The Oncidium Franz Wichmann 1970 is a sympodial epiphyte orchid hybrid. It was registered in 1970 by Wichmann Orch. and it is a cross between Oncidium tigrinum and Oncidium Franz Wichmann. The pale pink flowers dotted with burgundy spots makes the flower a subtle beauty, quite unique for the Oncidium family. This orchid can also be found under the classification Wilsonara, both names are now accepted.
The shape of the blooms is very typical for this family of orchids and can be described as a very compact star, with petals and sepals having approximatively the same length. The flower is about 5-6 cm in diameter, with similar colors on the petals and lip.
The predominant color of the petals and sepals is pale pink, although this can vary from individual to individual and can be more intense pink, or almost white. The lip is usually white or pale yellow. The dark red, burgundy pattern is quite striking and makes for a great contrast with the subtle color of the overall flower. Despite their beauty, the flowers of this orchid are not fragrant, though the flower has a very slight, sweet candy smell in warm sunny days. It is not enough to be classified as fragrant though.
This orchid can bloom multiple times in one year. Usually, with every maturing pseudobulb a flower spike can be produced. In some cases the orchid can produce 2 flower spikes emerging from each side of the pseudobulb.
The flowers usually last between 4 to 8 weeks, depending on environment. After the blooms fall, usually the orchid starts to produce new pseudobulbs. The spikes can be cut near the base after the blooms drop, as they will not rebloom, or produce plantlets. Each flower spike can carry 6-12 flowers at a time.
The pseudobulbs are about 8 cm in height and about 3 cm in width, with an oval shape. The normal color for this orchid is medium green. The leaves are long and slender, measuring about 25-30 cm in length and about 2-3 cm in width. The leaves are prone to obtain accordion shape growth if the orchid is kept too dry and in too low humidity.
The roots are about 2-3 mm thin and healthy roots are white, but as they age, they can turn green when wet. When in active growth they have bright green tips. New growths usually appear from between the last exterior leaves and take between 6 to 9 months to fully mature.
Propagation of this orchid can be done through division, each division should have at least 3 fully grown pseudobulbs for a fast growth further on.
Soft spots: pleated leaves if kept too dry, pleated flower spikes if the leaves don’t develop normally
Overall the Oncidium Franz Wichmann is a medium difficulty orchid to grow. It seems to be quite resilient in the case of root loss if adequate moisture is provided.