This month, I feature a real favourite of mine for a variety of reasons, namely, Phalaenopsis Sweet Memory ‘Liodoro’. This hybrid is rather unflatteringly known as a ‘novelty’ hybrid, simply meaning that it isn’t one of the large-flowered, blousy hybrids one usually finds at a garden centre, although I have found plants of Phalaenopsis Sweet Memory ‘Liodoro’ in garden centres before now (usually lurking on the reduced price bench, looking sad because they were overpriced to start with).
The hybrid was registered in 1982 as a cross between P. x deventeriana (P. amabilis x P. amboinensis) and P. violacea, and there are several clones of Phal. Sweet Memory about, although only ‘Liodoro’ is commonly found in Europe
With both P. amboinensis and P. violacea in its pedigree, it would be reasonable to expect this hybrid to be fragrant, and in this respect it certainly doesn’t disappoint. On younger plants, the flower count can be a little disappointing with only two or three flowers being open at a time. Luckily the perfume is quite strong, and even one or two flowers will fill a room with scent on a warm sunny morning. The flower spikes produce flowers in flushes over a couple of years and should not be cut off while they are still green, as they are quite capable of producing more flowers intermittently over quite a long period. A new flower spike is produced usually annually, so the overall flower count increases quite dramatically with time. The flower spikes themselves are of a similar height to those of P. amboinensis, and flowers are displayed well above the foliage. One disadvantage of P. violacea is that flowers are only usually produced singly (one per spike) and sit directly on top of the foliage, so it is good to see that the hybrid has bought out the best qualities of both parents.
The foliage is lime green and very broad in comparison to that of most modern hybrids, showing a strong tendency to be pendent, which can make potted plants very prone to tipping over. I have already put a weight on top of mine to keep it upright until I get round to potting it on. I wonder whether it would make a prime candidate for mounting on bark. I am experimenting with leaving the flower spikes un-staked in order to see what kind of display I get. My plant currently has three branched flower spikes, as well as a new one that is forming this season, and so I look forward to seeing it reach its peak.