Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Agricultural Innovations In the year 2013

Witness the innovations in agriculture in the last 10 years. In 1993, who used a cell phone with ease practically anywhere? Or used the Internet? Or electronic mail? Or who sprayed one herbicide on a crop to control all weeds without crop damage? Or pushed a single button to shift gears or launch a sequence of implement movements? Or steered straight with hands-free steering or reduced field application overlap without foam markers? Or stopped bugs with plants? Or grew corn to make plastic? Anyone? You get the picture.
Whew. Will the speed of innovation slow down? Not likely. Innovation not only will continue in agriculture, but will trickle down into it from highly advanced industries, such as the medical, defense, aerospace and computer industries, where new technologies deliver profit. As the latest technology advances within these industries become mass produced and less expensive, bright agricultural minds will watch, research and adapt these technologies to aid on-farm efficiency, produce new crops and animals, and much more.

Simple and profound

What technologies changed agriculture most in the past 10 years? New Mexico State University ag economist and futurist Lowell Catlett says five simple but profound technologies came to be important over the past decade.
“The first was the release and improvement of GPS, which is leading to a whole new wave of accuracy in precision farming tools. This is a major coup for agriculture and the whole U.S. as we begin to more fully utilize this technology,” Catlett says.
Second was biotechnology. “This technology came into full glory and hatred in the last 10 years, and really probably defined the decade more than anything,” he says.
The third most influential technology was the growth of the Internet. “While it was invented a long time ago, it wasn't until the past decade that it came into play,” Catlett explains. “Now we're just starting to redefine how we're going to procure inputs and how we can potentially sell them using this technology tool.”
Fourth was the improvement in weather satellite accuracy. “Surprisingly, I think this technology has probably done as much for agriculture in the last decade as anything,” Catlett states. “We've started getting a new level of forecasting, especially on potential freeze dates and higher levels of forecasting accuracy.”
Number five was the cell phone. “It may seem small and insignificant, but this mobile technology has really redefined who we are, especially in the past five years,” Catlett says. “It is truly saving us precious time and has really changed how we obtain service and work with local farm suppliers. You can make that call to a supplier from the field, so they either have it ready by the time you get to town or they called their regional warehouse, which ships it to the dealer maybe even yet that day.”

The next 10 years

What technological advances can we expect to see by 2013?
Within the hallowed halls of academia, one of the best futurists is Mike Boehlje at Purdue's Center for Food and Agricultural Business. He sees three types of technology at the farm level that are in the process of coming to market: technology to manipulate growth processes of plants and animals, technology for monitoring and measuring systems, and automated process control technology. On its own, each area is significant, he says, but it's their coming commercial convergence that will bring the most significant change.
“The first area, manipulating the growth processes of plants and animals, is a continuation of biotechnology efforts that developed the successful input-side traits such as Roundup Ready soybeans, Bt corn and cotton,” Boehlje explains. Roundup Ready technology simplified the soybean production process for growers. It not only improved and lengthened weed control, it required less management and reduced labor, allowing farmers to oversee larger acreages.
“Going forward, where we have the most potential advances for the future is on the output side, whether its protein content, amino acid levels, healthier oils and more,” Boehlje continues. “We're gaining in this area because we have a better understanding of biology, of what we need to do and what we can do to manipulate plants and animals.”
Profound change, he predicts, will occur during the next 10 years as farmers move out of commodity production and into differentiated production of specific crops with higher value.
The second group of technologies, systems that monitor and measure, will improve and see wider application. “Numerous tools using this technology — such as GPS, yield monitoring, remote sensing, smart machinery — have allowed us to real-time figure out where we are, what we're doing, and how we're doing it,” Boehlje says. “Coming soon, we'll begin applying improved tools to a broader set of agricultural production practices.”

Monitoring everything

Boehlje likens such change to that occurring in the greenhouse industry and high-tech livestock facilities, where practically everything is monitored (air, soil, plants and animals). “Improvements in sensor technology will take us to a completely new level of measuring the growth process, the surrounding environment, the operation of machinery and much more,” he says. “It will automate the processes that used to require human intervention. So rather than adjust the power levers on our tractor, the environment is sensed and implements adjust automatically. In some cases, reduced skills will be needed to accomplish certain tasks.”
The third area of technology, automated process control technology, may provide the most significant advances in agriculture production. “This technology will actually alter the production process as it senses it to help plants, animals and machines produce at an optimum level,” Boehlje states.
Take irrigation, for instance. “Instead of simply irrigating the ground if no rain occurs, automated process control will link the irrigation system to plant sensors, soil sensors and a weather station so it can apply more water or less water to specific areas of a field, driven by software and GPS,” Boehlje says. “Think about the greenhouse example where sensors are changing the angle of windows, humidity levels, water and fertility amounts and more automatically. We're starting to think along these same lines on how to grow crops in fields and animals in buildings.”

