Bulbophyllum Jan Ragan x Jim McGoogan (3 to 4 inch plastic net pot)
Photos show first to bloom. This is our first exclusive Bulbophyllum hybrid at Marble Branch Farms. It represents the combination of four (or possible only three) related species with similar bloom and growth habits, but different colored flowers. The parents were exceptional examples that came from Bill Thoms, a well-known hybridizer with many awards to his credit. Bulb. Jan Ragan is (lobii x facetum) and Bulb. Jim McGoogan is (sumatranum x veitchianum). Kew considers Bulb. sumatranum as a form of Bulb. lobii and thus the question as to whether four or just three species are involved in this cross. The robust plants have roundish pseudobulbs each carrying an attractive oblong leaf and separated by a somewhat rambling bristly rhizome that means the plants are best accommodated in wide, shallow pots or baskets. It is from this rhizome that blooms are borne in flushes at various times of the year. There can be just a few in one flush and then many all over the plant in the next, especially as plenty of older back growth accumulates. The buds look something like a flamingo’s head as the slowly grow large on an upright stalk and are fascinating in themselves. They burst open into good sized starry blooms that will have a cream to yellow background color heavily overlaid in purple strips and reticulations, with a typical lip for the genus that is hinged and “wags” at the slightest movement. Like the parents this should be a good reliable bloomer. These orchids will flourish in medium light levels and regular watering, preferring to not completely dry out. While they do well in warm temperatures, they are tolerant of 50’s at night in winter in necessary, such as in an intermediate greenhouse. These plants are likely two years from first blooming, but possibly sooner as our example plant bloomed while still in a community pot.
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