All Masd coccinea are equal but some are more equal.

orchidnickJune 5, 2012

Variations amongst specific species is obviously normal. Some are better than others, some bloom more, some have a larger flower count. I learned a lesson about Masdevallia coccina this weekend one trip to Hawk Hills Orchids in Pacifica, California. There is was confronted by hundreds of blooming coccinea, some simply breathtaking.

I have Masd coccinea of different colors in bloom at home but generic red/orange/white. I have a nice white one simply labeled coccinea (white). This one is now joined by coccinea alba 'Royalty'. The latter's flower is more than twice as big, perfectly flat and 6" taller (the last could be simply culture). Then I got coccinea xanthia (Crestwood', coccinea ('Terry' x 'Hot') ORYZ and coccinea SB #143 (orange).

All of them have flowers nearly twice as big or bigger than what I'm used to from generic coccinea. The story of this started with the divorce of the owners of SBOE which 30 years ago was specializing in coccinea amongst others. They had about 200 different clones the best of which were not for sale at any price. The wife took the nursery in the divorce settlement but some time after that died of a stroke suffered in Tokyo. The kids then attempted to run the nursery but had trouble. Prior to asking dad to come back and help, some one sold the entire collection of coccinea to one of the owners of Hawk Hills.

They have been line breeding the best of the best for 25 years now, the third generation is in bloom, the forth generation is in pods/flasks/compots. What I got was the best of whats 'For Sale'. I think they are simply outstanding but you should see the ones which are not for sale as they are now being used in the breeding of future generations.

Additionally there are hybrids being made as these people are not limited to species. Coccinea/veitchiana, coccinea/ignea and other crosses are there with spectacular results. I felt like a 4 year old with a free pass to Toys R Us. Except , of course, it was anything but free. As I'll be eating dog food for the next month, I'm enjoying some spectacular flowers. There is a cross, Red Flamingo, which out of ONE SEEDPOD has produced an array of spectacular colors. Super strong red, white, orange and a deep strong yellow which has not has been seen on a straight coccinea are some of the so called "red Flamingos'.

Conclusion is, other than high tailing it to Hawk Hill before the blooming season ends, that all coccinea are not equal. Since there is so much variation in the flowers, both shape, color and flatness, I don't think anyone should buy a Masdevallia coccinea without actually seeing the flowers. Unless of course it's a named clone whose characteristics are well known.

Nick

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westoh Z6

Nick,

ORCHIDS did a nice story on HH a few months back.
How did their paphs look? As I recall from the story, it seemed they had shifted focus from the masdies to paphs lately.

Bob

Bob

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:38PM
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orchidnick

Must be more than one HH around. There was not a single Paph to be seen in their greenhouse. John Leathers and Gary Meyer focus on Dracula and Masdevallias. John may have one of the better coccinea collection in the country. Gary and John together probably know more about Dracula than anyone in America. (J&L are pretty much up to speed on these also). The third partner, Bob Hamilton's special interest is Odontoglosums and their hybrids. At this time of the year, when they are in bloom, it is not safe to go there, a spectacular display. Brought a few these home, another reason to stock up on dog food.

The only safe way to go there is to leave your cash, check book and plastic at home.

Nick

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:43PM
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westoh Z6

Nick,

I may be thinking of another grower. This one was in the PNW... I'll check my back issues...

Sorry.

Bob

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:55AM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Nick, thanks for the word pictures. You have a feast for the eyes. Dog food take the hindmost. WC8

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 5:39PM
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westoh Z6

Nick,

After checking,they did a story on HillsView Gardens (Theresa Hill, she switched focus from masdies to paphs), and then did another on Hark Hills and the his black dracs. As usual, I was confused.

Bob

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 7:01AM
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orchidnick

He does have some spectacular black Dracs. Numerous clones of vampira, roezlii and ubangina all compete as to 'Who's the blackest'. Roezlii 'San Francisco' crossed with vampira 'Walter' led to the incredibly black 'raven'. Raven is not listed on the website but can be purchased by special arrangement. No Dracula collection should be without the above.

Nick

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:36PM
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orchidnick

I made 3 leaf divisions of all of them (the ones still in bloom which is most), mounted them and took them to an orchids society meeting. There put them on the silent auction table along with the blooming plants to show what the flowers will look like and sold most of them. Now I don't have to eat dog food anymore, I can move up to Spam.

Kidding aside it did ease the pain of the initial purchase and the remaining plants are no worse for the wear. With the display of the flowers they were received with enthusiasm.

Nick

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:30PM
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