Save the Flying Duck Orchid!

Posted January 17th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation

The Botanic Gardens of South Australia are asking for donations to help save the Flying Duck Orchid. You may have seen its bizarre flower, which truly looks like a flying duck. Unfortunately, like many other fascinating Australian species, it’s endangered by habitat destruction and invasive species. Over 40% of South Australia’s orchids are threatened with extinction. The goal is to create a seed bank to protect 20 native orchid species, including the Flying Duck, with the future aim of reinforcing wild populations. Their donations page can accept contributions from outside Australia, too.

Winter Orchid Exhibits

Posted January 15th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

Botanical gardens are great places to escape winter doldrums, especially when they hold extended orchid exhibits for just that purpose. These amazing events run for weeks, and provide an easy way to enjoy a day in a tropical rainforest.

January 11 – February 19
Denver Botanic Gardens presents an Orchid Showcase with hundreds of tropical blooms. Visitors can enter the showcase’s photo contest by using the hashtag #DBGContest on Facebook or Instagram.

January 13 – February 25
Head to Pittsburgh for the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show at Phipps Conservatory. The botanical wonders on display will include some of their world-class Lady Slipper orchid collection.

January 13 – March 4
The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio transforms into Orchids: Utopia. Enter the show’s Instagram photo contest with the hashtag #fpcOrchids.

January 20 – March 25
Beauty awaits at Longwood Gardens’ Orchid Extravaganza near Philadelphia. Start with a tall tower of Moth Orchids, continue through an orchid curtain, and then marvel at hundreds of hanging Vandas.

Remarkable Moth Orchid Species

Posted January 8th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos, Warm Growers

Do you have any of these Moth Orchid species in your collection? You might not own these specific varieties, but if you have Phal hybrids, there’s a good chance that one or more of these species are in their ancestry. These nine photos show a few of the types frequently used in hybridization.

Phalaenopsis amabilis, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2010, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis pulcherrima, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Orchids in the Park 2011, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CalforniaPhalaenopsis lindenii, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2010, San Francisco, California

Starting with the Phal species native to India, China, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Australia, plant breeders have turned this small genus of orchids into the most popular houseplants around. Phal hybrids are often recommended as the best orchids for beginners. Loved for their beauty around the world, they’re also tough enough to grow in test tubes, be shipped across oceans, and survive the rigors of supermarket shelves.

Phalaenopsis lueddemanniana, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Orchid Society of NW Pennsylvania Show 2010, Erie, PennsylvaniaPhalaenopsis stuartiana, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis schilleriana, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, California

There are about 60 Moth Orchid species. Many have multiple color variations, which may be rare in the wild, but have entered cultivation. They’ve added their genes to the vast Phal hybrid pool. Hybridizers continue to create new colors and patterns. All share their beginnings in tropical jungles with remarkable Moth Orchid species.

Phalaenopsis equestris var. blue, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco, California Phalaenopsis violacea var. coerulea HP, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis fasciata, Moth Orchid species, Phal, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Princess of Wales Conservatory, London, UK

January Orchid Shows

Posted January 1st, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

Welcome 2018 with orchids! There are shows around the world, despite the depths of winter in the northern USA and Europe. The Tamiami International Orchid Festival in Miami is one of the largest in the country, and always a spectacular show.

January 5 – 8
World Orchid Show, Bunka Kaikan Culture Center, 2nd floor, Sunshine City, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-4, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan
January 6
Orchid Society of Great Britain Auction, Napier Hall, Hide Place, Westminster, London, UK
January 6 – 7
Sarasota Orchid Society Show & Sale, Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida
January 11
Foredrag ved Lutz, Lindegaarden, Peter Lunds Vej 8, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
January 12 – 14
Tamiami International Orchid Festival, Dade County Fairgrounds Expo Center, Fuchs Pavilion, 10901 Coral Way (SW 24 St.,) Miami, Florida
January 12 – 14
North Jersey Orchid Society Show & Sale, Douglass Student Center, Rutgers Univ., 100 George St., New Brunswick, New Jersey
January 12 – 14
Paphiopedilum Guild Meeting & Show, Grand Naniloa Hotel, 93 Banyan Dr., Hilo, Hawaii
January 13
North of England Orchid Society Monthly Meeting & Show, Community Hall, Manchester Rd., Rixton with Glazebrook, Warrington, Cheshire, UK
January 13 – 14
Camden Haven Orchid Society Show, Laurieton United Services Club, Seymour St., Laurieton, NSW, Australia
January 13 – 14
Taranaki Orchid Society Summer Show, Highlands Intermediate School Hall, Coronation Ave., New Plymouth, New Zealand

Read the rest of this post »

Donate to the American Orchid Society

Posted December 27th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation

Looking for a worthwhile organization that deserves an end-of-the-year donation? The American Orchid Society (AOS) is raising funds for vital research, conservation, and education efforts. They’ve set a $40,000 goal by the end of the year, and you can help with a contribution. As a 501c3 non-profit group, donations to the AOS are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Any size donation is appreciated. You can also support the AOS by joining and enjoying the benefits of membership, such as the beautiful monthly Orchids magazine.