Big Bang stuff

In Boehlje's observations, these three technology areas change agriculture from “an industry that grows stuff to one of biological manufacturing. We're in the process of the biological manufacturing of specific-attribute raw materials for the nutritional, industrial and pharmaceutical industries,” he says.
He believes the simultaneous evolution of all three processes, or convergence of them, will have profound implications for agriculture. “When you combine biotechnology with information technology with process control technology, you'll get some truly Big Bang stuff,” Boehlje states.
Because of this convergence of the technologies, in many cases the human managerial process will be altered or substituted, he adds, which results in “simplification technology.” “What we used to do manually will become automated, enabling each manager to expand what he or she oversees,” Boehlje says. “As a manufacturing plant becomes more automated, it allows the plant manager to expand control and manage more units.”
Think about soybean production before Roundup Ready soybeans, Boehlje says. You had to spend more management time to know your weeds and match the right herbicide mixture. You had to scout more for proper application timing of each field. You may have cultivated. “Now, without too much thinking, you simply plant, spray once, maybe twice, and forget about it. This technology has substituted for oversight of the operation, allowing growers to manage larger soybean acreages,” he says.
How close are we to this technology convergence? “In animal production, we're already quite away along the curve to converting livestock production units into manufacturing facilities,” Boehlje says. “With confined livestock like poultry and pork, we're expecting to see more sensors and software driving more automation, helping sense levels of infection which triggers dispersal of proper medication into the water to prevent a disease outbreak.”
In crop production, Boehlje says, we'll see technology convergence sooner in more high-value crops where critical monitoring and automated processes will achieve a quicker payback. “But there is a whole set of technologies such as GPS, yield and quality monitors, lightbars, steering guidance that is already there, so one doesn't have to go too far before we start seeing more convergence in crop production,” he says.

Wireless and nano rule

In Lowell Catlett's list of five technologies that will most change the nature of agriculture in the next 10 years, first is the wireless digital technology. “This, without question, will definitely be the most pronounced tool of the decade,” he states. “We're seeing PDAs merged with cell phones and laptops being shrunk down to PDA size. But wireless technology, either 802.11 [Wi-Fi] or Bluetooth platforms, will totally redefine absolutely everything.”
The next two technologies, DNA sensing chips and nano lasers, will be directly connected to the wireless technology.
“Sensing chips have been around during the last decade, but they're becoming more mainstream and commercial,” Catlett says. “The first phase of this DNA sensing technology is currently performing medical diagnostic work, and it's absolutely overwhelming what they are doing for human medicine right now. And it's this work that will set the stage to totally redefine plant and animal agriculture. It will totally revolutionize diagnostic work on animals for vet care, followed by plant and soil diagnostics to detect nutritional deficiencies or soil characteristics and more.”
The science-fiction fantasy of nanotechnology — building novel structures, devices, and materials at the atomic or molecular scale — is becoming a reality. According to research at the University of California — Berkeley, a bio-nano breakthrough may someday lead to devices that diagnose disease, detect evidence of bioterrorism and aid in the discovery of new drugs. Most impressive, though, is that these devices, based on a DNA-sensing chip in development at Berkeley, will fit in your pocket. Already available DNA “gene chips” enable the analyses of DNA samples to identify biological substances. The silicon or glass chips are embedded with tens of thousands of different fragments of DNA. Each bit of reference DNA consists of a specific sequence of bases — the four letters that spell out the genetic code — that are unique to the disease or pathogen, for instance, that the user is attempting to identify.
Catlett explains that the nano laser or vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser takes information from DNA chips and transfers the data via wireless protocols. “This will provide truly phenomenal capabilities to measure and get information from fields and animals and will ratchet up management like you've never seen before,” he predicts.

Biotech speeds onward

The fourth technology, biotech, will continue as one of the top technologies of the next decade, Catlett says. “It will reform itself, so the next round of products will deliver ecological and medicinal benefits for the environment, humans and animals.”
Finally, software programs called “intelligent default” will combine with wireless, DNA chip and nano laser technologies to revolutionize everything that is connected to agribusiness, according to Catlett. “The idea is there are parameters in such software that, when given information from remote-sensing devices that is outside set parameters, the software will either notify a manager via a coded message to a wireless device or cell phone or it will mitigate, enhance or change what's there to resolve the challenge itself,” he explains.
Catlett says the trucking industry already has put this technology into play. “Cummins engines have technology that monitors engine revolutions and shifting points in combination, because when these conditions get out of whack, trucks can jackknife. When this occurs, a signal is sent to a fleet manager with exact GPS location and time, and a phone call can be placed immediately to the driver to determine if everything is okay,” he says. “And a fleet's safety factor jumps up immensely with this technology.
“The beauty of this technology, that will totally revolutionize management, is that it's fairly inexpensive,” Catlett continues. “And it will cause a whole new stream of agribusiness firms to enter the market offering intelligent default software that fits all kinds of farm-based applications, causing the wireless platform to explode. And for managers, it will be a phenomenal tool that will give them flexibility like they've never imagined.”
Catlett concludes that “the great thing about these technologies is that they'll truly be put into place by the savvy producer, and it will revolutionize agriculture. And most of it will be normal in 10 years or less.”
source- Kurt LawtonFarm Industry News

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Orchids- Arranged by Scientific Name Starts with B

