Interspecific Hybrid Developed in Epidendrum Orchid from the Cross E. radicans Pav. Ex. Lindl. X E. xanthinum Lindl.
Keywords:Epidendrum Hybrids, Interspecific Hybridization, Epiphytes, Fimbriated Lip, Clefted Anterior Lobe
An interspecific Epidendrum hybrid was developed using E. radicans (known as 'fire star orchid', 'ground-rooted orchid') as female parent and E. xanthinum known as 'yellow orchid' as male parent. The selected line (NRCO Epidendrum cross/2005-01) was characterized for morphological and floral traits. Flower size (3.5 cm x 3.4 cm) of selected line was bigger than both parents, with bright saffron-orange colour (RHS 44A). Dorsal sepal size (1.8 cm x 0.6 cm), lateral sepal size (1.9 cm x 0.7 cm), petal size (1.8 cm x 0.6 cm), lip size (2.3 cm x 2 cm) and column size (1.1 cm x 0.2 cm) were bigger than in parents. Shape and fimbriated side lobes of lip with deep cleft of anterior margins was similar to the male parent (E. xanthinum), except colour. The F1progeny of 'NRCO-Epidendrum cross/2005-01' flowered with different red-orange to yellow shades is categorized broadly into three types: Red-orange, Orangeyellow and Yellow. Epidendrums are popularly known as 'Crucifix orchid' and 'Poor man's orchid', have a long flowering period with 2-3 flowerings in a year, and are easy to multiply. These attributes are ideal for popularizing this plant in India as a potted plant as well garden plant.
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