Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stream Orchid and Oak Update

This is a short update to a couple of earlier posts. In the bog area, the Stream Orchids (Epipactis gigantea) that I planted there a few months ago are now sprouting up. They are very small at this point, but there are three of them, and they indicate that the plant is happy in this location. I don't have any info on when they sprout up in the wild, but I assume it is in this March-April time frame. I will continue to follow these as they get larger in size, and hopefully they will flower this year.

I should note that Stream Orchids are not easy to find in nurseries. I got mine from Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido. They also have a location in Santa Margarita which is inland from Moro Bay on the central coast of California. They a great web site with voluminous info about growing natives, both species that they sell and also many others. You can find it at Much of what I know about native plants came from this web site. If you are new to California native plants and want to learn about it, I recommend studying this web site.

In my previous post about the oak tree in the front yard (Quercus agrifolia) I noted that it was getting a lot of new growth and flower tassels. That has continued, and now the tree is totally covered with new growth. It is all pale green now as chlorophyll has flowed into the new leaves.

The above photo shows the new stems with baby leaves extending out about 6 inches from the older stems. This process is surprisingly fast, happening in just a couple of months. The new stems may lengthen a bit more, then the process will slow down and finally stop as the summer drought hits. The leaves will become larger, harder, and darker green. Acorns will form and by November they will be full size.

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