Baptistonia echinata

A Species from Brazil.An unusual and beautiful species. Temperature Tolerant. This is a small sized, cool to hot growing epiphyte, native to Brazil in montane rainforests. Grows  well at elevations of 50 to 1200 meters. It has narrowly ellipsoidal or subcylindric, compressed pseudobulbs partially enveloped basally by several distichous, imbricating, leafless sheaths carrying 1 to 2 apical, oblong-lanceolate, narrowly elliptic or obovate, acute leaves. It blooms in the winter on a 1 1/2' [45 cm] long, pendulous, mottled with dull crimson, paniculate [2 to 6 flowers per branch]or racemose, densly many flowered inflorescence with papery, elliptic, obtuse floral bracts and has numerous small flowers. Approximately 60 bell-shaped maroon and green flowers on one inflorescence. They do best mounted on tree fern or cork and like to be kept humid, with moderate shade and have frequent waterings year round with less after the psuedobulbs fully mature.
·         Common Name The Hedge Hog Baptistonia
  • Flower Size to .8" [2 cm]

Barkeria lindleyana

Species from Central America. Found from Mexico to Costa Rica as a medium sized, hot to cool growing epiphytic or lithophytic orchid. It occurs at elevations of 200 to 2500 meters in semi-deciduous and deciduous forests. It has cane-like stems enveloped with basal leaf sheaths and oblanceolate, acute, clasping at the base leaves. It blooms on a 32" [80 cm] long, arcuate, laxly few to many [5 to 20] flowered, racemose inflorescence arising on a mature stem with grayish papery bracts and large, showy, nodding flowers occuring in the fall ie August - September blooming. It’s an intermediate growing orchid.
·         Common Name Lindley's Barkeria [English Botanist 1800's]
·         Flower Size 2 to 3" [5 to 6 cm]

Barkeria melanocaulon

Species from Mexico. This minature sized, hot to warm growing sometimes epiphytic and mostly lithophytic species is found in central Oaxaca state of Mexico in the transition zone between tropical deciduous forests and dry oak forests on limestone boulders or the trees above. Seen  at elevations of 1600 to 1700 meters. It has thickened, compressed, 3 to 8 noded stems enveloped completely by scarious, tubular leafless to leaf-bearing sheaths carrying 3 to 6, articulate to the leaf sheath, elliptic to narrowly ovate, acute, coriaceous to sub fleshy leaves. It blooms on a medium length to 15" [17.5 cm] long, laxly few to many flowered, racemose inflorescence arising from a newly developing stem. . Lovely, full, lavender flowers held high above the cane-like foliage. Blooming in the summer with nonfragrant flowers (June - July blooming). This species and the similar B whartoniana differ mainly in the fact that this species has the column adpressed to the lip surface. Fairly obscure.Intermediate growing.
·         Common Name Dark-Stemmed Barkeria
·         Flower Size 1 1/4" [3 cm]

Beallara (Cambria)

                             Flickr photo
The Cambria requires a well-lit spot, but no direct sunlight during the growing season (March-September). The sun is too strong in this period, which can cause the leaves to burn.  The plant likes a room temperature between 18-20 degrees Celsius.

Beallara Marfitch 'Howards Dream', AM/AOS

                             photo from orchidweb
This is one of the most remarkable plants to enter the trade in recent years. Composed of the genera brassia, cochlioda, miltonia, and odontoglossum, it is very showy as well as a great grower for intermediate to temperature tolerant conditions. Temperature Tolerant.

Bletilla striata var. alba

                                    flickr photo
This species is found in Japan, China and Okinawa, as a medium sized warm to cold growing terrestrial with subterranean rounded and compressed psuedobulbs with an erect stem that bears several oblong-lanceolate, plicate flexible leaves and a lax, terminal, 2' [60 cm] long inflorescence arising with a new psuedobulb that has several [to 12], fragrant, somewhat nodding flowers that open in succession in the late spring and summer and requires a winter rest( May-June blooming). An alba-white color form of one of the few cultivated orchids that grow well in the garden in average soil. The patch of the typical color form here, outdoors, in one of the beds at the nursery gets bigger every year producing a spectacular long lasting show every spring. It can take hard frost as well high temperatures. Temperature Tolerant.
·         Common Name The Striped Bletilla Albino Variety
·         Flower Size 1 to 2" [2.5 to 5 cm]

Bothriochilus bellus

                                   flickr photo
Species from Central America .A rarely seen collectors item from the humid forests of Central America. This versatile plant can take both heat and cold. Along with its showy pink and white blooms, the pseudo-bulbs are round and particularly attractive. Temperature Tolerant. November - December blooming.


Brassavola is a genus of about 15 species, all of which can be found from a region from Mexico through Central America and the West Indies to Brazil and Argentina. Brassavola nodosa is often found growing on trees in low-lying areas near the seashores from Mexico to Panama in Central America and down into Venezuela in South America.

