Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Public help enlisted to survey native Scottish orchid

BBC news reported yesterday that the lesser butterfly orchid or Platanthera bifolia, a wild orchid common in Scotland even just a few years ago, is in decline. Currently, a "national search has begun ... to prevent its extinction ... Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is urging the public to take part in the survey, to help build a picture of where the delicate orchid still exists."

Orchid boarding?

Just curious, does anyone out there reading this blog actually pay to board their orchids, or know anybody who does? Here's an article, from USA Today, that talks about people who spend hundreds of dollars monthly to board their orchids while they are not in bloom. I just don't agree with the statement that "some [orchids] are downright mangy with plain, wide leaves and exposed roots."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Hunting orchids in the Peruvian jungle

An article in the Kansas Wichita Eagle from this past Friday describes a graduate student's quest to document the wild orchids in the Peruvian Andes. The biology student from Texas Christian University is cataloging rare orchids and has found 150 different species since last August.

The project is part of an "Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program (AABP), a $2.3 million, three-year conservation project in Peru, funded by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bletilla striata in bloom

The Japanese garden on site where Sasha and I work has some non-native orchids in bloom right now. Bletilla striata, pictured below, is a medium-sized species found in Japan, China and Okinawa (Source).

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Orchids in bloom right now

This is Trichopilia tortilis. A central american species that is very easy to grow. Once a year a bud emerges from the lead psuedobulb and then hangs over the pot and produces these neat twisted flowers about 4 inches across.

Another twisted flower that is in bloom right now is Paphiopedlum philippinese var. roebelenii. I was lucky this year to get 4 flowers on one spike. The twisted petals are incredible. I think there is a theory that insects like ants use the twists sort of like a stair way up to the main pollen area. Am not sure....

Last is Sophronitis cernua, a beautiful little minature. This is its first bloom since being repotted onto a new peice of cork bark so I only have 2 flowers. Established plants can get up to 5 flowers on one spike! This Sophronitis likes lots of light and warm temperatures.