Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Orchid Wednesday

Usually I don’t pay much attention to houseplants, but when we were visiting my in-laws over Easter weekend, I couldn’t help but notice my mother-in-law’s orchids. Their beauty was so seductive that I didn’t even try to resist. Out came the camera, and these portraits are the result of our little tête-à-tête.

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These are Phalaenopsis hybrids, commonly called “moth orchids” because the flowers are said to resemble moths in flight.They are native to Southeast Asia, and most of them are epiphytic, i.e. they grow on other plants, usually trees. That explains why in cultivation they’re not potted in soil but rather in a coarse medium typically consisting of bark, expanded clay pellets, or sphagnum moss.

There are so many fascinating things to learn about orchids, and if I don’t stop myself now, there’s no telling where it might end!

I will, however, recommend an orchid book that is as spellbinding as a good thriller. It’s called Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy and was written by journalist Eric Hansen. This book is not about orchid cultivation or care, but rather about the weird, wonderful, and, yes, dangerous subculture of orchid collecting. Be sure to read the reviews on Amazon; you’ll be as intrigued as I was. The book was everything I had hoped it would be.

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I've purposefully avoided owning an orchid, as I've already been shown to have obsessive plant tendencies. :-)

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  2. sounds a lot like The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean which I read years ago - it's also excellent if you want to keep reading about orchids....

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  3. Hi,

    I have a question about your site. Can you email me back? Carlymiller687@gmail.com

    Thanks,
    Carly

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  4. Hi Gerhard, I must admit I was a bit surprised to find you featuring orchids but I agree the blooms are superb and so does your photography :)

    I haven't been online properly for the past few days, just been using my phone so still doing some catching up.

    Belated Happy Easter to you and your family btw :) Saw some of the photos on FB, looks like you guys have a really lovely time!

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  5. Alan, my wife has a few orchids but I mostly steer clear of them. Like you, I don't need another plant obsession!

    Lilafee, The Orchid Thief is on my reading list. I loved the movie Adaptation, which is about a writer trying to turn The Orchid Thief into a screenplay. Meryl Streep plays Susan Orlean.

    Mark and Gaz, my MIL's orchids were just too beautiful to ignore. Plus, they're in a garden window in front of the kitchen sink so you can't help but look at them as you use the sink :-).

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  6. These were beautiful shots of orchids! I adore them and I was so happy to see these beautiful pictures this morning. Thanks for sharing!

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