third peat, and loam and leaves in equal
parts well mixed together, adding some finely broken crocks. The plants
should be placed in a moist corner, or suspended in a shady part of a
warm, moist house. They root along the stems, and may be increased by
cutting the leading portions with a root or two and leaving the bases to
break into new growth.

With the Anoectochili, and often under the same generic title, are
usually associated _Dossinia marmorata_ (_A. Lowii_), with broadly
ovate, olive-green, veined leaves; _Macodes Petola_, emerald-green
veined with gold; _Hæmaria discolor_, dark bronzy-red veined with copper
colour, often named _Goodyera Dawsoniana_, and plants of similar
character. The flowers of most of the species are white. They are
sometimes grown in plant cases, or under bell glasses, but if the proper
position in a warm, moist house can be found, they are better without
these coverings. Propagation renews the vigour of the plants and
prevents them degenerating, as they often do in cultivation if left
undisturbed for too long a period.

~Ansellia.~--A fine genus of some half-dozen species peculiar to Natal and
Tropical Africa, and growing from one to six feet in height, the leafy
pseudo-bulbs having at the top fine, branched spikes of yellow flowers,
more or less barred or spotted with purple. Pot as for epiphytal
Orchids, and grow in the intermediate house. Water the roots liberally
until the flowering is past, and then rest the plants in cool and dry

_A. africana_ is not only most commonly grown, but it is one of the
finest species. Others, some of which are mere varieties of _A.
africana_, are _A. confusa_, _A. gigantea_, _A. nilotica_, and _A.

~Arachnanthe.~--This is a small genus of warm-house plants possessing
extraordinary habits, and including the Bornean _A. Lowii_ (_Vanda
Lowii_), a very strong-growing species which bears drooping racemes of
greenish-white flowers barred with red. The two basal blooms are
dissimilar or dimorphic both in shape and colour, being tawny yellow
spotted with purple. The plants should be grown in pots or baskets as
Aërides. Other species are _A. Cathcartii_ (Himalaya) and _A.
moschifera_ (Malaya). _A. Cathcartii_ will thrive in the intermediate

~Barkeria.~--The Barkerias form a section of Epidendrums. They should be
grown in baskets or suspending pans in the cool intermediate house. They
require a dry and cool resting period.

~Bartholina.~--The Bartholinas are dwarf, terrestrial Orchids of South
Africa. They should be potted in loam, peat, and sand, and cultivated on
a greenhouse shelf. Rest dry and cool. _B. pectinata_ is the only
species in gardens.

~Batemannia~ and ~Bollea~. _See_ ~Zygopetalum~.

~Bifrenaria.~--Pot these as recommended for epiphytal Orchids, and grow
them in the intermediate house. _B. Harrisoniæ_ is the finest species.
Others worthy of cultivation are _B. aurantiaca_, _B. bicornaria_, _B.
inodora_, _B. tyrianthina_, and _B. vitellina_.

~Brassia.~--The Brassias are epiphytal Orchids of South America, and may
be grown in the intermediate house. The most familiar species are _B.
brachiata_, _B. caudata_, _B. Lawrenceana_, and _B. verrucosa_.

~Broughtonia.~--_B. sanguinea_ is a pretty, crimson-flowered species from
Jamaica. _B. lilacina_ is also a fine species, though rarely seen in
gardens. Broughtonias should be grown on bare rafts suspended in the
warm or intermediate house.

~Brassavola.~--A small genus with white, fragrant flowers. _B. Digbyana_,
a species with large, fringed-lipped flowers, has been much used by the
hybridist. Brassavolas may be grown with the Cattleyas.

~Bulbophyllum.~--A widely distributed genus which may be divided into two
sections--the deciduous, chiefly Burmese, requiring a dry resting
season; and the evergreen, which should not be strictly dried off. All
the species thrive in a warm, intermediate house, with cooler rest for
the deciduous and highland species. The genus is one of the most varied
and remarkable, and full collections of them are grown by some amateurs.

~Calanthe.~--These are terrestrial Orchids, which may be divided into two
sections--the evergreen of the _C. veratrifolia_ class; and the
deciduous, comprising _C. vestita_, _C. Veitchii_, and numerous other
species and hybrids which are extensively grown for flowering in winter.
Pot them in a compost of one-half fibrous loam, one-fourth
Sphagnum-moss, and one-fourth leaves, with a sprinkling of sand. Rest
the deciduous section dry after flowering, and repot them when growth
commences in spring. Water liberally with occasional applications of
liquid manure, which should be withheld when the growth is completed.

~Catasetum.~--The Catasetums are curious, epiphytal Orchids, which should
be grown in baskets, or Orchid pans, suspended in the intermediate
house, and treated in a similar manner to the deciduous Dendrobiums.
They require a long, dry rest after the growths are completed. All the
species are worthy of cultivation, _C. Bungerothii_, _C. splendens_, and
_C. macrocarpa_ being the more showy kinds.

