Grand Magnolia

Grand Magnolia
The stunning leaves of the magnolia make for a bold statement with hydrangea and lotus pods to soften.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Keith Wallace Cymbidium Nursery - NSW

I will NEVER get sick of Cymbidium Orchids.  I know that I tend to ramble on about these majestic, long lasting and colourful beauties; but really, can you blame me???  The other week I had the immense pleasure of travelling out to Keith Wallace's Cymbidium Nursery, and was met with more than just a couple of handsome men!  Keith and his mentor Gordon have been at the helm of cymbidium propagation for over 50 years.  The lengthy process was explained in such detail that I now have even more appreciation for the stems that miraculously appear every winter in the flower markets.  While you may be able to buy a cymbidium stem for your vase from a florist for say - $36 or thereabouts, the actual cost and time taken to produce that one stem is surely justified.
The flowers are actually 'artificially inseminated' (pardon the lack of verbal expression...) and are then painstakingly removed and nurtured until they form a seed pod (1 year).  From this, the seed is taken to a lab where it is grown in liquid agar (another year) until it is a small seedling.  It is then transplanted into a pot and nurtured until maturity (2 - 3 years) when it will produce a single stem (or two if you're lucky).  For those of you who have had the pleasure of seeing a MASSIVE, multi-stemmed cymbidium orchid at a lush hotel or gala event, please, bow in is at least 15 years old!!  The hard part is accepting that once it has stopped flowering, it is most likely 'disposed of'...sad.
This is just one lengthy process of propagation.  The hardest part is combining two plants in the hope of having a certain trait expressed in the offspring, only to find that there is a 1 in 250,000 chance of a single trait being acknowledged by the gene pool selection of the cymbidium orchid.
Hats off to Keith and Gordon...wowzers is all I can say!  A labour of love, and dedication to a true art.

1 comment:

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