Brassavola cucullata

Species from Central America and the West Indies. One to two flowered, epiphytic plant that smells somewhat skunky at night, grows best mounted on wood and comes from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, French Guiana, Surinam, Guyana, Venezuela and Colombia. It is a medium sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte of coastal rainforests up to 1800 meters in elevation. It’s with erect to ascending, slender, terete, jointed stems enveloped by white, scarious, tubular sheaths and carrying a sinlge, apical, linear subulate, terete, fleshy coriaceous leaf that blooms from summer till autumn. It blooms on a short to 8" [20cm] peduncle that is borne at the junction of the single leaf and terete stem. Flowers that appear later in it's season and exposed to a cold snap will have a redder appearance. This is the type species for the genus Graceful night-fragrant flowers, and robust white roots. This plant grows well under intermediate conditions ieWarm to Intermediate.
·         Common Name Hooded Brassavola
·         Flower Size 7" [17.5 cm]

Brassavola Jimminey Cricket

These  are 3 1/2 inch long, sweeping flowers. It’s a vigorous species with upright leaves. It’s  a fusion of the plant's parent Brassavola nodosa's distinct shape, translucent, creamy-green flowers and night fragrance, and B. digbyana's fringed lip. It’s of intermediate growing habit.

Brassavola Little Stars

B. (nodosa x cordata). Meristem. Seedling Size. Several Years to bloom.
Fragrant at night, a charming primary hybrid between the Central and South American species Brassavola nodosa, and the Jamaican native Brassavola cordata. They  have over six flowers on a spike. Its of  Intermediate growing habit.

Brassavola nodosa

Species from Central and South America. They are found from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Caymans, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Puerto Rico?, French Guaian, Surinam, Guyana, Venzuela, Colombia and Brazil from sea level to about 500 meters as epiphytes or lithophytes and can be quite salt tolerant. I have found them growing on the roots of mangroves in Cozumel, Mexico at sea level. This species is called ""the lady of the night"" because its intoxicating fragrance only comes out after dark. A beautiful, elegant flower with greenish sepals and petals and a showy cream-white lip. Intermediate growing. It is an epiphyte without pseudobulbs that grows to a height of 18 inches and has fleshy leaves up to 12 inches long. The 8 inch inflorescence carries several 3 inch flowers that are fragrant at night. The long, slender sepals and petals are pale green, sometimes peppered with burgundy spots. The wide, pointed lip is white with a light sprinkle of purple spots at the base. Always provide ample ventilation for Brassavola nodosa. These plants can be easily grown in an intermediate environment. Summer day temperatures may reach 86 F but can stay between 69 - 75 F. Temperatures should remain between 55 - 65 F at night.

Brassavola perrinii

Species from Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil. Found in Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and possibly Argentina. Seen  at elevations of 1980 to 2580 meters as a small to medium sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte. It’s  with slender, terete, stems carrying a single, apical, narrow, terete leaf that blooms on a short, 3 to 6 flowered inflorescence with fragrant flowers that occurs in the spring and summer. A wonderful night-fragrant orchid. Elegant, pale green and white flowers with hanging tail-like foliage. Grows into a great hanging basket. Temperature Tolerant. Spring and Summer blooming.
·         Common Name Perrin's Brassavola [English Gardener 1800's]
·         Flower Size 2 1/2" to 3" [6.75 to 7.5 cm]

Brassia caudata

Species from Central America.Found from Florida, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, French Guaian, Surinam, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. It is a caespitose, medium sized, hot to warm growing, bifoliate epiphyte. It occurs at elevations of sealevel to 1200 meters in tropical rainforests on exposed tree trunks with cylindric, slightly laterally compressed pseudobulbs subtended by foliaceous bracts and 2 elliptic-oblong, coriaceous, carinate abaxially leaves. It blooms on an arcuate to pendant, 8 to 10" [15 to 25 cm] long, many [12] flowered inflorescence arising from the basal axils of a newly mature psuedobulb with fragrant, long-lasting flowers and occuring in the spring and fall. Yellow and brown spider flowers. Warm to Intermediate. Winter blooming.
·         Common Name The Tailed Brassia
·         Flower Size 1 1/2" wide and 6" long [3.75 by 15 cm]

Brassia mexicana
Species from Mexico.A nicely fragrant species from Mexico. It’s a summer blooming orchid. Grows and flowers well under intermediate conditions. Intermediate growing.

Brassia ochroleuca
A Species from Brazi These  are spider like flowers. This prolific bloomer produces stems of greenish-yellow spider-like flowers. Intermediate growing. Fall and Winter blooming.

Brassia verrucosa

This large species is a warm to cool growing epiphyte of open humid, evergreen to semi-deciduous cloud forests on tree trunks and larger branches from altitudes of 900 to 2400 meters that range into Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El SAlvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Brazil. Its  with ovoid-conic, furrowed, slightly laterally compressed pseudobulbs subtended by 1 to 2 foliaceous bracts and has 2, coriaceous, elliptic-lanceolate leaves that are conduplicate at the base. It is distinguished from the other Brassia by the green warts on the base of the lip. They flower in the late spring through the early autumn on a basal, to more than 2' [60 cm] long, erect to arching, inflorescence arising on a mature pseudobulb which are strongly 2 ranked and many [10 to 20] flowered and are slightly fragrant of black pepper. Bright light yellow-green with brown marks over basal third.They need regular waterings and fertilizer year round. The lip of B verrucosa when flattened is oblong-obovate and is essentially unlobed and the flowers are smaller than B brachiata. Plants found in Costa Rica, Panama and South America with this name are either B brachiata [Central America] or B bidens [South America]. This is the only Brassia species that takes temperatures down to freezing.Temperature Tolerant. Summer blooming.
·         Common Name The Warty Brassia
·         Flower Size 6" or less

Brassia verrucosa 'Santa Barbara', AM/AOS

 Species from Mexico to Northern Nicaragua.The spidery flowers of this Central American species were over 14 inches on a spray of nine flowers when it was awarded in '96. Bright light yellow-green with brown marks over basal third. This is the only Brassia species that takes temperatures down to freezing.Temperature Tolerant. Summer blooming.

