Solstice Orchid Magic

Posted June 21st, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Dendrobium flower, Orchid Alley, Kapaa, Kauai, HawaiiHoweara Chian Tzy Lovely 'Moon Beauty', orchid hybrid flowers, Orchid Alley, Kapaa, Kauai, HawaiiHarlequin Phalaenopsis hybrid orchid flowers, Phal, Moth Orchid, Orchid Alley, Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii

Epidendrum hybrid orchid flower, Orchid Alley, Kapaa, Kauai, HawaiiMasdevallia orchid flower, OrchidMania greenhouse, San Francisco, CaliforniaMiltoniopsis orchid flower, Pansy Orchid, OrchidMania greenhouse, San Francisco, California

In this turbulent world, it can be easy to forget that there is beauty everywhere. Yes, it’s a cliché, but it remains true. And if you can’t find beauty in your immediate vicinity, then you can certainly find it in these orchid photos. Let nature’s restorative powers work their magic. Happy solstice.

Psychopsis orchid flower, Butterfly Orchid, OrchidMania greenhouse, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda flowers, OrchidMania greenhouse, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis Chian Xen Queen 'JEI', Phal, Moth Orchid hybrid flower,, Orchid Alley, Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii

Mini Oncidium flower, Orchid Alley, Kapaa, Kauai, HawaiiDendrobium Enobi Purple, hybrid orchid flower, Orchid Alley, Kapaa, Kauai, HawaiiEpicattleya Valentine, hybrid orchid flowers, Orchid Alley, Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii

Which Ones Are Butterfly Orchids?

Posted June 18th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Orchid Names, Photos

Psychopsis flower, Butterfly Orchid, Orchids in the Park 2013, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrophylax lindenii, Ghost Orchid flower, Butterfly Orchid, orchid species, aka Polyrrhiza lindenii, Orchid Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania Show 2010, Erie, PennsylvaniaSarcochilus George Culthop x Melody, orchid hybrid flowers, Butterfly Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2015, San Francisco, California

Which ones are Butterfly Orchids? Well, they all are. These very different plants have each been dubbed Butterfly Orchids, and that can be confusing. Common names vary, and that’s why scientific names are so important. With scientific names, everyone in the world can know they’re talking about the same plant. Common names are great for common use, and for avoiding long Latin words.

Psychopsis flower, Butterfly Orchid, Kawamoto Orchid Nursery, Honolulu, HawaiiPsychopsis flower, Butterfly Orchid, Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPsychopsis papilio flower, Butterfly Orchid, orchid species, aka Oncidium papilio, Pacific Orchid Expo 2002, San Francisco, California

Butterfly Orchids may refer to the Psychopsis genus, like the row of photos above. Their large, showy flowers always impress. These spectacular warm-growers are Oncidium relatives.

Butterfly Orchids may also refer to the Sarcochilus orchids in the next two photos below. That’s their common name in their native home, Australia. Florida’s famous Ghost Orchid, in the final photo, is sometimes called a Butterfly Orchid as well.

Sarcochilus hartmannii, orchid species flowers, Butterfly Orchid, grown outdoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaSarcochilus Kulnura Spice x Fairy, orchid hybrid flower and buds, Butterfly Orchid, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaDendrophylax lindenii, Ghost Orchid flower, Butterfly Orchid, orchid species, aka Polyrrhiza lindenii, Orchid Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania Show 2010, Erie, Pennsylvania

Species in the large genus Platanthera, native to much of the Northern Hemisphere including the USA and Canada, are all nicknamed Butterfly Orchids. I’ve even heard people call Phals “Butterfly Orchids,” rather than their more popular name, Moth Orchids.  Wikipedia’s list includes many more varieties sharing this same common name.

Orchids That Look Like Animals

Posted June 13th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Misc, QuickPost

Check out 11 orchid flowers that look like animals, including humans, at Looseferspeaks.com. Bee Orchids, Monkey Orchids, and Flying Duck Orchids earn their names honestly. There are also Moth Orchids, Dancing Lady Orchids, and more. They all appear to stretch the definition of what a flower can be.

Now Blooming in Our Garden

Posted June 6th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: General Gardening, Photos

African Daisy, Osteospermum, growing outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaLampranthus blandus, Pink Vygie, ice plant, succulent, growing and blooming outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaSalvia x sylvestris 'Snow Hill', Sage plant with white flowers, growing outdoors in Pacifica, California

When Dave and I moved to Pacifica a few years ago, our new home had a very sad front lawn, dead but for the weeds. Over time, we’ve put in a garden full of succulent plants and drought-tolerant natives. This spring, it’s full of life, with lots of colorful blooms, and a steady parade of visiting birds, bumblebees, and admiring neighbors.

