Contents - Images of Paph flasks and info on flasks.-198kb download
The orchid world
is awash with orchids flasked in glass jars and containers. This is
a legacy of the 'home flasker' or enthusiastic amateur. In 2003 using
glass is not a commercial option for the production of plants in volume.
In these days of international shipping the flask weight is of serious
concern and no-one can be serious about producing plants in glass and
expect commercial nurseries to purchase them in quantity. It simply
does not happen! Glass is also hazardous to transport - we have had
reports of glass jars not being accepted as cabin luggage on aircraft.
We believe that hazards from broken glass in the laboratory or nursery
should be of major concern to all who work with in-vitro cultures. The
risks of exploding and cracking glass during or after the autoclave
cycle should not be underestimated either. The current cost of laboratory
grade flasks makes them prohibitive for most establishments.
The use of plastics
has met a mixed reception with some in the industry. Indeed it has been
quoted elsewhere on the www that all plastic containers are unsuitable
for orchids! Clearly this erroneous conclusion has been reached because
unsuitable techniques or products have been adopted. The micropropagation
world lead the way with plastic containers and we first started using
plastic back in 1980 for Gerberas! Today the vast majority of non-orchid
plants are produced using the non-glass route.
Venting has also
given some in the industry - especially in the orchid world problems.
A history of cotton wool venting has evolved into many approaches most
of which leave a lot to be desired. The efficiency of such an approach
is questionable in the light of contamination and plant loss, while
the aesthetics of some venting is unsightly and amateurish. If plants,
time, effort and aseptic integrity are important to the raising or orchids
it will be realized that appearance is important too and it is vital
that you use a high quality and performing aseptic venting system. We
know from many years of practical experience and many tens of thousands
of flasks what works and what does not. The AMD vents you see here benefit
from the use of a patented technology in their manufacture and the results
show for themselves. Importanly plants grow faster and better with the
proper number of air exchanges. We have proved this and it is well documented
in research work by workers in the field such as Kozi, Kubota and Chun
from Chiba University, Japan and others who work in venting technology.
The range of media
used to grow Paphs is long and varied. To some extent it is lead by
what is available in the marketplace. There is no dedicated Paph media
available on the www other than what is offered by TQPL. General orchid
media will grow this genera but comparative growth rates and quality
of seedlings often fall way behind what should be acceptable. Germination
can be a problem and so can growth beyond the protocorm stages. It
is well known that some 'hot media' just burn out the seedlings resulting
in plant loss in flask, and of critical importance only allowing poor
establishment out of flask. There is no point in growing your seedlings
if they all die on removal due to in-flask problems! It is not unusual
for Ratcliffe Orchids to achieve 100 % survival of seedlings out of
flask due in part we believe to the nutrition and growth of the plants
in the laboratory. We also realise that some crosses will not germinate
and some are impossible to raise from seed but we are working on it....
A flask of Paphiopedilum
seedlings should be judged on its uniformity, growth rate, size, and
appearance of leaves and shoots. These all give a visual indication
of plant health. Clear agar gives a better insight of the root growth
while contamination by bacteria of fungus is also easy to see. The plants
are simply easier to view and assess without the addition of charcoal
to the media. Finally due consideration should be given to the genetics
of the cross in question - the reason why people select one flask over
It is always of
interest to view the assortment of Paphiopedilum seedlings offered in
flask by nurseries and shows. If simply roots and shoots are examined
it will be seen how much variation there is in the marketplace.
flasks at TQPL
images can be clicked for information and the whole sequence can be
seen in rollover effect by clicking through on the enlarged image.
Find out a little
bit more about raising Paphiopedilum seedlings by looking at the collection
of images. Find out why for example there is a range of leaf types and
colours on display? What roots look like in detail and how to produce
seedlings like those shown in the images.
Information on complex
hybrids, multifloral, parvisepalum, brachypetalum and novelty breeding
to contact TQPL
/ Brookside / Southern Lane / New Milton / Hampshire / BH257JE / United
01425 616 608 / Int. +44 1425 616 608 / e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
be aware that this site is not Internet secure for disclosure of payment
details and we would strongly suggest that you make use of telephone,
fax or letter which is independently secure for such purposes. However
we will be more than pleased to answer your e-mail or help with any