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Constantia- cristinae or not?

Discussion in 'Orchid Identification Section' started by Tired, Jan 30, 2022.

  1. Tired

    Tired Member

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    I ordered a Constantia cristinae from Tarzane Group, and I got a nice little mount. When I un-mounted it, I found that it was two separate plants. I don't mind, that just means I can try it in two different spots and see where it wants to be.

    But I've noticed, these two plants have different leaves. The one on the right has much more heavily textured leaves than the other.
    [​IMG]

    Are they the same species, and maybe they've been in different conditions somehow? Variation between individuals due to genetics?

    Or did I accidentally get a two-for-one special?
     
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  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The leaves are certainly different and so do the pseudobulbs. My guess would be that the one on the right is Constantia cristinae. Don't know about the other one.
     
  3. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    Likely they came from Floralia who got them from who knows where.
     
  4. Tired

    Tired Member

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    Okay, so it's not just me! I've sent the seller an email asking what they think. I'm certainly not going to be mad if they accidentally sent me two species; I definitely got the one I was after, and maybe I have a bonus.

    The one on the right looks correct for pictures I see online of Constantia cristinae. I found one photo labeled C. cristinae that had the smooth leaves, but that could easily have been a mislabeling.

    So, that leaves me potentially with a plant I can't identify and don't know how to care for. I'm going to treat it as I would C. cristinae, because the two plants were on the same mount, and it looked like they had been there for a little while. The mount wasn't as overgrown as you get from, say, Andy's Orchids (because some of his look as though they've been reclaimed by the jungle), but it didn't look like a fresh mount to me.

    What I'm reading online about C. cristinae is that it grows on stone in the wild, and that it should be allowed to dry well between waterings, grown with little to no moss under it. In situ photos show it on stone with lichen, which I don't imagine retains much water.
    I think the gray coloration on the pseudobulbs may be camouflage; the photos below certainly make it look like a camouflage attempt. They also provide a useful look at how this little darling likes to grow- on bare stone, surrounded by hardy, scrubby desert-like plants. A kilometer off the ground, no less! I'm guessing they would be drenched now and then by rainwater runoff, then left to go totally dry. I can do that.
    https://twitter.com/hirokovista/status/1144565264710684672
     
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  5. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    For sure from Floralia. I thought Floralia grows their own plants from seed, though...
     
  6. Tired

    Tired Member

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    I'm guessing somebody was in a bit of a hurry, or having an off day, and didn't notice these were different when originally mounting them. I mean, I'm not gonna complain!

    I've looked up pictures of the other Constantia species, and C. cipoensis looks very similar to my eye; pointed leaves, lines along the leaves but not a netted pattern, pseudobulbs maybe a little taller than C. cristinae and less textured. Unless I find out otherwise, I'll be treating this as C. cipoensis. I figure it's either that, or something very similar-looking, and orchids that are very similar-looking tend to have similar requirements.

    Anyone have any tips for either species? They're currently both on cork bark with no moss, in dry spots of an orchidarium. They're getting high humidity and good air movement, and I'm going to hand-water them as often as needed. I'm thinking a couple times a week, to start with. Does make it a little tricky that C. cristinae in particular seems to have naturally flattened and wrinkled pseudobulbs; hard to tell if it's thirsty or just shaped like that.
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't look like my Constantia cipoensis at all. However, mine came from Floralia as well so I wonder if taxonomically this genus is a big big mess.
     
  8. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    They do grow from seed, but on some of the oddball species in particular they sometimes get them from other growers.
     
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  9. Tired

    Tired Member

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    I heard back from Tarzane Group. They said the other plant does look like C. cipoensis, but the best way to be sure would be to have it bloom. Hopefully I can accomplish that. Though, with how interestingly they're shaped, I'd be pretty happy just to have them grow well. Particularly the C. cristinae, with that interesting leaf texture.


    [​IMG]
    Here's a closer-up picture. Don't mind the pins, that's how I prop orchids in place until they root. No part of the orchid is actually being stabbed.


    These are probably pretty slow-growing plants, right? I gotta figure the one that naturally grows attached to cliffs, surrounded by hardy, scrubby plants, isn't a fast-growing species at all. And if this photo below is fairly standard for C. cipoensis habitat, that doesn't seem like a fast-growing plant either; a little orchid attached to a shrub stem in scrubland.
    Constantia cipoensis

    I wonder if I can find a nice granite chip to mount the C. cristinae on, like a little tribute to where they naturally grow. It's a funny contrast to my cloud forest plants, but I've got a couple of dry spots that need filling out, and these seem like the ideal plants to fill out dry spots.
     
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  10. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are only 6 species.
     
  11. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have seen both Constantia cristinae and microscopica growing in Minas Gerais, Brazil. They were under overhangs of large rocks. Rocks the size of a moderate sized house. The grew directly on the rock. To see them you had to lie down on your back, slide under a bit and look up. They didn't get any sun except what was refected from the ground. In the winter there is a lot of condensation in the mornings, but I doubt that there was much rain running on them in summer.

    I find them to be slow growers. I have grown them mounted on hardwood with no moss and they have grown well though have been reluctant bloomers. Not sure they survived my years of bad water and bad fertilizer.
     
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  12. Tired

    Tired Member

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    Oh, that's interesting. Good to know, thanks. Sounds interesting to see, and I can only imagine they must have some fairly reflective ground there, to be growing plants on the underside of rocks.

    I've seen a couple of sources saying they like full sun, but a first-hand account of where they live is definitely a counter to that. Plus, the conditions in the in situ photos I can find seem to vary quite a bit. Some of them are out in relatively full sun, some of them are underneath things. Maybe they have a fairly wide tolerance?
     
  13. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    I’m growing my cipoensis bright. They grow slow grower and I’ve never bloomed them.
     
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