Stelis argentata - Whole Plant

The plant of Stelis argentata “Red” shown was sent to the regional meeting of the AOS judges on 11/3/12. It had approximately 1180 flowers, 260 buds and 68 sequentially flowering inflorescences. It scored 80 points and was awarded a CHM. It had been sent down to provide something for discussion since all other plant material at the MOS show had already been evaluated.


The plant was purchased several years ago (2006) from Simani at the annual Redlands Orchid sale and came from Papua, New Guinea from an exporter, Malala. We were unable to find information in “Bulbophyllum and Their Allies” by Emily Siegerist, 2001.

The plant(s) were mounted in baskets using osmundine and grow tilted so the leaves could hang down where they received only 2 hours or direct light and were shady for the rest of the day and kept moist.

Overview of first flowering.

Person holding the plant is 6 feet tall which gives a measure of foliage growth.

Grower Bill Hutchinson, showing bloom.

Flowers were on the lower surface and could only be viewed when turned.

Each floret had one or two flies but since they crawled deeply into flowers were visible only when disturbed.

Closer up of flowers.

Encyclia polybulbon `Larch Hill
Memoria Fred Morse’

It seems somewhat incongruous that such a diminutive plant has such a long name. Like many of our plants at the greenhouse they often have a story in their background. This plant originally came from Linda Gallo, an artist, who designed the original Amherst Orchid Society T shirt. She decided to move to Arizona and sold her collection. I bought the plant for $3.00 and over the years divided it many times and sold pieces of it. Finally I decided to mount it on a large slab of tree fern and grow it horizontally and surround it with moss. It has been grown that way in a cool greenhouse and kept moderately moist for several years now.

The second part of the story is Fred Morse, a long time member of the Amherst Orchid Society, who was found to have lung cancer. After long treatment he eventually found himself in Hospice care. Club members visited and did all they could to cheer him up. While he was in Hospice he listed all the plants in his collection and indicated to whom they were to go to on his death. When we went to get the plants he had over 800 plants in a 2 room apartment.

Fred loved to go on trips to greenhouse with club members. He had a love of miniature orchids and often had a hard time growing them. After his death I thought if I ever had a miniature plant awarded, I would name it in his memory. At this February’s show the plant received an AOS Judges Commendation and was named in Fred’s memory.

I will cite only a portion of the description given by the judges: “Thirty-six flowers held erect terminally on 2-3 cm inflorescences on approximately 150 growths. Commended for unusual culture and presentation … has been grown intermingled with a carpeting of moss on a horizontal slab creating a presentation evocative of a Lilliputian, mossy, orchid forest.”

Awarded 'Best Cattleya in Show,' New Hampshire Orchid Society, Feb. 23rd, 2007.

After several years on retreat Dinema polybulbon Mem. Fred Morse appeared at the 20!0 Amherst Orchid Society show. Now much bigger it displayed one hundred and sixty six flowers and 15 buds and a spread of 69 cm (27 inches)X 40 cm (15 inches). The flowers were evenly distributed over the surface. The plant received a score of 83 points and was awarded CCM (certificate of Cultural Merit)!

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