This new hybrid, from two closely related Coelogynes, is a combination of two large flowers with dark lips. Coming from PNG and Peninsular Malaysia they also share a similar environmental background. It is not surprising, given the features of the parents, that the off-spring are really similar to both parents. The most obvious trait that has been passed on is the mushroom pink tinges of colour from Coelogyne xyrekes. These have flowed into the whitish lip from Coelogyne speciosa. This is showing through strongly in some seedlings and may well justify this hybrid's cultivation. The off-spring also have very dark colouring on the lip - again enhanced from the pod parent.

The seedling images above are of the second flowering in the one year. It has flowered very early on small plants - a trait inherited from Coelogyne xyrekes which is a really reliable flower producer but normally only once a year. The parent Coelogyne speciosa flowers continually over a the whole year and this trait is showing up strongly in the off-spring. This hybrid has lots of vigour, is hardier than Coel xyrekes and more cold tolerant.

 Sometimes both parents are so attractive that they should be purchased first. However, as your collection grows, and if there is room, then Kirribilli Joyce could make a worthy companion for its parents. It impresses more and more as a plant for any orchid grower who would like to include a reliable hybrid that flowers beautifully over a long period. Some nursery men have sent this hybrid to Thailand to be mericloned.

Negatives: Like both its parents, the flowers droop downwards and to see the beauty of the flowers the plant needs to be grown in a hanging pot/basket or placed on a pedestal (if only during flowering).

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Varieties: .Two very similar Coelogynes worth checking out are the species Coelogyne celebensis and hybrid Coelogyne Lyme Bay. The former has the advantage up having its flowers on a much more upright spike and shows a degree of cold tolerance.

Registered: My Kirribilli bred hybrid was officially registered by the RHS in February 2013 and has been named after my sister Joyce, a keen gardener and plant lover who was born at 'Kirribilli', NSW Australia.

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