Winter Orchid Exhibits

Posted January 12th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

Looking for a winter escape? Don’t miss these long-term exhibits featuring beautiful flowers inside warm glasshouses.

January 6 – February 20
Find a floral wonderland at Denver Botanic Gardens’ Orchid Showcase. Enjoy hundreds of blooms in the Orangery and Marnie’s Pavilion.

January 7 – March 5
Take an opulent garden stroll through the 1920’s at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio. Orchids and other tropical plants combine with Art Deco designs for an amazing winter display.

January 14 – March 5
Delight in the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. And don’t miss the Pittsburgh-themed Garden Railroad. Wear a tropical shirt on a Sunday in February for half-priced admission.

January 14 – May 14
The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, along with Smithsonian Gardens, present Orchids: A Moment. Hundreds of fragrant orchids are complemented by time-lapse videos of emerging blooms and the museum’s famous architecture.

January 21 – March 31
Enjoy an Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia. Wonder at 4500 orchids inside the warm Conservatory, Peirce-du Pont House, and Visitor Center.

January 28 – March 5
Look for orchids among the hanging jungle of Cleveland Botanical Garden. Don’t miss special Orchid Mania programs, including Ask the Orchid Doctor and Build an Orchid Terrarium.

An Orchid Revival in South Florida

Posted January 8th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News

The Miami Herald reports on the Million Orchid Project, which is returning native orchid species to South Florida. After years of growing seedlings in labs, scientists and volunteers are transplanting young orchids into urban areas around Miami-Dade County. It’s a big experiment in orchid conservation and citizen science. So far, over 30,000 plants from several native species have been transplanted. Local high schools are also getting in on the act. An old school bus converted into a mobile science lab brings the experiment around the area, and allows students to participate in the research. Learn more or volunteer for the Million Orchid Project at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden website.

Orchids for the Season

Posted January 4th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Photos

With a chilly rain here on the California coast, and more storms in the forecast, these orchids are perfect for inspiring warm thoughts. Enjoy a few more photos from our visit to Vallarta Botanical Gardens in Mexico last winter.

Orange Epidendrum, orchid flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, MexicoProsthechea cochleata, clamshell orchid or cockleshell orchid, orchid species flower, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, MexicoSpathoglottis, Phillipine Ground Orchid, orchid flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, Mexico

Encyclia orchid flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, MexicoRed Epidendrum orchid flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, MexicoEncyclia orchid flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, Mexico

With blooms in every hue, rich perfumes, and amazing flower shapes, these orchids are embodiments of the word tropical. Vallarta Botanical Gardens is just outside Puerto Vallarta. It’s full of both native and exotic species, and always worth a visit.

Epidendrum ciliare, aka Coilostylis ciliaris, close up photo of orchid species flower with a fringed flower lip, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, MexicoOrange Cattleya orchid flower, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, MexicoSpathoglottis, Philipine Ground Orchid, orchid flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, Mexico

Arundina graminifolia, Bamboo Orchid, orchid species flower, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, MexicoOncidium orchid flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, MexicoMiltoniopsis orchid flower, Pansy Orchid, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, Mexico

January Orchid Shows

Posted December 31st, 2016 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

Begin the new year with orchids! From Tokyo to Miami, from Portugal to Minnesota, orchid shows let you enjoy stunning flowers in any language.

