Photography credit: Andy Easton

Two interesting old-timers here. Oda. Zephyr dates back to Thwaites' registration in 1911. This second generation Odont carries 3' inflorescences and at least 30 blooms. The hybrid was Cda. noezliana × Odm. Wilckeanum and although the plant shown was owned by the late Bob Hoffman, the grex went no further than 1924 in direct hybridizing. The charming picotee color effect on the flowers might suggest this is a plant that should have been used much more frequently. Oda. Meteor has a much more controversial history. The cross of Oda. Vuylstekeae × Cyrt. edwardii was registered by Stuart Low in 1919 and its last registered offspring appeared in 1925. Or so says the registrations but they are in error. How do I know this? Well inadvertently, I was party to an unanticipated error. I bought a plant from Norris Powell in the late 1970s that he called "Coca Cola”. I found the plant easy to grow and I had it in an excellent blooming so a proper RHS name was needed. I asked Norris and he said call it Oda. Chanticleer. The plant was duly named and as I was taking the piss out of Ray Bilton at the time, I gave the plant a varietal name of Oda. Chanticleer 'Lyoth Garnet'. It duly got an AM/AOS and we made some hybrids with it.

Around the same time, one of Powell's customers registered an Orchid House hybrid of Oda. John Leathers × the so-called Oda. Chanticleer as Oda. Little Big Man! One of our "Chanticleer" crosses, to Oda. Shelley, was unfortunately registered as Oda. Red Rooster. Meanwhile, Bob Hamilton was using his true Oda. Chanticleer in breeding and produced a very useful hybrid in the cross to Odm. velleum which was treated with Oryzalin also and named Oda. Jaffa. As the true Oda. Chanticleer is 75% Cda. noezliana, it became clear to me that Powell's so-called Oda. Chanticleer had clear evidence of Cyrtochilum parentage. A bit more sleuthing followed and among Norris Powell's records of purchases from Stuart Low, there appeared the name of Vuyls. Meteor with parentage listed as Oda. Vuylstekeae × Cyrt. edwardii. Bingo, Oda. Chanticleer 'Lyoth Garnet' unmasked. So now Bob is making a number of new hybrids with Meteor and its fabulous color will be reworked into new and exciting innovative hybrid avenues. What a convoluted yet fascinating tale!

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