Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Gongora in bloom!

I woke up this morning to discover all the blooms on the Gongora had opened! This Gongora had two names on it when I purchased it last year, Gongora armeniaca and Gongora galeandra. The flowers have a delicate scent, sort of apricot-y and they measure 4cm across.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

My first orchid species to rebloom!

Well, I have officially rebloomed my first orchid species. It's my Restrepia antennifera, a gift from Sasha. It was in bloom when I received it at the the beginning of September, and it spent the winter in the bathroom growing lots of new leaves. It had a bud on it when we left for Toronto and when we arrived home, luckily, it was still in bloom (must have opened just a couple days before we came back, as the blooms only last 2 or 3 days). It has 2 new buds on it now. Here is a picture from last August when it was in bloom.

Also, I'm very excited, the Gongora I brought back from Ontario last summer is in spike (see below). The buds should open within the next few days, and there is another spike just starting to develop now! Of course, technically the first orchid species to bud in my collection was the Bulb. lasiochilum, but the bud dropped before the flower bloomed, so alas it does not count! Crossing my fingers that the Gongora blooms open no problem. Also, there is a special species in my collection that is showing signs of blooming, and I won't mention it just yet so as not to jinx it, but stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Visiting orchids

During our visit to Windsor our friends showed us their family greenhouse which contains both orchids as well as other tropicals. We saw some very nice orchids including a huge vanda with gorgeous peach coloured flowers, pictured below. Also pictured is an orchid, name unknown, that apparently produces two different types of flowers, one of which looks like a green bug!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Essex county wild orchids

We're heading outside of Toronto tomorrow to Windsor and we are hoping to have a chance to look for the following two native orchids:

Showy orchis (Galearis spectabilis)

Yellow Lady-slipper (Cypripedium calceolus)

Here is a list of other orchids that can be found in this area. We're going to check out the Ojibway Nature Centre where we are hoping to spot the above two orchids which should be in bloom right about now.

Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival

I have been doing a bit of research into native orchids in Ontario as I am currently visiting Toronto. I discovered that on the Bruce Peninsula, known for its diversity of native orchids, you can find one of the greatest concentrations of native orchid species in North America - 44 orchid species!

The Bruce Peninsula is also home to a two-day wild orchid festival at the end of May each year. Unfortunately we will be returning back home before the end of May and so we will miss this festival, but it definitely sounds like something to check out one day!

I also came across a reference to the following field guide to native orchids for this area: Bruce-Grey Plant Committee. 1997. A Guide to the Orchids of Bruce and Grey Counties, Ontario. Stan Brown Printers Limited, Owen Sound, Ontario. 106 pp.

The guide provides a key "as well as descriptions and illustrations for each species. Colour photographs by Donald Gunn add to the attractiveness and usefulness of the book, as does a chart of flowering times and a glossary. The book is available for $17.00 from the Bruce-Grey Plant Committee, c/o Owen Sound Field-Naturalists, Box 401, Owen Sound, Ontario N4K 5P7."

You can also read about native orchids found beyond the province of Ontario in this feature article on Canadian wild orchids.