April 07, 2015

Highlights From the Orchid Show

phalaenopsis 2

It's always a thrill to see orchids in bloom, but especially after a cold, dark winter. During my visit to Florida, Mom and I attended the local orchid society's annual show and sale. Even the Floridians seemed exuberant about it. I overheard one attendee saying something like, "Oh, I'm so excited about this, I can hardly stand it!"

While I wasn't quite that hyped myself, I'll admit, it was fun.

fragrant

One of the first plants that greeted us was this colorful Phalaenopsis announcing its attributes. Unfortunately, because it was placed near the entrance, I moved fast and didn't dawdle. Consequently, I don't remember the scent to describe it to you now.

display

Some of the displays were artistically arranged and intermingled with exquisite foliage plants and design elements. We enjoyed observing the combinations and the prize-winners.

phalaenopsis 3

I noticed an abundance of Phalaenopsis, including the one above and those shown at the beginning and the end of this post. I suppose it's because  Phals are popular and easy to grow.

As part of my research after the show, I checked out the native ranges of these orchids. (Sources: Encyclopedia of Life and Wikipedia.) While most are hybrids, I was curious about where the genera and species originated. Phals are native to parts of Asia and Australia.

Rlc

This orchid, Rlc. 'Alma Lee' is a cross (Rhyncholaeliocattleya and Cattleya). It's an intergeneric hybrid, with ancestors in the Americas.

paphiopedilum

This one, Jade Slipper (Paphiopedilum malipoense), is found in Vietnam and Southern China. It's a member of the same subfamily (Cypripedioideae) as the Lady Slipper orchids found in my region of North America.

cattleya

The bright, warm colors of many orchids were hard to ignore, like this Lc. hybrid (Laeliocattleya) of 'Aussie Sunset' and 'Tokyo Magic.' Its ancestors are from Mexico, and Central and South America.

phaius

While I didn't record the name of this plant, I believe it's a straight species Nun's Orchid (Phaius tankervilleae). Unlike epiphytic orchids that grow on other plants and trees, the Phaius is a terrestrial orchid, which grows in soil. Nun's Orchid is native to parts of Asia, Australia, and some Pacific islands. I think it was my favorite of the lot, for many reasons--its stature, colors, bloom form, and so on.

phalaenopsis 1

I'm not a big collector of indoor plants, but I can see how orchid-growing could become an addictive hobby. For now, I'll be content attending the occasional orchid show and purchasing the occasional orchid.

38 comments:

  1. I am a fan of orchids and do have them indoors. I look forward each year to our botanical garden show on orchids. Like you, seeing the different varieties is what I enjoy. Many of the unusual ones would be hard to grow outside a greenhouse. Pretty images, Beth.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. Yes, I imagine it could become quite a time- and labor-intensive process to grow a full collection of various orchids. I like to have one around now and then. But most of all, I enjoy seeing them and comparing them at a show like this.

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  2. There's no denying the exotic beauty of orchids in bloom but for the rest of the year the foliage of most of them is a bit blah. I have a gift for killing them although I've had a cymbidium for over a year now that has grown larger but not rebloomed.

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    1. Congrats on the Cymbidium's longevity! I think my favorites are Cymbidiums, Phals, and Dendrobiums. Oh, and Lady Slippers ... and after this show, Phaius (Nun's Orchid). ;-)

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  3. I've never seen anything like that Aussie Sunset! Incredible in an orchid. I tried keeping them for awhile because I love an arrangement of tall white Phals with curly willow and moss, but I found that I would have to keep a warmer greenhouse to continue their bloom cycle after they were finished. It was too expensive! But with the use of three ice cubes slowly melting in an orchid plant every ten days (benign neglect!) I manage to keep them for three or four months at a time. Thank you for some beautiful captures!

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    1. Yes, the beauty of the bold, bright, hot-colored orchids is hard to deny. They really capture your attention in a room full of orchids. I had a small Phal recently that lasted about a year, but I switched the soil on it and it slowly konked out after blooming. I really like the mini-Phals, so one of these days I'll get another one. I've heard about the ice cube trick. ;-)

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  4. Wonderful! I learned to admire each flower separately to see all the lines, speckles and spots. Each flower is a masterpiece! Thank you Beth!

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    1. True, Tatyana--each flower is a masterpiece! When in a large room full of them, it's hard to spend enough time to truly appreciate the beauty of each one.

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  5. They are fabulous aren't they. I didn't realise orchids could be fragrant until I bought one that smells of chocolate. It fills the house with its fragrance when it blooms and fills me with a yearning for chocolate!

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    1. Yes, they're beautiful. A chocolate-scented orchid! Now that would be truly dangerous for me. I already have enough trouble managing my chocolate intake!

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  6. I am also a big fan of orchids and the ones in your images look gorgeous! How lucky you were to attend this show!