~Cattleya.~--One of the largest, most varied, and florally beautiful
genera of Orchids. The plants should be potted as recommended for
epiphytal Orchids, and they should be grown in the intermediate house.
The _C. labiata_ section, including _C. Gaskelliana_, _C. Mossiæ_, _C.
Mendelii_, _C. Dowiana_ and its variety _aurea_, _C Warscewiczii_, _C.
Warneri_, and _C. Schröderæ_ in succession, produce flowers for the
greater part of the year. _C. citrina_ should be grown in the cool
house, suspended from the roof. Cattleyas and Lælias are impatient of a
close atmosphere, and therefore the proper ventilation of the house in
which they are grown is an important matter. _C. Trianæ_, var Hydra, is
illustrated in Plate IV.

~Chysis.~--A small genus of intermediate-house epiphytes, comprising _C.
bractescens_, white; _C. aurea_ and _C. lævis_, yellow and red; _C.
Limminghei_, and several hybrids.

~Cirrhopetalum.~--A section of Bulbophyllum, of similar habit, and
requiring similar treatment. The curiously formed flowers frequently
have the upper segments fringed, and the lateral ones approached and
continued into slender tails.

~Cirrhæa.~--Allied to Gongora, and requiring similar treatment.

~Cochlioda.~--A compact-growing genus to be grown with the Odontoglossums.
_C. Noezliana_, scarlet, has been a fine species in the hands of the
hybridiser, and in the future may give us "Scarlet Odontoglossums." _C.
vulcanica_ has deep rose-coloured flowers.

~Coelia.~--There are several species of Coelia, and they require to be
grown in the intermediate house.

~Coelogyne.~--A very large genus of two distinct sections, that
represented by _C. cristata_ being evergreen; the Pleione or Indian
crocus section deciduous, and requiring to be treated as terrestrial
Orchids, while the larger section are epiphytal. The epiphytal sections
are warm and intermediate house plants. The Pleiones should be grown in
a cool house, and rested quite dry after the leaves fade and until
growth again commences.

[Illustration: PLATE VII


~Comparettia.~--These are small-growing epiphytes. Grow in small baskets
or hanging pans in the intermediate house. _C. falcata_, red, _C.
macroplectron_, pale rose; spotted; and _C. speciosa_, scarlet, are the
best species.

~Colax.~--A small genus of cool-house Orchids allied to Lycaste, and
requiring similar treatment. _C. jugosus_ has been crossed with
Zygopetalums with good results.

~Coryanthes.~--These are similar in habit to Stanhopea. The plants should
be grown in baskets suspended in the intermediate house. The structure
of the large, fleshy flowers is most remarkable, and some interesting
particulars relating to their fertilisation by insect aid have been
recorded in the _Gardeners' Chronicle_ (July 17, 1897, p. 31).

~Cycnoches.~--Of similar habit and requirements to Catasetum. The plants
are best grown in baskets and suspended. They should be rested cool and
dry with the deciduous Dendrobiums. _C. chlorochilon_ (Swan Orchid), _C.
Egertonianum_, _C. Loddigesii_, _C. maculatum_, _C. peruvianum_, and _C.
pentadactylon_ are fine species.

~Cymbidium.~--These are showy, large-growing Orchids for the intermediate
house or warm conservatory. Pot the plants in equal proportions of
fibrous loam, peat, and Sphagnum-moss. _C. giganteum_, _C. Lowianum_,
_C. grandiflorum_, and _C. Tracyanum_ are the most commonly grown. _C.
eburneum_, _C. Mastersii_, _C. insigne_, and _C. erythrostylum_ are
fine, white species, the latter two with rose markings on the lip. There
are numerous hybrids. _C. Lowio-eburneum_, a cross from _C. Lowianum_,
and _C. eburneum_ is illustrated in Plate VI.

~Cynorchis.~--Terrestrial Orchids from Tropical Africa and Madagascar,
requiring to be grown in the warm house in moist and shady conditions.
The flowers are generally of rose colour.

~Cypripedium.~--This is one of the largest, most useful, and most prolific
genera, which, although commonly known in gardens as Cypripedium, may be
divided into several distinct classes. Most of those generally known in
gardens as Cypripediums have been termed Paphiopedilum, including _C.
barbatum_, and _C. Rothschildianum_, and the green-leafed class, more
commonly known in gardens as Selenipedium, are now termed
Phragmopedilum. The name Cypripedium, however, has so firm a hold on
cultivators that it is convenient to retain it in gardening handbooks.

The Cypripediums have very numerous hybrids, and their numbers increase
annually. An enumeration is therefore impossible within the scope of
this work. All require to be treated as terrestrial Orchids, a
proportion of fibrous loam (see the chapter on potting terrestrial
Orchids) being added in proportion to the strength of the subject, the
largest proportion being given to the strongest growers. The
Selenipedium, or green-leafed section, should be potted in fibrous loam,
with a sprinkling of leaves and Sphagnum-moss. _C. insigne_, _C.
Spicerianum_, _C. Charlesworthii_, and others of the class, also hybrids
of them, may be grown in the cool house. _C. Rothschildianum_, _C.
Stonei_, and the whole of that section require the highest temperature,
but all may be grown successfully in an intermediate house. _C. insigne
Sanderæ_ is illustrated in Plate I.

~Cyrtopodium.~--A strong-growing genus needing to be grown in the
intermediate house. The plants should be potted as terrestrial Orchids.
_C. punctatum_ is the showiest and most easily grown species.