January 5 – 9
World Orchid Show, Bunka Kaikan Culture Center, 2nd floor, Sunshine City, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-4, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan
January 7
Bewertungssitzung Hannover, Herrenhäuser Gärten, Herrenhäuser Str. 4, Hanover, Germany
January 7 – 8
Sarasota Orchid Society Show, Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida
January 12 – 15
Festival de Orquídeas, Plaza Guayama, Av. Los Veteranos, Guayama, Puerto Rico
January 13 – 15
Tamiami International Orchid Festival, Dade County Fairgrounds Expo Center, Fuchs Pavilion, 10901 Coral Way (SW 24 St.,) Miami, Florida
January 13 – 15
North Jersey Orchid Society Show & Sale, Douglass Student Center, Rutgers Univ., 100 George St., New Brunswick, New Jersey
January 13 – 15
Taranaki Orchid Society Summer Show, Highlands Intermediate School, 260A Coronation Ave., Welbourn, New Plymouth, New Zealand
January 14
North of England Orchid Society Monthly Meeting & Show, Community Hall, Manchester Rd., Rixton With Glazebrook, Warrington, Cheshire, UK
January 14 – 15
Peninsula Orchid Society Show & Sale, Community Activities Building, 1400 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City, California
January 14 – 15
Paphiopedilum Guild Meeting & Show, Hyatt Santa Barbara, 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, California

Read the rest of this post »

Orchids: Masters of Disguise

Posted December 27th, 2016 by Marc Cohen
Categories: In the News, Misc

Orchids are the opening act in this Smithsonian podcast about trickery. Many different orchids have become masters of disguise to attract pollinators. These include Hammer Orchids and Bulbophyllums, which mess with some insect minds to improve their pollination odds. Just as importantly, orchids have enlisted human help. Listen to learn more —

Dark Days

Posted December 21st, 2016 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Today’s winter solstice brings the darkest time of the year. Short days with a weak sun hardly seem like a time for flowers. But there’s always joy and beauty to be found, and even on the darkest days, there are orchids blooming. Enjoy these stunning examples from last winter’s Pacific Orchid Expo.

Epidendrum flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaOncidium hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhragmipedium kovachii, orchid species, Lady Slipper flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, California

Orchid lovers know that many tropical varieties bloom over winter, corresponding to their own dormant seasons. How welcome these exotic blossoms are, especially when light and warmth seem far away.

Cattleya Wildfire, orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium Peng Seng, orchid hybrid flower close up, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, California

As most life rests in the darkness, it hasn’t disappeared. It only waits for the next chance for growth. Orchids which choose to flower now are emblematic of the life that always remains, and the light that will return.

Phalaenopsis wilsonii, Moth Orchid species flowers and buds, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia Joy Edstrom 'Margaret's' HCC/AOS, orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium cuthbertsonii, miniature orchid species flowers and leaves, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, California

Cattleya Charms

Posted December 18th, 2016 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Fragrant Orchids, Intermediate Growers, Orchid Names, Photos

As winter’s chill arrives, this brilliant tropical Cattleya is inspiring lots of warm thoughts in our home. It’s been boasting vivid purple and white blooms for over a month. In addition to their stunning colors, they emit a sweet, spicy fragrance.

Laeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, purple white and yellow flower with fringed lip, grown indoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaLaeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, purple white and yellow flowers with fringed lip, grown indoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaLaeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, purple white and yellow flower with fringed lip, grown indoors in Pacifica, California

It’s no wonder that Cattleyas have been favorite corsage orchids for decades. Along with their captivating hues and rich scents, many varieties have fascinating wavy, fringed petals, especially on the flower lip. The undulating edges on these eye-catching blooms add interest and allure.

Laeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, purple white and yellow flower with fringed lip, grown indoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaLaeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, purple white and yellow flowers with fringed lip, grown indoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaLaeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, close up of fringed lips of purple and white flowers, grown indoors in Pacifica, California

This hybrid is Laeliocattleya Nice Holiday ‘Suntopia’ HCC/AOS. A complicated name like that provides a good chance for a refresher on deciphering orchid nametags. The first word, Laeliocattleya, is a combination of the genus names Laelia and Cattleya. The hybrid name is Nice Holiday, and the cultivar name is ‘Suntopia’. This cultivar has earned a Highly Commended Certificate from the American Orchid Society, and that award becomes part of the plant name, too, as HCC/AOS. All together, it’s a lot of syllables to describe Cattleya charms.

Laeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, close up of fringed lip of purple and white flower, grown indoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaLaeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, purple and white flowers with fringed lips, two flowers shown in side view and one flower from front, grown indoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaLaeliocattleya Nice Holiday 'Suntopia' HCC/AOS, Cattleya orchid hybrid, purple and white flowers with fringed lips, one flower shown from bottom on and one flower from front, grown indoors in Pacifica, California

Give Orchids for the Holidays

Posted December 15th, 2016 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Misc

It’s easier than ever to give orchids for the holidays with Orchids magazine. The award-winning monthly is better than ever, and it’s just one of many benefits of an American Orchid Society (AOS) membership. The magazine’s stunning, high-quality flower photos are reason enough to subscribe. Each issue also includes expert info and articles from every corner of the orchid world. See the improvements for yourself by downloading a free issue of Orchids. Current AOS members will receive an extra month on their own subscriptions when they give a membership to somebody else before December 31st.

An Orchid Obsession in New Zealand

Posted December 10th, 2016 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, In the News, QuickPost

New Zealand’s native orchids are not big and showy like their tropical cousins, but they sure can inspire an orchid obsession. The article includes half a dozen photos of native species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

Four Gentlemen on a Flowerpot

Posted December 5th, 2016 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Books, Cool Growers, Fragrant Orchids, Misc, Photos

The Chinese artistic theme of the Four Gentlemen refers to four plants, including an orchid. Recently, while Dave and I were enjoying dinner at a local restaurant, I spotted a nearby flowerpot illustrating the Four Gentlemen. I can’t read Chinese, so I don’t know what the writing says, but I recognized each plant. The first row of photos depicts one side of the flowerpot. It features a centuries-old Chinese style of painting Cymbidium orchids with long, graceful leaves. The second photo zooms in on the flowers, and the third photo shows the smaller leaves and roots.

Cymbidium orchid leaves and flowers, illustrated as part of the Four Gentleman on a Chinese flower pot, Pacifica, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid flowers and leaves, illustrated as part of the Four Gentleman on a Chinese flower pot, Pacifica, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid small leaves and roots, illustrated as part of the Four Gentleman on a Chinese flower pot, Pacifica, California

The Four Gentlemen, also called the Four Noble Ones, are orchid, bamboo, plum, and chrysanthemum. For over a thousand years, Asian artists have drawn this quartet. Each symbolizes a season, as well as human moral qualities. Orchids represent spring, and also nobility, elegance, integrity, and friendship. There are many orchid species native to East Asia, but this artistic genre usually portrays small, fragrant Cymbidiums. The traditional painting style emphasizes their arching leaves instead of their flowers. Each leaf is drawn with a single brushstroke, done with the same precision and artistry as Chinese calligraphy. The next two photos below show modern cultivars of the types typically drawn in this style. The third photo depicts orchid leaves and flower buds on the flowerpot.

Cymbidium ensifolium Keiran small, orchid species, type of orchid traditionally illustrated as one of the Four Gentlemen in Chinese art, long graceful leaves, plant and flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2011, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium goeringii Routoen, orchid species, type of orchid traditionally illustrated as one of the Four Gentlemen in Chinese art, long graceful leaves and flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2013, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid flower buds and leaves, illustrated as part of the Four Gentleman on a Chinese flower pot, Pacifica, California

The final pictures feature the other three sides of the flowerpot with the other three gentlemen. There’s a bamboo for summer, mums for autumn, and a flowering plum for winter.

Bamboo plant and leaves, illustrated as part of the Four Gentleman on a Chinese flower pot, Pacifica, CaliforniaChrysanthemum flowers and leaves, mums, illustrated as part of the Four Gentleman on a Chinese flower pot, Pacifica, CaliforniaPlum blossoms on branches, illustrated as part of the Four Gentleman on a Chinese flower pot, Pacifica, California

The Four Gentlemen have long been woven into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese painting and pottery. In fact, Mahjong players may recognize this group, since the Four Gentlemen are often seen on the game’s flower tiles. For more info, check out The Garden Plants of China, which has a lot on the histories of traditional orchids and other popular varieties.