Selenipedium palmifolium flowering in cultivation.
This specimen was collected in 1999 by João Batista Fernandes da Silva, about 200 km from Belém do Pará at the location where the population of 57 plants was discovered (see former research item). It's a young plant and is starting to flower for the first time. This plant was collected with a large root ball, so that a large amount of the original substrate in which it was growing was collected as well. Back in the greenhouse it was placed in a natural fiber basket, which are in the local Portuguese language known as paneiro.
In January 2000 the plant was given bone meal. This fertilization is believed to have triggered the flowering. It put out 2 inflorescences from the 2 new shoots that were produced. First one of the inflorescences opened it's flowers, than the other. This is somewhat unfortunate since the flowers open 5 to 6 days at maximum, and because of that it was not possible to artificial pollinate the flowers. It looks like this plant needs some more time to synchronize its flowering. On the other hand this year the plant was in flower for over a month successively.
At the beginning of October 2000 new shoots started to grow which we hope will produce flowers in the next season. Hopefully opening simultaneously so that we can pollinate the flowers which in their turn will hopefully produce lots of viable seeds.
These photos were taken by Yasunao Osakada who lives in Belém, Brazil and owns the greenhouse in which this plant is cultivated. He also takes care of other special plants collected by João Batista Fernandes da Silva.