Humberto Antonio Epiphanio
habitant of Rio Claro,
in the state of São Paulo,
if we can call an amateur
someone who has and takes
care personally of 40.000 pots
is our guest.
I am physician since 36 years ago but, for sure, gardener for affinity and passion
- How did
you start to cultivate orchids? Which was the magic moment of attraction?
- I started
cultivating as a way to pay homage to my grandmother who was also passionate
for flowers and owned, by this time, a flowers store and was a member of the
Círculo Rio-clarense de Orquidófilos (local orchid association
in Rio Claro), 47 years ago.
How many plants do you have?
The initial proposal was to occupy a room of 5 m² with 20 pots of orchids.
Nowadays the semi-greenhouses occupy an area of more or less 1.500 m² and
shelter 40.000 pots, between species and hybrids. Besides of the show-room,
with 200 m² to put flowering plants which are all of them, exclusively
under the care of me.
Which orchids do you have more?
keep almost half of the installations for hybrids with special attention to
Lc Sheila Lautenbach, Blc Toshie Aoki, Bc Vânia Muller
and many others ) and the other half to the species (Cattleya labiata,
warneri, trianae, luedemaniana, gaskelliana, guttata and so on.)
Between yours, what is the favorite plant?
Between my favorite, I put Cattleya walkeriana 'Sabrina', Cattleya
guttata 'Dark Princess Eduarda', Dendrobium tryrsiflorum , some Cattleya
labiata var. coerulea and many hybrids with special distinction to
Lc Sheila Lautenbach and Blc Galle Kramer 'Chips'. The last one
has been awarded with a prize during the last orchid show in Botanical Garden
of Rio de Janeiro, in June, this year, as the best plant of the event (we are
very proud of it), besides C. trianae 'Rolf' and 'Vitória de Castro'
long do you spend taking care of orchids, daily?
If I am not at the consultation room, I spend all my time dealing with the plants,
starting my routine during the weekends at 4:30 in the morning.
Houve alguma outra inspiração ou foi exclusivamente inspirado pela
homenagem à sua avó?-
Was there any inspiration or did someone inspire you to cultivate orchids?
Another inspiration? No, there was not. Just a question of maturity, detecting
that all of us, exposed to the pressures of the day by day, to the stresses
of modern life, to the violence that rides over the world, should balance ourselves
doing pleasing activities. Perhaps that is the origin of my conception, it is
not enough TO HAVE orchids. It is very important to have a close contact with
them, touch with hands and, if possible, cultivate them since the beginning,
I mean, flasks or collective pots, following their grown until the first blooming.
There is no word to describe this pleasure
- How long
do you cultivate orchids?
- I started at about 12 years.
- Is there a short or amusing story connected to orchids that you want to
- As hilarious and odd fact, I remember that, in a occasion, due to a short
travail, I asked my wife to water some pots with the rubber hose. The day after,
I noticed that all labels of identification had disappearing. A divorce almost
A couple of a day later, I succeeded in finding them. They were taken by an
owl for constructing its nest which was entirely conceived with my labels.
Which are the climatic conditions found in your environment?
Our region is hot most time, with long periods of drought , that is why my nursery
has some installations in order to partially avoid those adversities: such semi-greenhouses,
with strong ventilation, others with less luminosity, small nursery for small
plants, etc. besides a very useful watering system.
One said that orchidophilia is the soft manifestation of madness, have you done
any "orchidophilic" insanity?
- Madness? Only the fact of cultivating such number of plants, is alone a manifestation
of madness. Only overcame by the proposal of buying flasks, collective pots
Do you have a cultivation tip that you can share with us?
- We advice when someone asks us about how to cultivate orchids, remembering
that the most important for a successful cultivation is to have a good notion
of the basic rules concerning ventilation, humidity, luminosity, fertilization
and diseases and use them according to HIS OWN conditions, with discernment
and, above all, using "his own feeling".
Thank you, Humberto.
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