Pleione Ueli Wackernagel 'Enigma'

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Pleione Ueli Wackernagel is P. aurita x formosana

The flower shape clearly reflects that of the seed parent.

A very robust clone of Ueli Wackernagel which received an Award of Merit from the RHS (subject to it being given a clonal name) when I exhibited it in 2019.

It was subsequently registered with the Orchid committee under the name ‘Enigma’. Registration date: 15/4/20


How I grow it:

  • Clay pots under glass during late winter and early spring. Once flowering has finished, and the likelihood of hard frosts is past, plants are perfectly happy outdoors but are kept in a well shaded position with ample watering during the summer period. They return under glass at the end of summer.

  • Plants are not watered from 1st October and stored in the garage from 1st November to 1st February.

  • Compost: I find that proprietary orchid mixes are far too open and porous for my purposes. I’m not an orchid grower! I do however grow a few Pleiones and use a mix of 50/50 proprietary ‘multipurpose’ compost and whatever inert material comes to hand (perlite, clay granules, cat litter etc). No loam, no grit.

  • The plants are only ever watered with rainwater and nutrients are primarily provided by annual repotting; however larger plants receive infrequent weak feeds when repotting becomes similarly infrequent. They receive lots of water when in full growth - then no water from 1st October.

  • Good ventilation is required at all times of the year. A light and open position is preferred in the early season, with increased shade during the summer months.

  • Thus far, my collection has been mercifully free from attack by either pest of disease. As a precaution against brevipalpus mites, the pseudobulbs are dipped in Neem Oil before repotting in late winter.

Find a selection of photos in a shared folder online:!AuRlkJFy6WEfgqwNGbNNzrp3wqXCeg?e=INpjMS

At the meeting of the RHS Joint Rock Plant Committee held at the joint AGS/SRGC show in Hexham on March 30th 2019 the minutes record:

1.1.1 Award of Merit

To Pleione Ueli Wackernagel gx. (Purple Group N78B) as a hardy flowering plant for exhibition (subject to being given a cultivar name), 30 March 2019 (votes:10 for, 0 against, 1 abstention), exhibited by Don Peace. There are a number of named clones of P. Ueli Wackernagel gx. The one exhibited resembles P. 'Pink Pearl' but differs considerably in the lip pattern, as well as having a deeper more purple colour. The exhibitor acquired the plant with no clonal name from Potterton's nursery in 2012.

The origin of this particular clone remains a mystery in despite wide consultation with several well-known Pleione growers. In view of this mystery I decided upon ‘Enigma’ as its cultivar name. So Pleione Ueli Wackernagel ‘Enigma’.