Prosthechea cochleataOne week has passed since my first pollination attempt and, impatient as I am, I feel that it is time for a status update. In the right corner we have the graceful Paphiopedilum Vinicolor and in the left corner, the faithful bloomer Prosthechea cochleata.

Paphiopedilum VinicolorThe P. Vinicolor flower have now started to wilt, which could be a sign of… well either success or failure actually. At this stage, I cannot tell. Now all the focus is going to be on the ovary (the stem immediately behind the flower). In this species it could be months before it shows any noticeable signs of swelling indicating a successful pollination. All we can do now is wait. Thrilling report – I know.

Prosthechea cochleata however is already showing signs that something might be happening! I am cautiously optimistic about this one. It has been blooming since early spring on the same inflorescence and I basically pollinated the last 2 flowers of the season. One wilted and fell off soon after, but the other one is starting to look a bit different. The ovary has actually begun to swell and I am crossing both fingers and toes that it will produce a seed pod for me, Prosthechea cochleata x self! If so, it will need anywhere from 3 to 5 months to mature. If we get a fast growing pod it just might make it in time for the seed propagation workshop at the orchid society this coming year… I hope so.