Brassia wagneri

This bifoliate, small to medium sized, warm to cool growing, epiphytic species is found in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador in cool, wet montane forests at elevations of 480 to 1800 meters.  Its with elongate, tapered, strongly compressed, smooth, light green pseudobulbs subtended by a basal leafless sheath and an upper leaf bearing sheath and carrying 2 apical, lanceolate, acuminate conduplicate towards the base leaves. It blooms in the spring on a basal through a leaf sheath, to 8" [20 cm] long, suberect to arching, terete, green, several [8 to 15] flowered, racemose inflorescence that is shorter than the leaves and arising on a mature psuedobulb. Fantastic spidery blooms on an arching inflorescence; creamy green with brown markings. Compact growing. Warm to Intermediate.
·         Common Name Wagner's Brassia [Germna Orchid Collector in Venezuela 1800's]
·         Flower Size 3 to 4" [12 cm]

Brassia Edvah Loo

This  is a primary hybrid between longissima and gireoudiana. It  produces long sprays of nearly 7 inch tall flowers. It  grows well  in  intermediate house and it never fails to produce a great display. Intermediate growing habit.

Brassia Mem Fritz Boedeker

It’s a hybrid. Striking one foot tall flowers of chocolate-red on a base color green. Blooms freely. Intermediate growing.

Brassidium Wild Warrior 'Santa Barbara', HCC/AOS

A cross combines the chocolate spotted, greenish-cream flowers of Oncidium leucochilum and the slender, spidery shape of Brassia brachiata. Its having  Lightly fragrant flowers spread to four inches. Intermediate growing habit.

Brassocattleya Lilliputian Princess

This is a cross of B. perinii and C. loddigesii. It has yielded charming seedlings ranging in color from cream to pink. Temperature Tolerant.

Brassocattleya Maikai 'Mayumi'
It is a temperature Tolerant orchid. A primary hybrid between Brassavola nodosa and Cattleya bowringiana, this produces vibrant lavender flower in clusters. A prolific grower, Maikai 'Mayumi' has received no less than three certificates of culture merit from the American Orchid Society.

Brassocattleya Sunny Delight 'Maj'
A very showy and floriferous variety from the primary cross of brassavola perinii and cattleya aurantiaca. Temperature Tolerant orchid.

Brassolaelia Sea Urchin

 A primary hybrid between brassovola glauca and laelia anceps. Sweet fragrance, and an unusual shape with a distinct large lip. Temperature tolerant, very hardy, a rewarding plant that blooms throughout the year. Temperature Tolerant plant.

Brassolaelia Sea Urchin 'Pinkie'

A primary hybrid between brassovola glauca and laelia anceps.Temperature. The lesser known pink variety of one of the orchids. Sweet fragrance, and an unusual shape with a distinct large lip. Temperature tolerant, very hardy, a rewarding plant that blooms throughout the year. Tolerant. April - May blooming.

Brassolaeliocattleya Adventurer 'Crothers'

A charming, very reliable blooming, compact, cattleya hybrid.flowers on a spike, Flower count is only two per spike. but can expect six to seven within a couple years. Will grow well indoors under intermediate conditions or out with the Cymbidiums. Temperature Tolerant. October-November blooming orchid

Brassolaeliocattleya Brad Carter 'Bri lea'

One of the showiest and most robust growing temperature-tolerant cattleya hybrids. It’s a Temperature Tolerant orchid. December - January blooming. A magnificient show in December.

Brassolaeliocattleya Bryce Canyon 'Splendiferous', AM/AOS

It’s a temperature Tolerant, October blooming orchid. A gorgeous, full flowered, fall blooming, bright purple variety. Grows well outdoors with the cymbidiums or in with the other unitfoliate cattleyas.

Brassolaeliocattleya Chia Lin 'Red Rose'
 It’s a temperature Tolerant, Winter blooming orchid. This gorgeous red cattleya will grow well outdoors with cymbidiums and their companions.

Brassolaeliocattleya Chinese Jade 'Marco Polo'
Beautiful, big, green and pink flowers.  It’s a Temperature Tolerant, Summer blooming orchid

Brassolaeliocattleya Everything Nice 'Exquisite', AM/AOS

These do great outside with  cymbidiums, but should grow equally as well inside. Cheerful, bright colored green and fuchsia flowers. With and Award of Merit from the American Orchid Society. Temperature Tolerant and June - July blooming.

Brassolaeliocattleya Everything Nice 'Showtime', HCC/AOS

Everything is nice about this delightful compact green Cattleya hybrid. It can be grown as outdoors, but expect they'd be just as at home indoors in bright filtered light.Temperature Tolerant. July - August blooming.

Brassolaeliocattleya Guess What 'Doubloon', AM/AOS

 Its having an Incredible color. Highly awarded by the American Orchid Society.Its an  intense yellow Cattleya hybrid is easy to bloom. Can have up to seven flowers per spike.Temperature Tolerant. February blooming.