~Dendrobium.~--One of the largest and most decorative genera of epiphytal
Orchids, comprising several hundred species and a large number of
hybrids. Primarily the genus may be divided into two classes--the
evergreen; and the deciduous, which lose their leaves after the
completion of the growths, and should have a protracted dry resting
season. The evergreen species have a shorter and less rigorous resting
season accorded them. The deciduous class is exemplified by _D. nobile_,
_D. Wardianum_, _D. crassinode_, and the plants associated with them,
and their hybrids; and the evergreen species by _D. densiflorum_, _D.
Farmeri_, and _D. chrysotoxum_. _D. Wardianum_, with 264 flowers, is
illustrated in Plate III.

Next, the genus may be divided into two further classes--those requiring
a high temperature, such as _D. Phalænopsis_, _D. superbum_, _D.
atro-violaceum_, &c.; and those which may be grown comparatively cool,
which include _D. speciosum_ (an excellent plant for a sunny
conservatory), _D. moniliforme_ from Japan, _D. aggregatum_, _D.
Jenkinsii_, and many others. All the species require a high temperature,
moist atmosphere, and an abundance of water during the growing season,
but should be kept drier and cooler after the growth is completed to
prepare them for flowering. The species with pendulous growths should be
grown in baskets or suspended pans.

~Diacrium.~--A section of Epidendrum, with hollow pseudo-bulbs, and white,
wax-like flowers. _D. bicornutum_ is a very fine species for the warm

~Disa.~--A genus of terrestrial Orchids from Africa, best represented in
gardens by the fine Scarlet _Disa grandiflora_, which, with the others
of its section, _D. racemosa_ and _D. tripetaloides_, have produced many
beautiful hybrids. These are cool-house plants, and should be potted in
a mixture of peat, Sphagnum-moss, sand, and loam fibre. They are
increased by offsets, and, when repotted soon after the flowering
season, the strong growths should be potted on for flowering, and the
smaller ones placed together in store pans. Free drainage should be
provided, and the plants liberally watered until they flower. After this
stage, cultivation in a cold frame for a few weeks before repotting and
returning the plants to the cool house will benefit them.

The _D. graminifolia_ or Blue Disa section do not increase by stolons.
They are heath plants, and should be potted in sandy peat, and kept
quite dry when they lose their leaves.

~Epidendrum.~--There are over 400 known species of this genus. _E.
vitellinum_ is a fine orange-coloured, cool-house species. All may be
grown in the intermediate house. _E. O'Brienianum_, _E. radicans_, and
_E. Boundii_ are fine plants for covering the ends of houses and back

~Eria.~--An interesting genus, comprising many curious, and some very
pretty species. They are epiphytes, and should be grown in the
intermediate house. The deciduous species need to be kept dry when at

~Eriopsis.~--These are epiphytal Orchids from South America. They should
be grown in the intermediate house, and they need moisture and shade.
_E. biloba_ and _E. rutidobulbon_ are the best-known species.

~Eulophia.~--A large genus in which both evergreen and terrestrial plants
are represented. Grow them in the intermediate house.

~Eulophiella.~--The genus includes two species from Madagascar, _E.
Elisabethæ_, white, and _E. Peetersiana_, rose. Grow them in a moist
position of the warm house, giving them a liberal supply of rain-water.

~Galeandra.~--These are deciduous epiphytes, needing similar cultivation
to Catasetum.

~Gomeza.~--Allied to Odontoglossum. The flowers are yellowish, and are
produced in racemes. Intermediate-house plants.

~Gongora.~--Intermediate-house Orchids, which should be grown in baskets
or suspending pans to allow of the full production of their long

~Grammatophyllum.~--A genus of strong-growing epiphytal Orchids for the
warm house. _G. speciosum_ is a gigantic Malayan species.

~Grobya.~--Brazilian Orchids represented by _G. galeata_ and _G.
Amherstiæ_. Intermediate house.

~Habenaria.~--Terrestrial Orchids. _H. militaris_ and _H. rhodocheila_ are
bright scarlet; _H. carnea_, flesh colour; _H. Susannæ_, _H. Bonatea_,
and _H. Ugandæ_, tall-growing, green and white. The two latter species
will grow in a cool house; the others need greater warmth. The North
American species are nearly hardy, and may be grown in a frame.

~Houlletia.~--Fragrant epiphytal Orchids from South America. Intermediate

~Ionopsis.~--Pretty, slender, white and lilac species. Grow in small
baskets in the intermediate house.

~Lælia.~--One of the largest and showiest genera, great favourites in
gardens, and fine subjects in the hands of the hybridiser. The Mexican
species _L. anceps_, _L. autumnalis_, _L. albida_, &c., used to be
allotted a special dryish intermediate house, but they are now usually
grown in the intermediate or Cattleya house, and rested in a cooler
vinery or corridor. All the species require the same treatment as

~Liparis.~--A genus of dwarf Orchids chiefly of botanical interest.
Intermediate house.

~Lissochilus.~--Showy terrestrial Orchids, chiefly from South and Tropical
Africa. They should be grown in warm or cool conditions according to
their habitats. _L. Krebsii_ and _L. speciosus_ are two handsome,
cool-house species; _L. giganteus_, _L. Horsfallii_, and others of this
class require a warm house. Being marshy plants, they need weak, liquid
manure when growing.

