Monday, August 29, 2005

Smelly tongue orchid blooms in Australia

Bulbophyllum fletcherianum bloomed this past Friday in Melbourne, Australia, at Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens, where "the foul-smelling tongue orchid flowered for the second time in 30 years." Read more here.

Flying back with our orchids

We just got back from Toronto - I will write more soon about our new plants and orchid adventures, etc. However, I wanted to post a couple of pictures from our trip, so here are some pictures of the 16 plants we transported. The first picture is of the plants packaged up at the airport, just before we borded the plane. The second picture is of all of the plants on the kitchen table in Toronto waiting to be packed up. I ended up with 5 plants in spike/bloom (3 in bloom and 2 in spike) which made packing them up a bit trickier! I didn't have any problems going through security at the airport with the plants.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Orchid shopping in Toronto!

I'm heading to Toronto on Monday for a week, and plan on visiting a few greenhouses and bringing back some plants for myself and Jenn and another friend. Here's our combined shopping list of plants!

Brassada Orange Delight Hilo Sunrise
Dendrobium wellessii
Dracula vampira
Epidendrum calanthum
Encyclia alata
Neofinetia falcata
Paphiopedilum niveum x 2
Phalaenopsis bellina
Phragmipedium longifolium
Phragmipedium sedenii
Pleurothallis phallangifera
Sedirea japonica x 2
Vanilla planifolia

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Growing orchids on mounts

A useful article posted today to Bella Online, "Growing orchids on mounts", describes the different options to use as mounting material for growing orchids. Susan Taylor, Bella Online's Orchids Editor, writes that "the vast majority of commercially grown orchids are epiphytes (growing on trees in nature) or lithophytes (growing on rocks in nature) [and therefore] mounting is one of the most natural ways to grow orchids."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Orchids of British Columbia

The Orchids of British Columbia is a pilot project of E-Flora BC: An Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia. It is a partnership project of the Native Plant Society of British Columbia, the Spatial Data Lab of the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia, the UBC Herbarium, and the Department of Botany, also at UBC.

The orchid pilot project includes "a species list of orchids of British Columbia, key orchid links on the web, key orchid references for BC orchids, and a mini photo bank that illustrates the level of photography that could be available to illustrate plants in the overall project."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

More pictures of Brassidium in bloom

2005 August Brassidium Bloom
Originally uploaded by meadow moon.
As promised, here is a picture of the brassidium in full bloom. I measured the largest flower from top to bottom and it measured 26 cm!! I've noticed that the tips of the flowers are already changing colour and starting to curl. The first flower opened last weekend. This picture was taken about three days ago. Here's a picture of the whole plant.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Orchid Fever by Eric Hansen

I finished reading Eric Hansen's Orchid Fever earlier this week. I would definitely recommend this book if you haven't yet read it. It's full of orchid lore and it was a very interesting read with a number of different orchid tales and anecdotes from around the world. Information on a wide variety of orchids as well. Read more about this book here.

New hardy orchid book

The Seattle Times reported yesterday that William Matthis has written an orchid book entitled The Gardener's Guide to Growing Hardy Perennial Orchids. The review states that "Mathis, a research scientist and experienced orchid fancier, rounds out the book with propagation instructions, suggestions for orchid-companion plantings and a list of sources". The book is published by The Wild Orchid Co. and with ISBN 0976533502.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Singapore's National Botanical Gardens

Singapore's national flower is an orchid, an indigenous hybrid that was discovered in 1893. It didn't receive its national recognition until 1981, when it was chosen amongst 30 other orchid contenders. Vanda Miss Joaquim is its name, a cross between Vanda hookeriana and Vanda teres. It was selected because of its resilience and ability to bloom year-round, qualities the judges felt reflect Singapore's continual strive for progress and excellence in all aspects of life.
Singapore also has a National Orchid garden, with 60,000 plants comprising 400 species and over 2000 hybrids! I was infatuated with orchids before, but it wasn't until visiting this garden that I really got "orchidelirium"! Funny enough, in all the excitement I didn't even take a photo of Vanda Miss Joaquim. Following are a few of the shots I did take.

This Cattleya hybrid was probably one of the most spectacular orchids in the garden.

Epidendrum schomburgkii is the name of this firey species and its native range is in South America. I love the Epidendrum genus because the flowers look like small, animated bearded men!

Cymbidium sinense is a scented, robust species that has been highly prized and cultivated in China and Japan for centuries. Its distribution is from Bangladesh through China, northern Thailand, Myanmar and the Ryukyu Islands.

The Vanda genus is one of the most popular in horticultural practices, and has been successfully crossed with several other genera. Here is an example - an Ascocendra (or Ascda.), a hybrid between Vanda and Ascocentrum.

Brassidium in bloom!

2005 August Brassidium Bloom
Originally uploaded by meadow moon.
We arrived home last night after being away for a couple of days to find our brassidium flowers had finally opened. Very exciting. This is the ebay brassidium that Jenn and I both bought back in April. The first three flowers on my plant have opened, and there are 5 more buds. Will post another picture of the plant when it is in full bloom. According to the info we have on the plant, it's a Brassidium Shooting Star x Dark Star.