Brassolaeliocattleya Haw Yuan Beauty 'Hong', AM/AOS
Beautiful cream and magenta splash-petal cattleya with bright yellow on the lip. It won a nice award from the American Orchid Society. Temperature Tolerant. Summer and Fall blooming.

Brassolaeliocattleya Hawaiian Satisfaction
Gorgeous green and pink cattleya hybrid. Easy to grow, temperature tolerant. Good  for outdoor growing in Sub-tropical climates. Temperature Tolerant.

Brassolaeliocattleya Janice Pettee
Massive flowers, 8 inches across, with big brightly colored lips. Taking after one of its parents, laelia anceps, it is a very robust grower. Temperature Tolerant.

Brassolaeliocattleya Marjorie Frey 'Woodland Hills', HCC/AOS
An impressive variety. Nine classic Cattleya sized flowers (almost 8") on a single spike. Spike is carried well above the foliage. This variety has taken temperatures to 32 degrees F. Temperature Tolerant.

Brassolaeliocattleya Momilani Rainbow 'The Gypsy'
This is a multicolor Brassolaeliocattleya to be a terrific grower and bloomer with exceptional color. Soft peach-yellow with bright yellow and pink splash. Temperature tolerant. Multiple 3 1/2"" blooms on the inflorescense, plant stands about a foot tall. Temperature Tolerant. Winter blooming.

Brassolaeliocattleya My My
A famous Rod McLellan cross.  It’s a Temperature Tolerant, Winter and Spring blooming orchid. This large flowered, prolific cattleya features an unusual tone of dark lavender

Brassolaeliocattleya Owen Holmes 'Cloud Forest', AM/AOS
In Santa Barbara, it grows great alongside cymbidiums. A very nice temperature tolerant red-purple cattleya variety. Lightly fragrant. Temperature Tolerant. October blooming.

Broughtonia sanguinea

Found in Jamaica and Cuba from sea level to 800 meters as a small sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte. its  with globular to almost cylindric, clustered pseudobulbs carrying 2 apical, coriaceous, oblong, semi-acute leaves. It  blooms on an apical, simple or branching, 1, 8" to 2 feet [20 to 60 cm] long, inflorescence with 5 to 12 successively opening flowers that if left alone will produce new non-fragrant flower clusters from the apex from spring through late summer. Charming species with bright red-lavender one-inch blooms on a long inflorescence for a very compact plant. Blooms are about an inch, the plant about 3-4 inches.  It  likes a wood mount, high light, high humidity and water while growing and less when mature. Used in breeding for it's shape, and colors, crossed with others for petal substance. Warm to Intermediate. Winter blooming.
·         Common Name Blood Red Broughtonia
·         Flower Size 1" to Rarely 2" [2 to 4 cm]

Bulbophyllum acutebracteatum

Found in Liberia, Siera Leone, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Islands and Zaire in lowland forests at elevations up to 1000 meters as a miniature to small sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte. Its  with ovoid to ellipsoid, 4 to 6 angled pseudobulbs carrying 2 apical, elliptic to lanceolate, obtuse, emarginate, thick, leathery leaves.  It  blooms in the summer and fall on a 2 to 6" [5 to 15 cm] long, few to many flowered inflorescnece that has a 4 angled rachis and the flowers are held on opposite concave sides.  It is a long with bright orange flowers. Intermediate growing. August - September blooming.
·         Common Name The Acute Bracted Bulbophyllum
·         Flower Size 1/4" [.8 cm]

Bulbophyllum falcatum type

Species from Madagascar.Comes from central to west Africa in lowland and submontane forests where it is a hot growing, bifoliate epiphyte or occasional lithophyte at altitudes below 1800 meters Mini flowers on the side of a pea pod, needs to be magnified to truly enjoy, blooms in winter till spring on a 6 1/4" [to 16 cm] long, spicate inflorescence with a very flattened, strongly undulate, rachis with short-stalked flowers horizontally aligned on either side. Its  with broadly to narrowly ovoid, 2 to 4 angled pseudobulbs carrying 2 apical, lanceolate or linear leaves. Warm growing. Summer blooming.
·         Common Name Sickle-Shaped Leaf Bulbophyllum
·         Flower Size up to 1/2" [up to [1.2 cm]

Bulbophyllum lasiochilum

A miniature sized, Indian, Burman, Thai and Malaysian species with cylindro-ovate psuedobulbs with a single, apical, oblong-obovate leaf. It blooms in the fall with solitary flowers, or a few in umbels on shorter, slender inflorescence that arises from a mature psuedobulb and has the fragrant flower scented of strawberrys held just below or above the leaves. Yellow flower with neat red spotting on the lateral sepals, held nicely above the leaves.  This species is maintained best in a wood basket with a free draining medium, given partial shade and air movement, and grown in hot temperatures with frequent water and fertilizer.
·         Common Name The Shaggy Lipped Bulbophyllum
·         Flower Size 1/2" x 1 1/4" [1.2 cm x 3.1 cm]

Bulbophyllum lepidum

Species from South East Asia.Miniature red spotted flowers, arranged like petals in wonderful display (also known as cirrhopetalum flabellovernis). Warm growing. Spring and Summer blooming.