~Lueddemannia.~--A fine genus of strong, Acineta-like growth and pendulous
racemes of bronzy-orange coloured flowers. The growths are three to five
feet in length. The best species are _L. Lehmannii_, _L. Pescatorei_,
and _L. triloba_. Grow in baskets suspended in intermediate house.

~Luisia.~--Terete-leafed Orchids that may be grown in the warm house with
the Aërides.

~Lycaste.~--Most of the species thrive in the cool end of the intermediate
house. They have been grown successfully in a compost in which decayed
leaves formed the principal ingredient, the remainder being either
Sphagnum-moss, loam fibre, or peat, with a little sand or fine crocks
added. In some collections _L. Skinneri_ and some of the other species
are grown in the cool house. All the species require to be kept as cool
as possible in summer.

~Masdevallia.~--Dwarf, tufted plants, with pretty and varied flowers, from
high ranges in South America. They should be grown in the cool or
Odontoglossum house. Pot them in equal proportions of Sphagnum-moss and
peat, with a little sand and fine crocks. The species of _M. chimæra_
section should be grown in suspending baskets or pans, and given a
rather warmer situation than those of the showier _M. Harryana_
(_coccinea_) and _M. Veitchiana_ sections, being placed in the cool end
of the intermediate house in winter. _M. tridactylites_, _M.
O'Brieniana_, _M. ionocharis_, and many others form an interesting
section of dwarf Orchids, with singular, insect-like flowers. The
Masdevallias require to be kept moist all the year, and are benefited by
occasional division when being repotted in spring or late summer.

~Maxillaria.~--An extensive genus, widely distributed in South America,
and extending to the West Indies. All the species are intermediate-house
plants, requiring the ordinary potting material for epiphytes. The
flowers are varied in form and colour from the white _M. grandiflora_
and _M. venusta_ to the large claret-blotched _M. Sanderiana_. Many of
the species have fragrant flowers.

~Megaclinium.~--A singular genus from Tropical Africa, closely allied to
Bulbophyllum, their chief characteristic being the singular flat rachis
of the inflorescence, which bears a single row of insect-like, brownish
flowers on each side. _M. Bufo_, the type species, is probably not now
in gardens. _M. falcatum_ is the commonest, and _M. purpureorachis_, _M.
triste_, and several other species are sometimes seen. They should be
grown in the warm house in baskets or pans.

~Microstylis.~--The species of Microstylis should be grown as terrestrial
Orchids in Sphagnum-moss and peat, with fine crocks added. Rest the
deciduous species in dry and cooler conditions.

~Miltonia.~--The Miltonias are compact-growing South American epiphytes,
to be grown in pans elevated in a sheltered corner of the intermediate
house. Pot the plants in ordinary material for epiphytal Orchids, and
surface the compost with living Sphagnum-moss. _M. vexillaria_, _M.
Roezlii_, _M. Warscewiczii_, formerly included in Odontoglossum, form a
section requiring to be grown like Odontoglossums, but rather warmer.
This section has been found to thrive well with a good proportion of
leaves in the compost. _Miltonia vexillaria_, "Empress Victoria," is
illustrated in Plate II.

~Mormodes.~--Grow these with the Catasetum and Cycnoches, and treat them
similarly by resting them dry. The genus is a singular one, the
curiously formed, generally fragrant flowers being very attractive.

~Neobenthamia.~--_N. gracilis_ is an elegant, white-flowered, slender
species from Tropical Africa, and it should be grown in
warm-intermediate temperature.

~Nephelaphyllum.~--Dwarf, terrestrial species for the warm house. Grow
with Anoectochilus.

~Notylia.~--Graceful epiphytes for baskets and suspending pans.
Intermediate house.

~Octomeria.~--A genus allied to Pleurothallis. The flowers are usually
white and rather small.

