Image Coelogyne Kirribilli EllenImage Coelogyne Kirribilli Ellen

Coelogyne Kirribilli Ellen is a 2014 primary Coelogyne hybrid plant. A primary hybrid is one made by cross-fertilising two species plants. Its pollination was made on the 1/6/2009 and it was flasked (sown) on 18/5/2010. It flowered for the first time on 25/7/2014 - about a five year process.

The pod parent, Coelogyne mooreana 'Brockhurst', is often described as the Queen of the Coelogynes. It has large upright attractive silky white sepals and petals with brilliant contrasting orange/gold lip colouring. It breeds readily and has been a first choice for making Coelogyne hybrids because of its beauty but also because its traits are quite dominant and carry through well into its hybrids.

Coelogyne assamica seemed to me a good partner because it too had an upright flowering habit, a lot of white colouring and some very lightly apple-toned petals, but it also has very clearly defined, perky, interesting brown/orange markings on the lip. The resulting hybrid seedling is very robust and indeed an attractive new addition. Time will now tell how well it develops as it matures.

This hybrid is a very distinctive blend of both parents. The 4.5cm sepals and petals produce a good size 8cm wide flower that has a very faint hint of green in an otherwise very white colouring and a mild pleasant perfume. The yellow/gold colouring on the lip of Coelogyne mooreana has become a more tobacco tone and wrapped itself well up the insides of the lobes but still leaving a white margin between this and the keels. Some of the dashes of dark brown from Coelogyne assamica have left remnants in this area. The clear, distinct markings of Coelogyne assamica have been lost as also has the broad lip. The small areas of gold/brown on the outside lobes of Coelogyne mooreana 'Brockhurst' are almost absent. The column remains white as in both parents.

The five keels of Coelogyne mooreana with their numerous fine hairs, have been severely modified into fused and semi-fused short thick nodules in the hybrid, but still along five keels.

Negatives: The flower is smaller than Coelogyne mooreana but has at least maintained the size of its pollen parent, Coelogyne assamica.

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Registration: Registration with the RHS as Coelogyne Kirribilli Ellen was recorded in July 2014. Ellen Rutledge was a role model pioneer Australian woman who married James Dawes in 1889 and together they acquired land in NSW which led to the establishment of the family property called Kirribilli. In the early days they also conducted a transport business using bullock wagons to move supplies and wool between the rail head at Orange NSW and the developing rural areas further west. Australia, as a new country, flourished and rail transport, together with river transport soon overtook wagons. This saw Ellen concentrating her boundless energies on farming and her family.

Varieties: Coelogyne Kirribilli Ellen 'Avondale' is a variation from the original breeding in that it has a much greater area of pristine white and only the residual dark orange 'arrow' shaped marking from the centre of the lip of Coelogyne assamica. Variations in plants from the original i.e. siblings/brothers or sisters, are indicated by an additional name added to the end of their tag and placed in inverted commas. These tags are personally allocated by a grower or breeder and are not 'official' names. The 'Avondale' tag attached was the property that she owned in central west NSW Australia.

Hybrids: None registered

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