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    1. Yes, I was glad to be able to attend it with Mom. I'm always amazed at the range and diversity of orchids and their hybrids. It's kind of like attending a dog show, with all the different breeds represented. It's a little overwhelming, but enjoyable.

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  7. As you said, just after months of winter it must have been marvelous. I noticed yesterday that even in grocery chains they are now selling huge magnificent orchids (mind you they were askling $44 a pot).

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    1. Hi Alain: Yes, even though I missed half of February and half of March, it was still nice to escape after being in a cold climate for most of the winter. I'm often tempted to purchase more houseplants, but I prefer outdoor gardening. The plants, overall, seem to perform better (for me), with a few exceptions, like the lemon tree and some forced bulbs. But an orchid show is a great diversion.

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  8. They are gorgeous! It's easy to see why people become addicted to collecting these beauties. I missed our local orchid show this year, but Beckie and I went to it last year. A great way to spend a cold, miserable day in February:) The orchid society members were so enthusiastic and so helpful that I learned a lot, plus one of them gave me the courage to finally buy my first Phals this year.

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    1. Yes, I certainly can understand the attraction and the addiction. They are amazing plants with amazing blooms! Do keep us posted about your progress with your new orchids!

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  9. I have only seen a few orchids in person and never the courage to try and grow one.....but these are amazing. I would be looking at these for a long time as they really are gorgeous.

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    1. It's fun to see them at botanical gardens and orchid shows. I had one that I put in a terrarium, but it was the wrong type of soil. I took it out, and the orchid lasted through its blooming period, but then it slowly petered out. I'm thinking of getting another one--but only a small one. They are beautiful!

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  10. Amazing! I just received an orchid from a friend. I am going to try to keep it alive and maybe just get it to bloom. ;-)
    You took some amazing photos! Well done!

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    1. Thanks Carla. Good luck! I'll bet you'll have success. :)

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  11. A lovely post, I love orchids and I enjoyed seeing these beauties. I always have Phals in bloom, they are cheap as chips to buy since micro- propagation and they bloom for weeks on end. Cymbidiums are more tricky to coax back into flower.

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    1. Thanks, Chloris. I love Cymbidiums in floral arrangements--in fact I had them, along with trailing Dendrobiums in my bridal bouquet long ago. But I would never try to grow one. I am thinking about getting another Phal, though. How nice that you've had much success with them!

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  12. Those are some beautiful flowers. I think that bottom one is among the collection at Bolz Conservatory.

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    1. Oh, I'll have to head over to Bolz. It's been awhile since I've been in there. Love it! It's fun to see many different species and hybrids of orchids together in a display.

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  13. Very beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. They are a wonderful plant, can see why people get very interested in them, perhaps a little showy for me, but I do enjoy looking at them..
    Amanda xx

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    1. Yes, definitely a little showy...and temperamental. At least for me to try to grow at home. But I do enjoy viewing them at shows and botanical gardens.

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    1. Yes, this was a small sampling of the display. Many beautiful plants!

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  16. You know, one of the first experiences I had as an adult that got me excited about plants was a visit to the orchid show inside the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center in New York City (pre-9/11).

    Years later, my mother and I would visit the orchid collection at the Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota. (Ultimately, I think that garden had to give up a large portion of its collection for some reason.)

    So orchids hold a powerful Proustian resonance for me.

    Thanks for your photos and your recollections from the show!

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    1. You're welcome! What fun orchid memories you have! Yes, I remember seeing some orchids at Marie Selby. Love that place! I didn't get there during my last visit to Florida and I kind of regret it.

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  17. After an orchid has finished blooming, it gets stuck in some remote spot, where it gets little attention. They mostly seem to thrive on neglect, and I am always thrilled when one of them reblooms. The one time I attended an orchid show, I was bowled over by the wide variety of forms and colors...truly spectacular.

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    1. Yes, I agree--the diversity of species and hybrids is mind-boggling! I have heard they thrive on neglect. I haven't had enough to neglect them. ;-) I do tend to over-analyze houseplants. I have more luck with the outdoor ones that I tend but don't spoil. Orchids, though, are fun to view--especially a large collection in a display.

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  18. The first time I saw a large variety of orchids was at the Boston Flower Show last year. The Orchid Society had done a display, and it was breathtaking! I don't keep very many indoor plants, but I can totally see why so many people love and collect orchids. So beautiful!

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    1. Yes, I understand the addiction! If I had more money and no cats, I think I might get into the orchid hobby. But, with my situation, I'm happy to simply view them at a show or a botanical garden. They are extraordinary!

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  19. The only indoor plant I have is a Christmas cactus given to me by a coworker. As far as orchids go, I have a silk one that never fails to disappoint. The orchids here are beautiful. I wish they were easier to grow.

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  20. I fell hard for the paph orchids first but now I love the cattleya's, especially if they are fragrant. I am whittling my collection down now tho in an effort to simplify. This show would have been fun to attend even tho I don't really want to add more.

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