Bulbophyllum medusae

Wonderful in a hanging basket.Warm growing. Fall and Winter blooming. Species from South East Asia
Looks like fireworks at the 4th of July. Scented flower, small sized, warm to hot grower from Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Lesser Sunda Islands and Sumatra. It is found in lowland forests at elevations of sealevel to 400 meters on trunks and main branches of trees with pseudobulbs carrying a single, apical leaf.  It blooms in the fall and winter on a to 8" [20 cm] long, erect, bracteate inflorescence arising from a newly forming psuedobulb, with an umbellate, fragrant albeit bad, flowers held just beyond leaf height. This species grows well in baskets or pots with hot temperatures, partial shade, regular water and fertilizer and good air circulation.
·         Common Name Medusa's Bulbophyllum [Mythological Gorgon with a head of snakes]
·         Flower Size 6" Long [15 cm]

Bulbophyllum saurocephalum

Common Name The Lizard's Head Bulbophyllum
Flower Size .2" [4.5 to 5mm]
This is a small sized, warm growing, Philippine species found at elevations around 1000 meters. It  has 3/4" [2 cm] between each, 4 to 5 angled, ovoid pseduobubls enveloped by 2 brown, membraneous sheaths and carrying a single, apical linear, leaf. It blooms in the spring on a basal, stout, erect to arcuate, 2 t o3.4" [5 to 8.5 cm] long, pubescent, dull red inflorescence with many [40] succesively opening, odorless flowers that barely appear out of the swollen rachis, arranged in a helix. The individual flowers are very small and have a very light mushroom scent. This species needs to be mounted on tree fern to display the inflorescence .Intermediate growing. June blooming.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Medicinal Plant- Aryaveppu / neem, margosa


Common name: neem, margosa

Scientific name: Azadirachta indica A. JUSS.

Parts used: Leaves, Flower, Oil, Seed.

Commercial importance: It acts as vermifuge, insecticide, astringent, tonic and antiseptic. It possess anti diabetic, anti bacterial and anti viral properties and used successfully in cases of stomach, worms and ulcers. Root barks possess astringent, tonic and antiperiodic properties. It is also useful in malarial fever. The oil is used in making neem-based soaps, shampoos and toothpaste. Leaves are used to cure chicken pox. It is also used in the treatment of acne and has blood purifying property. Neem tea is usually taken to reduce the headache and fever. Its flowers are used to cure intestinal problems. Neem bark acts as an analgesic and can cure high fever as of malaria. Even the skin diseases can be cured from the Neem leaves. Dental Treatments : In India, millions of people use twigs as "tooth brushes" every day. Dentists have endorsed this ancient practice, finding it effective in preventing periodontal disease. Neem fruits : The fruits are recommended for urinary diseases, piles, intestinal worms, leprosy etc. The dry fruits are bruised in water & employed to treat cutaneous diseases.

How to cultivate

It generally performs well on areas with annual rainfall varying from 400 - 1200 mm. It thrives under the hottest conditions where maximum day temperature reaches 500 C. But it cannot withstand freezing or extended cold.

Neem grows on almost all kinds of soils including clayey, saline and alkaline soils but does well on black cotton soils. It thrives better than most other trees on dry stony saline soils with a waterless sub-soil or in places where there is a hard calcareous or clay pan near the surface. It does not tolerate inundation. It has a unique property of calcium mining which changes the acidic soil into neutral. Neem also grows well on some acidic soil. It is said that the fallen neem leaves which are slightly alkaline are good for neutralising acidity in the soil.

Nursery Practices

Nursery Site : Nursery could be either a temporary or permanent one. Site in either case should have a perennial water source and located on a flat ground with well drained soil. On a hilly site, a moderate slope preferably on the northern aspect has to be chosen.

Seed collection and storage

Only fruits at the yellow green colour stage are pricked from the branches by hand or by using ladder. After collection the fruits are depulped immediately. Soaking in cold water for a few hours helps in removing pulp. Fruits are then rubbed over a coffee weir and floated in water to separate seed from pulp. Storing neem seed for 5 months at 40% natural moisture content at 16 degree centigrade is possible. For short storage the seeds are closed in polythene bags and exposed to air once in a week to keep them viable. Long term storage of Neem seeds for more than 10 years is done at 4% moisture content and -200 Centigrade temperature. For this purpose seeds are dried very quickly i.e. within a few hours after depulping in a mono layer at temperature more than 20 degree centigrade to prevent chilling damage under a fan. Shade drying and storage of seed in cloth bags at a temperature upto 4 o Centigrade is also done to improve seed viability. Storage of seed in earthern pot containing wet sand (30% moisture) helps to retain viability upto 60% at the end of 3 months. On an average 5000 seeds weigh one kilogram.

