In the February meeting Martin Sandford gave an excellent, informative talk about the state of native orchids in general but focussed on Suffolk orchids in particular using superb photographs and distribution maps illustrating how different species preferred certain soil types. He spoke on how fine orchid seeds, produced in their millions, are blown on the wind and if the exact conditions are met they could grow into new plants some distance from the parent plant. Colonies are apt to come and go especially in varieties at the limit of their ranges but that with climate change we are likely to have more occurrences of warmer growing types.

February proved to be Lycaste month as both the novice and expert display plants were won by them! Th expert plant was a Lycaste cruenta grown by Bill Haldane. This is a deciduous Lycaste. Bill grows it under intermediate conditions. It sheds its leaves in late autumn when it should be given a dry rest for about 4 weeks. Flowers and new growths appear in the spring when more water feed can be given. Bill feeds his weekly when in full growth. Lycastes like light shade and intermediate growing conditions. Full sun burns the leaves.

David Koln won the novice table with the white form of Lycaste virginalis. It is semi evergreen only losing its leaves on previous year’s growth when the new growths are fairly large. David grows it under intermediate conditions in bark. He feeds using “Rainmix”. This form is the national plant of Equador. The flowers last about a month.