Cyp. plectrochilum and Cyp. fasciolatum in the wild

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Abgeschickt von Holger Perner am 18 Mai, 2004 um 12:27:58

Antwort auf: Re: What's up in Huanglong? Part 4 von Tom Velardi am 15 Mai, 2004 um 05:53:09:

Cyp. plectrochilum is one of the most adaptable Cypripediums I know from China. I found it in full sun without shade in Yunnan and Sichuan, in dry conditions with just a little shade and also in deep shade beside a track in a moist mountain forest and even together with Paphiopedilum armeniacum on a limestone cliff above the Salween river in Yunnan near the border to Myanmar (Burma). The most preferred growing site seems to be open shade with mesic conditions (not too dry, not too wet), a situation which most Cypripediums like. Although the species prefers limestone, the big colony in the Huanglong reserve grows between metamorphic rocks which are lime-free.The photo in my posting last week shows me standing in a colony where the majority of plants is growing in that open shade between shrubs and some in the open between the rocks where they get full sun and flower some two weeks or so earlier. The flowering shrubs are Rhododendrons. The photo of Cyp. plectrochilum of the present posting shows Cyp. plectrochilum in the shrubs. There is still a lot of light now although the shrubs form a rather closed cover above the plants. Later in summer the site will be much more shady because several big herbs and additional leaves in the shrub layer cover the Cypripediums. Also in the open the herbs will increase in number, become higher and denser and provide at least some shade. And there is not so much sunshine in summer because of the monsoon with its frequent rains.


Last week I had the chance to see Cypripedium fasciolatum flowering in the wild (12th May). This species doesn't grow in Huanglong but I found it 400 km southwest of our reserve near the Gongga Mountain in West Sichuan. This species prefers shade and grows at altitudes between 2100 and 2400 m on mountain slopes in bamboo thickets, shrubs and shady mountain forest. It is not known from open situations. It grew and flowered in much more shade than I am used to see with most of the other Cypripediums, except Cyp. debile which also likes a good cover from above (and Cyp. japonicum which I haven't seen in the wild so far). Cyp. fasciolatum flowers from late April to early May and at 2300 m the flowers were already past while I could still find flowering specimens at 2400 m. The bedrock was granite-like, again no limestone. Companion orchids where Calanthe tricarinata, Cephalanthera falcata and Pleione limprichtii (the latter in moss on rock outcroppings with some more light). Leeches where also frequent at these low altitudes. Cypripedium fasciolatum is not a plant of high altitudes and will most certainly not survive long cold winters (i.e. cannot stand long and hard frost). At least I wouldn't try to grow this wonderful and precious plant in the open where long and hard frosts might occur.



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