Sowing of Seeds

Germination rate of Neem varies between 15% (stored seeds) and 85% (fresh seeds). Hence, to ensure higher viability of the seeds, their immediate sowing in nursery is recommended. Pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in cold water and removal of the endocarp or cutting of the seed coat at the round end with a sharp knife also increase its germination capacity. Examination of seeds at the time of sowing is also necessary. Seeds are cut across with sharp blades and the cotyledons are examined. If the cotyledons are found green, seeds are sound and suitable and if they are yellow or brown, then seeds are not suitable for sowing .
Sowing of seeds in nursery beds made up of fine river sand is done in drills 15 c/m apart. Seeds are sown 2.5 cms deep at distance of 2 to 5 cms in the lines and lightly covered with earth to safeguard against birds and insects which often eat radicles of the germinated seeds on the surface. The beds are sparingly watered to prevent caking. Alternatively seeds can be sown directly into pots. Germination occurs in 1/2 weeks time. Once the hypocotyl is erect the seedling is transplanted into the containers. Seeds are sown 3 / 4 months before planting date. Potting mix comprises of 50% sandy loam, 40% river sand and 10% compost by volume.

Pricking :

Seedlings are pricked out at 15 cms x 15 cms when about 2 months old. They do not require any shade. Soil working and weeding are very beneficial. When the seedlings are 7 to 10 cm tall with tap root about 15 cm long, these are transplanted with balls of earth around them. In dry areas, it is necessary to plant larger seedlings of at least 45 cm height since smaller ones are unable to tide over the drought period. This is the reason why seedlings are kept in the nursery beds for another year before planting in the next range.

Planting Techniques :

Neem can be easily raised through direct sowing, entire / polypot seedlings or root-shoot cuttings. For degraded areas direct sowing is more successful and economical provided adequate protection is given during early stages. Entire / polypot seedlings or root-shoot cuttings are more relevant for agro-forestry / silvi pasture and road side avenue plantations. Direct sowing is done either by dibbling in bushes, broadcast sowing, line sowing, sowing on mounds or ridges, sowing in trenches in sunken beds in circular saucers or by aerial sowing. The choice varies with edaphic, climatic, biotic and economic conditions of the site. Planting in pits is carried out by using 20 to 45 cms tall seedlings. Taller ones promise better survival. Planting of stumps prepared from a year old seedlings in crowbar holes also gives good results.

Dibbling in bushes :
Neem seed can be successfully dibbled in Euphoribia bushes. For this purpose, small pits are made and 3 to 5 seeds sown in each pit and covered.

Broadcast sowing :
This is generally done on ploughed land. Very good results are obtained by ploughing of the ground twice. early ploughing during premonsoon showers gives better results than ploughing after monsoon has set in. In arid areas ploughing is done in early spring when the soil is just moist after winter rain.

Sowing in lines :
Neem is grown along with Babool in line sowings in combination with field crops. Here Neem is used as a buffer species to control the insect attack to which Babool is susceptible.

Sowing on mounds and ridges :
This is prescribed for heavy soils. Sowing on mounds (about 70 cm high 60 cm dia. at the top and 2 mtrs dia at the base) in poor soil on trap formation has given satisfactory results. The plants reached 90 cm height 16 months after sowing. Sowing on mounds 3.7 x 1.2 mtr x 46 cm in rows 2.7 mtr apart on black cotton soil has been successful with plant attaining a maximum height of 1.4 mtr in one year after sowing.
Sowing in Trenches : On dry sites for conserving moisture continuous or interrupted trenches are made on which direct sowing is successful. In Tummala method, the trenches are aligned at an angle of 450 to the contours. Similarly, sunken beds and Saucer Method are in vogue.

Entire / polypot planting :
Seedlings which have attained 20-25 cm height by the beginning of the rainy season are planted out in pits of 30 cu. cm at a spacing of 3x3 mtrs. or any other spacing depending on the purpose of plantation. Pruning of leaves except at the tip and roots has been proved successful. Even plants of 45 cm height can be used for this purpose, since smaller plants are found incapable of bearing the stress of drought period. Planting is, however, done during the rainy season.

Planting Root-shoot cuttings :
The stumps are prepared from 12-13 months old seedlings, keeping 2.5 cm of shoot portion and 23 cm of root and are planted in crow bar holes at the break of rains. Stumps from two years old plants have given higher survival and better height growth than one year old root stock. 53% success from root-shoot cuttings has been reported. The success of root-shoot cuttings depends upon rains, prolonged drought may affect survival to a great extent.

Farm forestry plantations :
For raising a block plantation under farm forestry a closer espacement of 5mx5m accomodating 400 trees per ha may be followed. This may vary from field to field and also depending upon the objective. The wider espacement of 7mx7m accomodating about 200 trees per hectare may be on the broader side where Agro-forestry can also be practised.

Care of Young Plantation :
Strip weeding of young plantations has a positive effect on health and survival. Two weedings are sufficient in the first year and one weeding during the second year. First mechanical thinning in the case of transplanted seedlings is done at the age of 5 years. In arid region Neem planted are watered for the first 5-7 years.

Harvesting, Yield & Returns :
Neem starts bearing fruits after 3-5 years and comes to full bearing at the age of 10-12 years. Fruit yield is 10-25 kg per tree per year in the initial years. A mature tree produces 35-50 kg fruit/year. Oil yield varies from 40-43% of seed on dry weight basis. It has been observed that as rainfall in an area increases oil content also increases. Yield generally stabilises from 9th year. Irrigating the young stock, keeping the field clear from competing weeds & soil loosening have been reported to produce good results in neem.