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Sarcochilus Species Contributions to Hybrids « RWANOC

Sarcochilus Species Contributions to Hybrids



395 ( 329 in 2008)







5-25 flowers per raceme

Can be crowded

To 30mm diameter

2 common forms

Rounded  shape flowers

Heavy  substance, crystalline texture

High flower count

Erect raceme that flops with the weight of tip flowers(less with BK form)

Dominant species in most showbench hybrids, robust growth

2 common forms; Numinbah type red centred and Blue Knob type , no red apart from labellum

Selectively bred clones abound and are much improved on wild collected clones

There are some strains that have defective raised edges on sepals (transfers to hybrids)




4-15 flowers per raceme(8-10 is common in cultivation)

Very variable in shape and colour

White with red to ‘full’ red

Red colour but rarely in first generation hybrids

Slow growth, clumps readily

‘Ping pong bat’ petals

Arching raceme

Colour saturation occurs towards tip of raceme

Selectively bred clones are much improved in size, colour and shape.

Better shaped clones are cuppy.

Colour saturation or ‘bleeding’  is more prominent  in highly coloured clones




3-18 flowers per raceme, 3-4 out at any time

Occasionally branched racemes

Small cupped flowers

Varying shades of pink

Shape and colour is extremely dominant even after many generations.

Progressive flowering.

Late season flowering.

‘hard’ grower so some hybrids appear stressed despite good flowerings

There are many ‘selectively bred’ clones that are thought to be hybrids.

Ambrosia for scale!




3-14 flowers per raceme(8 is typical)

15-50mm diameter

Labellum is especially variable in size shape and colour

Flowers from small plants

Need to be slightly cuppy to appear as filled-in

Potential for large flowers

Excellent habit and arrangement- 2 ranks down raceme.

Slow to form clumps

Labellum colour is rarely inherited.

Some progeny flower at odd times (Melba)

Flowers open a creamy yellow then fade (no AD’s for fresh flowers!)

Difficult to cultivate so watch for recently collected plants




8 flowers per raceme max., 3 out at any time

Short racemes

Yellow-green, red-brown centre

flowers per raceme

Incredible substance

Sparse shape

Very progressive flowering

Yellow & red freely inherited

Late and multiple flowering

Short racemes

Occasionally seen on showbench.

Progeny are becoming more common and have great potential.




Up to 17 small flowers

Pendulous racemes

Green yellow with purple/brown spotting

Flower off very small plants

Long pendulous racemes

Colourful/spotted flowers

Small flowers

Hybrids rarely develop into large specimens

Colour traits often evident several generations from species but flowers lose small size.

Primary hybrids have  a typical ‘chin spot’




 Up to 16flowers per raceme

Pendulous raceme

Flowers10 – 20 mm long

Very variable colour  gold to a brown/purple

Difficult to grow as are most hybrids

Long pendulous racemes

Progeny have an open shape

Potential for green though brown colours

Cool grower (as far as Tasmania), used more so by southern hybridists for colour and cold tolerance

Difficult to cultivate so watch for recently collected plants

The less desirable shape is more dominant than the more desirable colour




2-5 flowers per raceme

Widely spaced on raceme

Green to red-brown

Difficult to grow (twig epiphyte)

Flowers early off small plants

Pendulous tendency – racemes become neither upright or fully pendulous.

Racemes can appear as sparse

Unusual colours are facilitated

Watch for AD possibilities for colour.

A little used species due to lack of access, small flowers and low flower count.

Future generations may have great potential once the weaknesses are bred out.





60+flowers per raceme

Racemes up to 40cm long

Up to 8cm diameter

Short-lived spidery flowers

Short lived, about 3 days

Cream to yellow with varying orange markings near the centre

Difficult to grow well but most hybrids are reasonable with some distorted growth. Big leaves!

Short life span of flowers

Long pendulous ‘wild’ racemes, high flower count.

First generation hybrids retain star shape and have intense colour, further generations tend to lose both .

Potential for yellow, orange and central barring.

Flower shape and habit and arrangement are likely to prevent quality awards in early generations.

Complex hybrids often show little evidence of the Rhinerhizza genes apart from distinct central barring.


(1)‘Sarcochilus Orchids Of Australia’ Walter T. Upton ; Double U Orchids, 1992

(2) OrchidWiz – version 5 (2008 figures): version 8 (2011 figures)

Author’s observations


30:30:10:10:10:10 – IE: THERE ARE ONLY 10 POINTS FOR SIZE!!!!!

Don’t fall for cute hybrids or never seen before species there are no points for these qualities

Look carefully for flower defects (they may be small but enlarge the flower to the size of a cymbid – grotesque!)

Progressive flowerers need to be award judged on their first flowers before any have dropped

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