~Odontoglossum.~--The Odontoglossums are deservedly the most extensively
grown genus of cool-house Orchids, the larger proportion of those in
gardens being represented by _O. crispum_ (illustrated in Plate VIII.),
one of the most beautiful of Orchids. The spotted forms often realise
very high prices. Cool, moist houses are provided for _O. crispum_ and
its section of Odontoglossum; in some gardens several houses are
allotted to the species. Given a suitable house and careful treatment,
the Odontoglossums are among the easiest Orchids to grow, and the most
certain to flower. All the species generally classed with _O. crispum_
should be grown in well-drained pots. The compost in which they are
grown used to be formed exclusively of Orchid peat and Sphagnum-moss,
and, where these materials can be obtained of good quality they have
never been improved upon. There came a craze in some collections for
putting the Odontoglossums in leaf-soil, which ended in disaster,
although it indicated that a proportion of dry leaves (not leaf-soil)
may be used in the compost with advantage. Scarcity of good Orchid peat
brought about the introduction of Polypodium fibre and Osmunda fibre,
both excellent materials when prepared as recommended in the chapters on
Potting Epiphytal Orchids, and Hybrid Orchids. For the general repotting
of those requiring it September is the best month, but in early spring
the plants should be examined in order to repot those which need
immediate attention. The Odontoglossum house must be kept cool at all
seasons, and the necessity to have lower night temperatures must be
strictly recognised. Free ventilation should be provided, but at all
seasons when drying, east winds prevail, especially in winter and early
spring, the bottom ventilators should be only opened slightly, the top
ones being kept closed; the laps of the glass of the roof will admit
sufficient air. Moisture should be freely distributed about the house by
syringing beneath the staging and between the pots in summer, but in
winter the houses, if kept at the prescribed low temperature, will be
moist without much water being distributed. _Odontoglossum citrosmum_,
_O. Rossii_, _O. membranaceum_, and some other Mexican species should be
grown in baskets or pans; _O. coronarium_ and its varieties in oblong
baskets; _O. Londesboroughianum_ on rafts. Odontoglossums require
abundance of water, but are easily injured if allowed to get soddened.
Water should therefore be given systematically--a thorough watering, and
no more until the effect of it is passing and the still moist material
is sufficiently near the dry point. After flowering, a lessened supply
should also be given for a time, but the plants must not be dried off.
At this stage it is a good time to repot any requiring to be repotted.
In the cool houses, and indeed all the Orchid houses, observation should
be made as to the rapidity of evaporation of water from the floors and
staging. If the moisture evaporates too quickly and the floors and
stages become dry rapidly, it must be remembered that the conditions are
not favourable to sustaining the vitality of the plants in the house,
for, where rapid evaporation takes place, a similar process affects the
tissues of the plants. Means should be taken, either by lowering the
temperature or checking the ventilation, to sustain a lasting humidity
in the houses.

~Oncidium.~--This is a large genus, most of the members being suitable for
cultivation in the intermediate house. _O. macranthum_ is a cool-house
plant, and _O. crispum_, _O. Forbesii_, _O. concolor_, _O.
Marshallianum_ (illustrated in Plate VII.), _O. varicosum_, and others
also do well in the cool house in baskets or suspended pans. _O.
Papilio_, _O. Kramerianum_, _O. Lanceanum_, and _O. ampliatum_ should
have a position in the warmest end of the intermediate house. Pot the
plants as epiphytal Orchids. Withhold water for a time after growth is

~Paphinia.~--Small-growing epiphytes. Grow in baskets or pans in a warm,
moist house.

[Illustration: PLATE VIII


~Phaius.~--Strong-growing, terrestrial Orchids for the intermediate house.
Pot them according to the directions in the chapter on the potting of
terrestrial Orchids. The species are evergreen, and require but a short
resting season. They require shade.

~Phalænopsis.~--These are warm-house species from the Philippines, Java,
Borneo, India, and other places. Pot the plants in Sphagnum-moss. They
succeed best when suspended, but if they are grown on the stage they
should be elevated on inverted pots. A moist atmosphere is essential.
_P. amabilis Rimestadiana_ will grow in the intermediate house; so will
also most of the other species, if placed in a moist corner.

~Peristeria.~--The genus is best known in gardens by _P. elata_ (Dove
Orchid). The cultivation is similar to that for Phaius.

~Physosiphon.~--A small genus allied to Stelis. _P. Loddigesii_ has
racemes of orange-coloured flowers.

~Platyclinis.~--These are pretty, intermediate-house Orchids, with
pendulous racemes of white or yellow flowers, generally fragrant.

~Pleione.~ _See_ ~Coelogyne~.

~Pleurothallis.~--A large genus of elegant, dwarf-growing Orchids for the
intermediate house.

~Promenæa.~ _See_ ~Zygopetalum~.

~Renanthera.~--These showy species are natives of Tropical Asia and
Malaya. They should be grown like Aërides and Vandas. _R. Imschootiana_
is a compact, free-growing species, with showy, crimson flowers.

~Restrepia.~--A cool-house genus usually grown with the Masdevallias, and
requiring similar treatment.

~Rodriguezia.~--This genus includes the species usually called
Burlingtonia in gardens. Suspend the plants in the intermediate house.
_R. secunda_ has rose-coloured flowers; most of the others are white,
and they are generally fragrant.

~Rhyncostylis.~--These are warm-house plants, which are known usually as
Saccolabiums in gardens. The commoner species is _R. retusa_, with fine
racemes of blush-white flowers, spotted with purple; and the blue _R.
coelestis_. The cultivation is similar to Aërides.

~Saccolabium.~--The Saccolabiums should be grown in a warm house like
Aërides. _S. bigibbum_ and others of its class are pretty, dwarf
species, with yellowish flowers spotted with purple and having a white

~Sarcanthus.~--Allied to Saccolabium, and having similar cultural

~Sarcochilus.~--The species of Sarcochilus need to be grown in
Sphagnum-moss in the intermediate house.

~Satyrium.~--Terrestrial Orchids chiefly from South Africa, needing
greenhouse treatment. The plants must be kept dry during the resting

~Schomburgkia.~--A strong-growing genus, requiring similar treatment to
Lælias and Cattleyas. The best position for them is a sunny situation in
the intermediate house.

~Scuticaria.~--The Scuticarias are handsome, bulbless species, with long,
terete, pendulous leaves, and showy, yellowish flowers, blotched with
purple. They should be grown on rafts, or in baskets suspended in the
intermediate house.

