Saturday, March 3, 2018

2018 New York Orchid Show

Hundreds of orchids hand from a translucent display at the 2018 New York Orchid Show
The New York Orchid Show is my favorite annual event in the city.  This joyous celebration of orchid beauty is a yearly signal that another cold, dark winter is nearly over.  The show opened today, at the New York Botanical garden.
It's possibly one of the most popular events at the New York botanical garden, and by midday the conservatory is packed with crowds.  This year, I woke up early to be one of the first people to enter the show on opening day.
Get to the conservatory before 10 AM to avoid the crowds
The Orchid Show features hundreds of orchid species and hybrids, presented in intricate displays.  This year's production is designed by Belgian floral artist Daniel Ost.
Phalaenopsis King's Caroline and Phalaenopsis Black Pearl
Phalaenopsis Taida Pearl Diamond
Phalaenopsis KV Charmer
Orchid terrarium
Cattleya and Dendrobium display
2018 New York Orchid Show
Each year, the displays follow a different theme.  This year, the recurrent element was these meshes of clear plastic tubing high up in the conservatory canopy.  These clear loops certainly catch and scatter the sunlight onto the orchid blossoms.  They also reminded me of a tangled garden hose....

Orchid display by Daniel Ost
A ribbon of orchids wraps around a bamboo structure
Cymbidium Golden Boy 'Nevada'

Dendrobium spectabile

Epidendrum Max Valley 'Shiranui'

This is just a small fraction of the orchids on display today.  The show runs until April 22, and is absolutely worth a visit.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Flower spike on a tiny keiki

A 1 year old phalaenopsis keiki
I first wrote about this Phalaenopsis Gold Tris keiki just over a year ago.  Keikis are orchid clones that sometimes grow on a mature orchid plant. Late last summer, when its roots had grown over 3 inches, I cut the keiki from its mother orchid, and planted it in the pot shown above.  The little orchid has more than tripled its roots system since then, but hasn't done much growth with its two leaves.

flower spike on a 1-year old keiki
Today, I noticed a green nub growing to the side of the orchid's base.  Much to my surprise, this wasn't some errant root, but actually a tiny new flower spike!  Although I have heard before that keikis sometimes flower within a year of growth, I never expected it from an orchid this small.  Its flowers would be almost as big as the entire orchid plant!

I'll be watching closely to see how this flower spike develops.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A display of dendrobiums

Dendrobium hodgkinsonii
In my final installment featuring orchid photos from the US Botanic Garden in DC, I am exploring the variety of dendrobium species and hybrids that were on display during my visits.  These orchids are some of my favorite genera, though I'll admit that I've had very limited luck growing them myself.  

Dendrobium hodgkinsonii closeup
Dendrobium catenatum
Dendrobium catenatum
Dendrobium ceraula older bloom
Dendrobium ceraula new blossom
This Dendrobium ceraula was one of the bluer orchids I've ever seen in the Dendrobium genus.  The newest blossoms come out with a lovely cerulean hue, which fades to pink as the blossoms age.

Dendrobium Genting Royal
dendrobium haleahi butterfly x00006 x dendrobium jaqueline thomas 
dendrobium haleahi butterfly x00006 x dendrobium jaqueline thomas 
Dendrobium Jaqueline Thomas Uniwai Prince
Dendrobium pseudolamellatum
 Dendrobium pseudolamellatum is a tiny flower.  The species is an epiphyte native to Borneo.
Dendrobium pseudolamellatum whole plant view
Dendrobium spectabile closeup
Dendrobium spectabile is one of my favorite orchid species.  I love its giant twisted flowers, that look like something out of an alien movie, and defy my attempts to capture them in focus in my photographs.  This orchid truly has to be seen in person to make sense.
Dendrobium spectabile whole plant view

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Will you fall in love with Bulbophyllums? Visiting the US Botanic Garden

Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann Buckleberry
Bulbophyllums are some of the strangest commonly cultivated orchid genera.  To be honest, they are such strange flowers that I don't know how I feel about them.  But they sure do catch the eye!  The US Botanic Garden Conservatory is a great place to go to catch some in bloom.

Closeup of Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Anne Buckleberry
With more than 2,000 species, Bulbophyllum is the largest genus in the orchid family, and one of the largest genera of flowering plants in the world.  You can find native bulbophyllum species in most tropical parts of the world, and with this great geographic spread comes an amazing diversity of flower shapes and attributes.

Bulbophyllum medusae
Bulbophyllum medusase may be one of the coolest orchid species I've come across.  Its flowers look like white cotton balls.  The sepals of the blooms can get as long as 15cm. This orchid grows in Malaysia, Thailand and Borneo.
Closeup of Bulbophyllum medusae bloom
Bulbophyllum longissimum
This is another Bulbophyllum species from southeast Asia.  These flowers can be almost 40cm long!

Bulbophyllum Icicles
Bulbophyllum Icicles is a primary hybrid between Bulbophyllum longissimum and Bulbophyllum wightii.
Bulbophyllum Icicles closeup

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Gorgeous Paphiopedilum hybrids from the DC Botanic Garden

I will readily admit my love for the colorful and showy splendor of orchid hybrids.  In the next few months, I think I will dive in to explore the lineages of some of these hybrids, but for today, I wanted to share with you the beautiful Paph collection at the DC Botanic Garden.
Paphiopedilum Devil's Canyon

Paphiopedilum Elphin Charm

Paphiopedilum FC Puddle

Unlabeled Paphiopedilum

Paphiopedilum Mazurka

Paphiopedilum Miller's Daughter

Paphiopedilum Mystically Mood

Paphiopedilum Olivia

Paphiopedilum Olivia

Paphiopedilum Orchilla 'Chilton'

Paphiopedilum Redstart 'Exbury'

Paphiopedilum Redstart 'Exbury'

Paphiopedilum Song of Love

Paphiopedilum Tree of Okazaki

Paphiopedilum Yerba Mate

Paphiopedilum Zycleon

Paphiopedilum Zycleon whole plant view