Friday, May 22, 2009

In Praise Of Hybrids

There is a widespread bias amongst experienced gardeners favoring plant species over hybrids. I confess to being an inconstant member of this club. However, when it comes to ladyslipper orchids, there is a powerful argument for growing hybrids; one can be certain that the plant wasn't pilfered from nature. There are a few (emphasis on few) nurseries that one can feel safe in purchasing cypripedium species from, knowing they were grown from seed, but more often, one just doesn't really know. "Nursery grown" may just mean the plant was dug up in the woods, stuck in a pot at the nursery for a few months, then sold.
Here is pictured Cypripedium 'Gisela', a hybrid between parviflorum and macranthos, and a lovely slipper it is... and easy to grow if it is given good drainage, loose soil, its roots are not planted deeply, and it receives afternoon shade and proper moisture... well, let's just say it is growable.
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I have considered growing lady slippers, but have passed due to their high price a touchy growing needs. Some day. Until then I will enjoy your wonderful pictures!
These little beauties are charming. The dark red and white combination makes a nice colour combination against the green leaves.
Sylvana... I have to admit, they're an expensive diversion.
Northern... it actually is prettier than its picture.
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