~Selenipedium.~ _See_ ~Cypripedium~.

~Sobralia.~--The species of Sobralia are strong-growing, terrestrial
Orchids with reed-like stems, requiring abundance of water during the
period of growth. Intermediate house. _S. macrantha_ and its white
variety are best known.

~Sophronitis.~--A dwarf genus, best known by _S. grandiflora_, which has
scarlet flowers, and has been used for crossing with Lælias and
Cattleyas. All the species are cool-house plants, needing cultivation in
pans or baskets suspended from the roof. The hybrids succeed best in the
intermediate house.

~Spathoglottis.~--Terrestrial Orchids of similar growth to Bletia,
requiring a pronounced resting period. Intermediate house. Rest dry.

~Stanhopea.~--A fine genus, with large, pendulous, wax-like flowers of
aromatic odour. They should be grown in baskets in the intermediate
house. Rest rather dry in a cool house or vinery.

~Stauropsis.~--Stauropsis should be grown with Aërides and Vandas. The
genus is best known in gardens by _S. lissochiloides_ (_Vanda
Batemanii_) and _S. gigantea_.

~Stelis.~--The plants in this genus possess similar growth to the dwarf
Pleurothallis, and require the same treatment.

~Stenoglottis.~--_S. fimbriata_ and _S. longifolia_ are South African
terrestrial Orchids, needing similar conditions to Disa.

~Tetramicra~ (_Leptotes_).--Dwarf species with white flowers, having rose
labellums. Intermediate house.

~Thunia.~--A section of Phaius with erect, terete stems and deciduous
leaves. Grow them in a warm and moist house, but keep them cool and dry
during the resting period.

~Trichocentrum.~--Dwarf, evergreen South American Orchids. Grow in pans
suspended in a shady part of the intermediate house.

~Trichopilia.~--An ornamental, epiphytal genus, including Pilumna, the
white, fragrant _T. fragrans_, and its variety _nobilis_, representing
that section. _T. suavis_ is one of the showiest species. All are worthy
of a place in collections. Intermediate house.

~Trichosma.~--_Trichosma suavis_ is a pretty, cool-house species, with
white, fragrant flowers.

~Trigonidium.~--There are several curious species of Trigonidium, with the
sepals usually developed and arranged differently to Orchids generally.
Intermediate house.

~Vanda.~--The genus is one of the largest and most interesting, and, like
the other large genera, it may be divided into several sections. The
largest-growing and best-known species are _V. tricolor_ and _V.
suavis_, which have white or yellowish flowers, spotted with purple, and
without any distinguishing botanical feature between them. _V.
coerulea_ is one of the finest blue Orchids; _V. Sanderiana_ one of
the handsomest; _V. insignis_, _V. lamellata_, _V. Denisoniana_, _V.
limbata_, and _V. Bensonii_ are all desirable kinds. _V. Kimballiana_,
_V. Amesiana_, and _V. Watsonii_ form a distinct section, with fleshy
leaves and erect spikes of pretty, white flowers, marked with rose in
the two first, and requiring to be grown, where possible, in baskets
suspended in the intermediate house. _V. teres_, _V. Hookeriana_, and
their hybrid _V. Miss Joaquim_, have erect stems, bearing terete leaves,
and fine, rose-coloured flowers. _V. alpina_, _V. cristata_, and _V.
pumila_ are pretty, dwarf species. All are generally grown together in
the warm or East Indian house, but it is an open question whether the
keeping of these plants and the Aërides and Saccolabiums continuously in
the same house is not the cause of the unsatisfactory condition of many
of them in gardens. Each section should be watched, and, when growth is
completed, a change should be given to a cool, intermediate house for a
couple of months. Aërides, Vandas, and Saccolabiums suffer most from
being kept too hot and close in winter. After spring opens the amount of
heat and moisture should be gradually increased. Directly they have
flowered, the tall plants which have lost their bottom leaves should be
lowered in the pots or baskets by being cut off at the base.
Dwarf-growing species should be brought well up to the light. _V.
coerulea_ grows well under the most dissimilar conditions, and with
it, as with many other Orchids, there is more in finding a suitable
place than in growing the plant. All require to be potted or basketed in
Sphagnum-moss. Some growers add a sprinkling of leaves. The _V. teres_
section may be planted in Sphagnum-moss in a warm corner of the house,
or against the end of the house. If grown in pots, three or four should
be potted together and trained to a stout stick or teak rod.

~Zygopetalum.~--Under Zygopetalum, several distinct sub-genera are
included. The largest-growing and showiest species include _Z. Mackayi_,
_Z. crinitum_, and other related species. These should be potted in
peat, Sphagnum-moss, and loam fibre in equal proportions, with a
sprinkling of leaves, and fine broken crocks added. During the growing
season occasional waterings with weak, liquid manure should be given;
and, after flowering, a rest with restricted water supply. Those that
need repotting should be attended to before growth begins, but they will
remain satisfactory for years in the same pots if carefully treated.

There are many hybrids, especially of _Z. maxillare_, which should be
treated like the species. _Z. rostratum_ requires a warm, moist house.
The Promenæas include _P. stapelioides_, _P. Rollissoni_, and _P.
xanthina_. These should be grown in shallow pans, either for suspending
or placing on a shelf near the glass of the roof.

