Thursday, March 21, 2013

New York Orchid Show 2013: Strange and unusual orchid species

Acianthera prolifera

     One of my favorite aspects of this year's Orchid Show was the opportunity to see some truly unusual orchid flowers.

     Acianthera prolifera (also known as Pleurothallis prolifera) is a miniature species from Venezuela.  Its flowers are about 1/8 of an inch in size, and have not yet opened in the picture above. (There is one opened bloom on the far left)

Dendrochilum sp. (Den. kingianum on left)

          Dendrochilum are a genus of miniature fragrant orchids from Southeast Asia.  The one pictured above was a particularly small specimen in the miniatures display.

Dendrochilum cobbianum

Dendrochilum cobbianum closeup

Robiquetia cerina 'Waterfield'

     Robiquetia cerina was probably one of the most unusual orchids at the exhibit.  The plant was rather large, its thick canes of fleshy silvery leaves growing at waist height.  Each inflorescence was comprised of hundreds of tiny cupped flowers.  This species originates in the Philippines.

Robiquetia cerina 'Waterfield' closeup

Scaphosepalum ovulare

    This is tiny miniature from Ecuador is another former Pleurothallis, which has since been reclassified into its own genus.  The cupped 0.2" flowers, reminded me of berries.

Schoenorchis paniculata

     This Malaysian species was hidden away behind glass in the miniatures display (hence the unfortunate glare in this photo).  Each flower is only 1/8" in size, and the entire inflorescence rather reminded me of some weeds.

Stenosarcos Vanguard 'Fireball'

     Stenosarcos Vanguard is a cross between Sarcoglottis speciosa and Stenorrhynchos albidomaculatum.  Vanguard appears to be the only member of this genus.  

Trichopilia suavis

    This is a species from Central America.  The 4" flowers cluster around the base of the plant.  Trichopilia is a member of the Oncidiinae subtribe, making it a relative of the oncidiums.  Indeed, its pseudobulb and leaf structure look very much like those of incidium orchids.  However, the species' blooming habit is entirely unique.

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