Monday, May 30, 2005

Wild orchids in Scotland?

Jenn is on her way to Scotland for a couple of weeks, so I thought I would look into that status of wild orchids in Scotland, in case she has time to go on a bit of an orchid hunt.

I found some information about a demolition site in Thornton, Fife (formerly Rothes Colliery), which apparently contains many species of wild orchids:

"As for the orchids, Blank Frank has tentatively identified the following species - Northern Marsh, Early Marsh, Heath Spotted and Common Spotted. There are also many which defied identification, but which are probably hybrids - orchids are inclined to do this, apparently." More informaiton here. Includes some photos of wild orchids to be found at the site, as well as a map to the site's location. The orchids are apparently in bloom from early June to July, so the timing is perfect! However, a couple comments on the site alude to the fact that new construction on the site might already have taken place.

I also found a bibliograpy of relevant books compiled by the UK Hardy Orchid Society, including:

Allen, Brian and Woods, Patrick. Wild Orchids of Scotland. HMSO, 1993.(ISBN 0 11 494246 3)

This book is described as "the definitive work on Scottish orchids, lavishly illustrated with photographs by Sidney Clarke". There is also a companion field key to go along with this title, published the same year by the same authors with ISBN 0 11 495105 5.

Finally, a gallery of British wildflowers including Orchids. While not specific to Scotland, some of them might be found in Scotland? According to the site, "there are 49 species of British orchids. Some are relatively common - the Common Spotted Orchid can be found in most British counties - whilst others, such as the Lady's Slipper orchid or the Monkey Orchid, can only be found in one or two counties (and then only in single locations)."

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fairyslipper (Calypso bulbosa)

Metchosin Orchid Visit 17
Originally uploaded by meadow moon.
Thought I'd post this picture of an orchid we saw in the wild last month, in the forest on southern Vancouver Island. According to the book 'Plants of coastal British Columbia' by Pojar and Mackinnon, other common names for this orchid include Venus slipper, Pink slipper-orchid, False ladyslipper, and Cytherea, the latter being another name for Aphrodite (goddess of love, beauty and marriage) (Pojar 118).

Rare orchid not found

Following up from a story we posted last weekend, there was no sign of the whorled pogonia found on the public works site in Virginia. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

China Airlines planes to be decorated with orchids

"Among the many types of flowers grown in Taiwan, the sales of butterfly orchids are the highest, reaching three to four billion dollars every year. The Council of Agriculture hopes not only to exploit more markets, but also expects to make butterfly orchids synonymous with Taiwan." (Source: Taiwan News Online, see link below)

Read more about this initiative to promote Taiwan's "butterfly orchid" (phalaenopsis) at Taiwan News Online and on the China Airlines web site.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Rare orchid halts construction project in Virginia

Posted today in the Picayune Item, a local newspaper serving southern Mississippi, a $17 million dollar public-works project is on hold while it is determined whether a "rare wild orchid" (Isotria medeoloides) is growing at the site. The plant is also known as small whorled pogonia and "fewer than 500 ... have been found in 15 to 20 sites in Virginia."

According to Jenn's book, Botanica's Pocket Orchids, Isotria medeoloides "is considered the rarest endemic species in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the USA."

More information about the small whorled pogonia as well as a picture can be found here.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Mount Kinabalu orchids

I was just reading about Mount Kinabalu in northern Borneo where apparently "Orchids account for a quarter of all flowering plants on the mountain, totalling a staggering 1,200 species." I also read that Kinabalu is home to the famous Paphiopedilum rothschildianum orchid. You can read more about Kinabalu here.

Eric Hunt orchid photography

Eric has some stunning photos of orchids on display at the Flickr web site. Currently there are about 150 photos in his Orchid set. If you poke around his Flickr pix you'll also find he has some great pictures from the 25th Annual Orchid Show hosted by the Greater New York Orchid Society last month. Eric also maintains the web site Orchid Species Photographs which I have added as a link under our Resources section. Tip: Check out the in situ photographs from orchid hunting in Ecuador under the Ecuador Trip heading.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Protected species stolen and sold on ebay

Someone has been poaching orchids from Florida parks and selling them on ebay, according to this article from the Palm Beach Post last week.

"For a year and a half, the plant pilferer visited Jonathan Dickinson [state park in Hobe Sound] almost weekly, taking up to 10 plants at a time from different spots — not enough to decimate the crop or draw attention from rangers. An eBay tipster alerted authorities, who busted the 47-year-old man and found dozens of other orchids and flowers in his possession. He admitted harvesting rare orchids, according to reports, but said he got the South Florida flowers from someone else. "

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Another $5 orchid!

My second $5 orchid! The first one was the brassidiums that we ordered from ebay. Last night we were in a shopping plaza and I noticed a florist shop. I decided to go in and check if they happened to have any orchids and lo and behold, there was a single discounted cymbidium that had finished blooming. Not sure what the exact hybrid is, and the clerk could not recall the colour of the blooms, but I purchased it anyways for $5! There is a new pseudobulb coming up, and the plant looks quite healthy. The leaves are about 2 feet tall with the tallest leaf about 2.5 feet! I am definitely going to keep an eye out for more rescue orchids.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Wilsonara in bloom!

2005 May Wilsonara bloom 1
Originally uploaded by meadow moon.
This is one of our newer plants which we purchased in early March at the Victoria Orchid Society show at the University of Victoria. I had a pretty good idea of what the flower would look like based on pictures I found on the web, but it's always a surprise! This plant is a Wilsonara Lisa Devos.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Meet Gongora

I discovered a new orchid genus tonight while browsing for orchids on ebay - Gongora! I found a very lovely Gongora minax for sale, unfortunately in the US only. The genus sounds very intriguing, however, and I will definitely add at least a couple of species from this genus to my wishlist. Wikipedia has a nice description of the genus Gongora, with a picture of a Gongora maculata. Gongora inflorescence become pendulous, up to 2 feet in length, with clusters of large numbers of flowers hanging upside down. This is the only picture I can find right now of the minax species.

Monday, May 02, 2005

New Growth

I took some pictures this afternoon of the new growth happening with my orchids. This photo is of a new leaf growing out the bottom of this Pleurothallis restrepioides plant. There are actually 3 new leaves growing inside the pot as well. All leaves have what look like tiny buds at the base of the top of the leaves. This plant was a fairly recent acquisition, and apparently blooms around Christmastime. More pictures here.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Orchid Collection - Naomi

Currently, these are the plants in my small but growing orchid collection. In fact, my collection has tripled in size over the last 2 months!

  • Brassidium Shooting Star X Dark Star
  • Bulbophyllum lasiochilum
  • Epidendrum polybulbon
  • Wilsonara Lisa Devos X Oda. Kevin Cobbledick
  • Pleurothallis restrepioides 'dragonstone' CBR/AOS
  • Masdevallia Razzle Dazzle
  • Zga. Adelaide Meadow X Z. Conway's Choice
  • Dtps. Happy Valentine X Phal. Passion Talk
  • Phalaenopsis ?