~Bollea~, ~Huntleya~, ~Pescatorea~, ~Batemannia~, ~and~
~Warscewiczella~.--These are sectional names for a leafy class, with
rudimentary pseudo-bulbs. They are frequently mismanaged. The plants
should be grown in the potting materials recommended for epiphytal
Orchids, and surfaced with Sphagnum-moss. Being evergreen, and with no
superabundant vitality, they should be kept moist all the year, but
liberally watered when growing. A moist corner of the intermediate
house, or warm house, should be selected for them, each plant being
raised on an inverted pan or pot. When grown in the warm house, a rest
should be given in a cooler house after growth is completed, but the
plants must not be dried off. They may be propagated by division. All
require shade. Botanically they are placed under Zygopetalum.



It is impossible to enumerate the immense number of home-raised hybrids
in the scope of this book. It must therefore suffice to name some of the
principal genera which have been crossed, and a few of the best hybrids,
from the garden point of view.

Too much cannot be said for the absorbing interest of raising hybrid
Orchids, which is referred to at length on p. 67.

_Brassavola Digbyana_ has been one of the most satisfactory parents,
crossing readily with Cattleya and Lælia, and imparting to the hybrids
its large flowers and fringed lip. _B. glauca_ has also been useful.
_Brasso-Cattleya Digbyano-Mossiæ_, "Westonbirt Variety," is illustrated
in Plate V.

Calanthes have been wonderfully improved, so far as the deciduous,
winter-flowering kinds are concerned, by intercrossing, commencing with
_C. Veitchii_ (_rosea × vestita_) and now including all shades from pure
white to blood-red.

Cattleya, Lælia, Sophronitis, and Brassavola have produced by
intercrossing numerous showy garden plants, some of them, as for example
_C. Iris_ (_C. bicolor × C. Dowiana_) and _Lælio-Cattleya
callistoglossa_ (_C. Warscewiczii × L. purpurata_), exhibiting great
variation in the colour of their beautiful flowers.

Cymbidium has been enriched by the hybridist, the section Cyperorchis
being merged in true Cymbidium. _Cymbidium Lowio-eburneum_ is
illustrated in Plate VI.

Dendrobium hybrids are among the most numerous and useful as decorative

Epidendrum has produced some satisfactory results, including _E.
O'Brienianum_ and _Epiphronitis Veitchii_ (_Sophronitis grandiflora ×
Epidendrum radicans_).

Cypripedium has been so prolific that there are amateurs who cultivate
them either exclusively or give the greater part of their accommodation
to the genus and its hybrids, which may be numbered by the hundred.

Species of Masdevallia, Odontoglossum, Lycaste, Phaius, and Zygopetalum
have all been intercrossed, and the number of possible combinations
admits of incalculable development, especially as the crossing is not
confined to the same genus. Plants of distinct genera have been crossed
with each other, and in many cases the results have been unexpectedly
good, as for example the pretty, scarlet _Cochlioda Noezliana_, which
has been crossed successfully with several genera. Such facts as these
seem to indicate that there are but few combinations amongst the genera
of Orchideæ cross-breeders may not attempt with a reasonable hope of


Acanthophippium, 81

Acineta, 81

Acropera, 82

Adapting ordinary plant-house for Orchid culture, 19

Aëranthus, 83

Aërides, 82

Aganisia, 83

Angræcum, 83

Anguloa, 84

Anoectochilus, 84

Ansellia, 85

Apostasieæ, 6

Arachnanthe, 85

Barkeria, 86

Bartholina, 86

Baskets and pots, culture in, 24

Batemannia and Bollea, 86, 108

Bifrenaria, 86

Bollea, 108

Brassavola, 86

Brassia, 86

_Brasso-Cattleya_ _Digbyano-Mossiæ_ (Plate V.)

Broughtonia, 86

Bulbophyllum, 86

Calanthe, 87

Calanthe Dominyi, the first Orchid hybrid, 5, 67

Calanthes, deciduous, 38

Catasetum, 87

Cattleya, 87

_Cattleya Trianæ_, var. _Hydra_ (Plate IV.)

Cattleya fly, the, 48

Chysis, 88

Cirrhæa, 88

Cirrhopetalum, 88

Cochlioda, 88

Cochlioda noezliana crosses, 110

Cockroaches, how to entrap, 50

Coelia, 88

Coelogyne, 88

Colax, 91

Collecting wild Orchids, 60

Comparettia, 88

Compost for seedlings, 76-80

Conservatory, species for the, 52

Coryanthes, 91

Cut flowers, to preserve, 56

Cycnoches, 91

Cymbidium, 91

_Cymbidium Lowio-eburneum_ (Plate VI.)

Cymbidiums for the conservatory, 54

Cynorchis, 91

Cypripedium, 91

_Cypripedium insigne Sanderæ_ (_Frontispiece_)

Cypripediums, structure of, 6

Cypripediums for the conservatory, 58

Cyrtopodium, 92

Dendrobium, 92

_Dendrobium Wardianum_ (Plate III.)

