The Witching Hour

by Colleen Rochette

Months ago Vandachostylis Colmarie reeled me into her gloriously dark world. This fantasy of a lady stirred both my curiosity and my wicked cauldron. Yes, I was spellbound. As I envisioned Colmarie’s ink-like blossoms unfolding in my crystal ball, it was clear that she may need an equally witchy playmate to share her secrets with.

Upon zooming into my living room, Monnierara Magic ‘Witchcraft’ AM/AOS dismounted her bristly broom and coolly cozied up upon my humidity tray. “I belong here,” She cooed. After months of sleep, her eyelashes fluttered and she awoke from a long winter dormancy in the jungle within my home. This sleepy, plump, deciduous orchid is truly atypical.

As a Catasetinae intergeneric, Monnierara embraces a trio of entities. Catasetum, Cycnoches and Mormodes swarm within depths of her soul. Strangely enough, Monnierara is also capable of bearing both separate male and female flowers upon her spikes, unlike other orchids who are solely adorned with hermaphroditic blossoms.

monninera-millenium-magic3Welcome home, Monnierara! Initially, I could not decide how I wanted to re-pot her, so I allowed her rest for a few weeks. Monnierara’s growths were just beginning to appear and I wanted to ensure that they received the utmost comfort during this growing season. Supposedly, this orchid will accomplish a years worth of growth just in a few short months.

monninera-millenium-magic7A close-up of Monnierara’s base. I am aching to know how many of these bulges will blossom? There are currently four pseudobulbs. The largest, which bears the foliage, the smaller green one to the left and then two tiny babies, only one of which are visible in this photo.

monninera-millenium-magic6Monnierara’s tightly wound root system was intertwined with fairly decent sphagnum moss. I love handling a happy plant that has been thriving in spaghnum. Upon removal, an incredible amount of warmth exists within your very palms, almost as if you were holding a beating heart.

monninera-millenium-magic5Monnierara’s wriggly root system!

monninera-millenium-magic4Here you can see all four pseudobulbs/growths together. They are so curious to me!

monninera-millenium-magic1My newly potted Monnierara, ready to grow grow grow. She found her new home within a 5″ slotted plastic pot and is nestled within the same mix as I would use with any fine rooted oncidium orchid, along with some Hydroton – I love that stuff! Fingers crossed, here we go, girl!