Solstice Orchids

Posted December 21st, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Myrmecophila orchid flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaRestrepia brachypus, close up of miniature orchid species flower, pleurothallid, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaIanclarkara Cheyenne Marie 'Lemoncello', orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, miniature orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaSchoenorchis gemmata, miniature orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaRossioglossum Rawdon Jester, orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Enjoy these natural orchid wonders to celebrate today’s solstice. So many orchids bloom in this season that they’re the perfect antidote for dark and cold. Inside and outside our home, there are Moth Orchids, Cattleyas, Cymbidiums, and Masdevallias flowering, among others. They certainly inspire me with warmth and tropical beauty. It’s a great way to mark the time of year when we have the least light and the shortest days. It’s also a great reminder that light and warmth will return as soon as the earth swings around the sun.

Masdevallia coccinea var. xanthina 'M Wayne Miller' AM/AOS, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis flower, Moth Orchid hybrid flower, phal, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia reginae, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Oncidium maculata x Smith's Parade, orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaSobralia orchid flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum orchid, Lady Slippers flowers, Orchids in the Park 2017, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Two New Orchids Found in Western Australia

Posted December 18th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, Fragrant Orchids, In the News

Botanists in Western Australia discovered two new orchid species while out for a walk. At first, they thought that they were seeing color variations of known orchids. But Caladenia lateritica and Caladenia rosea are new to science. Both are fragrant, and both were found south of Perth near Dwellingup. The area is known as a hotspot of biological diversity, and the discoverers hope that their new finds will save the forests from being cleared.

Also be sure to check out Australian Geographic‘s gallery of incredible Aussie orchids.

Are Traders and Traffickers Winning the Orchid Battle?

Posted December 12th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News, QuickPost

National Geographic reports alarming news about the disappearance of wild orchids. Many species are disappearing from their native habitats because wild plants are being poached. In fact, illegal traffickers are so good at hunting rare orchids that scientists often discover new species for sale in a market before finding them in the wild. Some varieties are being wiped out before they can be identified, which is a terrible loss for the planet’s biological diversity.

Cymbidium Season

Posted December 6th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Cymbidiums adorn much of the California coast. Many varieties bloom in autumn, when orchid lovers can spot them in flowerpots and gardens on the coast of the SF Bay Area. Plants in my and my neighbors’ gardens are currently blossoming in Pacifica, and we’re enjoying another fantastic Cymbidium season.

Cymbidium Finger of Suspicion, orchid hybrid flowers and leaf, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2009, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid hybrid flowers, grown outdoors in San Francisco, California

Cymbidium Eaglewood Kana 'Flash', orchid hybrid flowers, green flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2015, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid hybrid flowers with water drops, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaCymbidium Shogun, orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2011, San Francisco, California

Many people are amazed that orchids enjoy living outdoors in our cool, foggy climate. Cool-growing Cymbidiums descend from Himalayan plants that enjoy the same mild weather. In fact, without cool nighttime temps, they won’t bloom. There are countless hybrids: large and small, fragrant or not, and some which can handle warmer temps, too.

Cymbidium orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2006, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium ensifolium Keiran small, orchid species flower and leaves, Pacific Orchid Expo 2011, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid hybrid flowers with water drops, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

Cymbidium Vintage Champagne x tracyanum, orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium Pepperpuss x Cymbidium Mem Amelia Earheart 'Scott Valentine', orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2013, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid hybrid flower, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

Even when they’re without flowers, these orchids inspire adoration as their long, narrow leaves gracefully sway in the wind. For centuries, East Asian artists have captured their elegance.

Most of the Cymbidiums in these photos are from orchid shows, but a few are from my garden. And while most bloom in fall, other varieties bloom in winter, spring, and even summer. That guarantees many great Cymbidium seasons.

December Orchid Events

Posted December 1st, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events

It may be the slowest month of the year for orchid shows, but there are still events around the world. Many orchid societies hold holiday celebrations or orchid auctions this month, so check with your local group for more info.

December 2 – 3
Bonnet House Orchid, Garden & Gourmet Food Festival, Bonnet House, 900 N. Birch Rd., Fort Lauderdale, Florida
December 2 – 3 & 9 – 10
Festival de Orquídeas, Orquidário Oriental, Estr. São Bento do Lambari, Km 27, Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil
December 5
Royal Horticultural Society Orchid Committee Show, RHS Halls, Vincent Square, London, UK
December 9
North of England Orchid Society Meeting & Show, St. Peter’s Church, Cecil St., Hale, Cheshire, UK
December 15
San Diego Plant Day & Orchid Odyssey, San Diego Zoo, 2920 Zoo Dr., San Diego, California
December 16
AOS Northeast Judging Center Auction, Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens, Silver Education Center, 151 Brookdale Rd., Stamford, Connecticut
December 16 – 17
Exposition Internationale d’Orchidées, Les Antilles de Jonzac, Parc du Val de Seugne, Jonzac, France
December 20
Golden Gate Cymbidium Society Holiday Orchid Auction, Gift Exchange & Potluck Dinner, Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Dr., Oakland, California