Photos of extraordinary plants (10 b): 30,000 C.japonicum

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Abgeschickt von Michael Weinert am 02 Juni, 2001 um 07:16:01

This picture from Kazuo Onuki, Tokyo (published in the May 2001 issue of "The Orchid Review") shows a meadow of approximately 30,000 C.japonicum - a spectacular sight! The plants were propagated over 27 years from a bunch of rhizomes by the farmer Masazumi Ikeda (died this year aged 76).

The article doesn't say much about the method of propagation: "At first the process was a difficult one; but, after several years of experimenting, he hit upon a failsafe method of bulking up his precious lady's slipper orchids - so much that they outgrew his garden. [...] An essential part of farmer Ikeda's careful husbandry was the disbudding of plants to redirect their resources to the rhizomes which would then branch and proliferate." 20 years after the start he let the plants flower for the first time, informed a local television station and from then on his telephone never stopped ringing...

The article stresses the point, that "Mr. Ikeda's success was highly unusual. The extraordinary number of healthy plants he produced (conservatively estimated by one visitor at thirty thousand) bears witness to an ideal growing environment, the farmer's willingness to enquire and experiment, and his undoubted affection for Kumagaiso" (the Japanese name for C.japonicum). And the text continues: "C.japonicum is not as easy to grow as Ikeda-san's experience would suggest. [...] C.japonicum is not mass-propagated in Japan, seldom succeeds from seed, dislikes containers and tends to be short-lived in cultivation. Almost all Kumagaiso on the Japanese market have been collected from the wild."

So let's go, dear fellow growers, and share the experience how to cultivate C.japonicum! Who is the first to post his comment on the forum?