Orchid of the Month for November, 2017
Bratonia Kauai's Choice
By Dave Veach
On a trip to our local Trader Joe’s on my birthday late last year I ran across an orchid that I found very interesting and unique. It had no tag so I had no idea what it was but because the flower had a spidery appearance to it (indicative of a Brassia orchid), I decided to purchase it as it was interesting enough to add to my collection. So we bought it and brought it home to enjoy. Once it finished flowering, it was moved to the greenhouse. It bloomed again in June so I had to figure out what it was. Here is the plant.
I went out on the web and started my search to find out what this particular orchid is. It just so happens that I received an email from an orchid vendor in Hawaii from whom I’ve purchased plants in the past so I went on their web site. It turns out that they had a plant that looked very much like this plant. And that plant was a Miltassia Kauai’s Choice. Now I had a clue as to what this orchid was so I started searching for Miltassia Kauai’s Choice and found numerous examples of this orchid. But the name had changed to Bratonia Kauai’s Choice (they do like to change orchid names, don’t they). I found a blog post that discussed the parentage of this orchid so I decided to check it out myself on Blue Nanta.
I was able to find Bratonia Kauai’s Choice which had been registered to Yamada Nursery in 1998. Here is a chart showing the lineage for this orchid.
The green ovals represent species orchids and the others are hybrids. As you can see, there a quite a few types of orchids that goes into making a Bratonia Kauai’s Choice. This includes 5 different species orchids along with numerous hybrids. And it’s pretty evenly split between the Brassia and Miltonia although Brassia arcuigera is 50% of the parentage.
Care for this orchid is similar to other Brassia type orchids. Here is the care information for Brassia orchids.
Intermediate to warm.
These plants grow in bright, filtered light.
Water weekly if grown in pots, every other day if mounted. Reduce watering during the cooler part of the year. Humidity should be intermediate to high.
½ strength balanced fertilizer four to five waterings in a row. Then one watering without fertilizer.
Coarse grade bark or coconut chips with some medium size pieces of charcoal. Good aeration of the roots is crucial. The plant cannot tolerate deteriorating medium.
Up to twice a year. Flowers on new growths as they mature.
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