April 07, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
This orchid, Rlc. 'Alma Lee' is a cross (Rhyncholaeliocattleya and Cattleya). It's an intergeneric hybrid, with ancestors in the Americas.
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.
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.
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.
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.