Dendrobium from cuttings, 35

Diacrium, 93

Difficulties to overcome, 8

Disa, 93

Diseases and Insect Pests, 47

Dossinia marmorata, 84

Durability of Orchid flowers, 56

Enumeration of Principal Genera, 81

Epidendrum, 94

Epidendrum Boundii, 109

Epidendrum O'Brienianum, 109

Epiphronitis Veitchii, 109

Eria, 94

Eriopsis, 94

Eulophia, 94

Eulophiella, 94

Evaporation from lower stage, 15

Evaporation, test, 100

Fertilising Orchids, 68

Floor of natural earth, 9, 15

Floor of wood trellis, 9

Galeandra, 95

Genera and Species, 81

Glazing, 11

Gomeza, 94

Gongora, 95

Goodyera Dawsoniana, 85

Grammatophyllum, 95

Grobya, 95

Habenaria, 95

Hæmaria discolor, 84

Heating Orchid houses, 16

Hot-water piping, 16

Houlletia, 95

Huntleya, 108

Hybridising and raising seedlings, 67

Importing of Orchids, 59

Insecticides, 48, 49

Introduction, 1

Ionopsis, 95

Label, the best form of, 31

Labelling the plants, 30

Lælia, 95

Leaves, removal of damaged, 32

Leaves, use of, in potting compost, 24, 80, 99

Leptotes, 105

Liparis, 96

Liquid manure, 43

Lissochilus, 96

Listrostachys, 83

Lueddemannia, 96

Luisia, 96

Lycaste, 96

Macodes Petola, 84

Manures for Orchids, 39

Masdevallia, 96

Maxillaria, 97

Megaclinium, 97

Metal injurious, 29

Microstylis, 97

Miltonia, 97

_Miltonia vexillaria_ (Plate II.)

Mormodes, 98

Mystacidium, 83

Neobenthamia, 98

Nephelaphyllum, 98

Night temperatures, 17, 18

Notylia, 98

Octomeria, 98

Odontoglossum, 98

_Odontoglossum crispum_ (Plate VIII.)

Odontoglossum, potting of, 99

Odontoglossum seedlings, 71-78

Odours of Orchids, 65

Oncidium, 100

_Oncidium Marshallianum_ (Plate VII.)

Orchid-collecting, 108

Orchid flowers, structure of, 6

Orchid house, structure of, 9

Orchid house, the single, 19

Orchid hybrids, 108

Orchid, the first hybrid, 5

Orchids as cut flowers, 55

Orchids for baskets, 27

Orchids for the conservatory, 52

Orchids for pans, 27

Orchids for villa conservatory, 53

Orchids, suspending of, 27

Orchids, the earliest introductions of, 3, 4, 5

Osmunda fibre, 23, 80, 99

Packing, systems of, 61

Painting interior of houses, 11

Paphinia, 100

Paraffin, need for avoiding use of, 49

Paths, methods of making, 9

Periodical inspection of plants, 50

Peristeria, 103

Pescatorea, 108

Phaius, 100

Phalænopsis, 103

Physosiphon, 103

Plant-houses adapted for Orchids, 12-19

Platyclinis, 103

Pleione, 103

Pleurothallis, 103

Potting and basketing, methods of, 22

Potting material for hybrids, 79

Potting, old-time system of, 3

Promenæa, 103, 108

Propagation by division, 35

Rain-water, the value of, 35

Raising seedling Orchids, 67

Renanthera, 103

Resting season, the, 37, 44

Restrepia, 103

Rhyncostylis, 104

Rise of Orchid culture, 3

Rockeries in Orchid house, 10

Rodriguezia, 103

Saccolabium, 104

Sarcanthus, 104

Sarcochilus, 104

Satyrium, 104

Scale insects, 49

Schomburgkia, 104

Scuticaria, 104

Seed-raising, case for, 72-75

Seed-sowing, 70

Seed-storing, 169

Seedlings, damping off, 77

Seedlings in subdued light, 78

Seedlings, affording water to, 72

Seeds, Orchid, 69

Selection of subjects for cross-fertilisation, 79

Selenipedium, 92, 104

Shading, 21

Shading of houses containing seedlings, 78

Slugs and woodlice, 50

Sobralia, 104

Sophronitis, 104

Spathoglottis, 105

Spraying the plants, 37, 72

Staging for the plants, 12

Staking or fixing plants, 28

Stanhopea, 105

Stauropsis, 105

Stelis, 105

Stenoglottis, 105

Structure of the flowers, 6, 67

Structure of Orchid house, 9

Syringing, the need for, 37

Tanks for storing water, 9

Tar, injurious effects of, 51

Tetramicra, 105

Temperatures, 17-20

Terrestrial species, packing of, 62

Thrips, destructiveness of, 48

Thunia, 105

Treatment of imported plants, 63

Trichocentrum, 105

Trichopilia, 105

Trichosma, 106

Trigonidium, 106

Useless leaves and pseudo-bulbs, removal of, 31

Vanda, 106

Vanda Batemanii, 105

Ventilation, 9

Warscewiczella, 108

Watering epiphytal species, 35

Watering terrestrial species, 38

Wire injurious to the plants, 29

Zygopetalum, 107

Zygopetalum, sections of, 108



Edinburgh & London

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