California poppy flower close up, Eschscholzia californica, orange flower, California native species, growing outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaCoreopsis gigantea, Giant Coreopsis, yellow flowers, California native species, growing outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaBeach strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis, 3 berries and strawberry leaves, California native species, growing outdoors in Pacifica, California

Since we’re close to the ocean, strong winds and some salt spray limit our plant choices. However, there’s still plenty to grow by the coast. Three native California species are in the previous row of photos. California Poppies, Giant Coreopsis, and tasty Beach Strawberries all do very well here.

Sea lavender flowers close up, Limonium, growing outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaAlstroemeria, Lily of the Incas, Peruvian Lily, growing outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMimulus hybrid, Monkey Flower, growing outdoors in Pacifica, California

All of these are low water plants (except for the orchids from the back garden in the final two photos. I had to throw a couple orchids into the post.) The African Daisies are in bloom most of the time. Sage, Sea Lavender, and Iris flower in the spring, along with many of the succulents. Besides the wind, gophers are our biggest problem. Despite the obstacles, we’ve built a colorful, drought-tolerant seaside garden.

Purple Iris flower, growing outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaDendrobium striolatum flower with spiderwebs, aka Dockrillia striolata, Streaked rock orchid, orchid species growing outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaCymbidium orchid flower, orchid hybrid growing outdoors in Pacifica, California

June Orchid Shows

Posted May 31st, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

From New Orleans to Calgary, from Adelaide to Guatemala City, orchids are beloved around the world. Check out this month’s listings to find events near you.

June 1 – 3
New Orleans Orchid Society Show & Sale, Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, Louisiana
June 1 – 3
Long Island Orchid Society Festival, Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, 1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay, New York
June 1 – 3
Whangarei Orchid Society Show, Badminton Hall, 41 Porowini Ave., Morningside, Whangarei, New Zealand
June 2
Orchid Society of Southern California Auction, First Christian Church, 221 S. Sixth St., Burbank, California
June 2 – 3
Central Florida Orchid Society Show & Sale, National Guard Armory, 2809 S. Ferncreek Ave., Orlando, Florida
June 2 – 3
Calgary Orchid Show & Sale, Triwood Community Center, 2244 Chicoutimi Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
June 3
Tatton Park Orchid Show, Tenants Hall, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, UK
June 6 – 10
British Orchid Council RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Chatsworth House, Bakewell. Derbyshire, UK
June 7 – 10
Exposición Nacional de Orquídeas, Zoológico La Aurora, 5a Calle, Interior Finca La Aurora, z. 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala
June 8 – 10
Aiea Orchid Club Show & Sale, Aiea Elementary School, 99-370 Moanalua Rd., Aiea, Oahu, Hawaii

Read the rest of this post »

Smithsonian Orchids Go Online

Posted May 27th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Conservation, In the News, Videos

Explore the spectacular Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection online. Thousands of stunning photos and botanical art pieces reveal this remarkable treasure trove, which includes rare and endangered species from around the world. Don’t miss a visit to the real thing if you’re in Washington DC, but if you can’t make it there, it’s now easy to visit virtually. In addition, check out the video below to learn about orchid conservation efforts by the Smithsonian and its botanical partners.

Take an Orchid Walk with a Wildlife Trust

Posted May 19th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, Events, Orchids in the Wild

The UK’s Wildlife Trusts make it easy for nature lovers to enjoy wild British orchids. There are dozens of Wildlife Trusts throughout the UK, which help promote conservation, manage nature preserves, and provide educational activities. Many of the groups offer expertly guided tours of Britain’s wonderful native orchids. Simply search their upcoming events for “orchids” to find walks all over the country. Below is a very small sample of future hikes. Many are free, but some require advance booking or a fee, so read instructions for each tour. Check their calendar for more!

May 23 — Evening Orchids in Flintshire

May 27 — Orchid Extravaganza – Walk at Parsonage Moor and Dry Sandford Pit

June 3 — Cross Hill Quarry Orchid Walk

June 3 — In Search of Amazing Orchids at Dancersend

June 10 — Marsh Orchids and Other Wetland Wildlife at Weston Turville Reservoir

June 17 — Orchid Extravaganza – Orchid Walk at Wendlebury Meads

Mother’s Day Orchid Care

Posted May 13th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Growing, Photos

Phalaenopsis I-Hsin Black Soot, orchid hybrid flowers, Phal, Moth Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2017, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis, orchid hybrid flowers, Phal, Moth Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis, orchid hybrid flowers, Phal, Moth Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2012, San Francisco, California

Mother’s Day orchids are even better when you know that most are easy to care for. With a few orchid basics, you can enjoy their flowers for weeks, or even months.

Paphiopedilum Redmix x Nupurubet, Paph orchid hybrid, Lady Slipper, Pacific Orchid Expo 2009, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum, Paph orchid, Lady Slipper, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum Macrabre Contrasts, Paph orchid hybrid, Lady Slipper, Pacific Orchid Expo 2013, San Francisco, California

Watering – Remove wrapping paper or decorative containers, at least temporarily, if they block the pot’s drainage holes. Drench the plant with room-temperature water, and let all excess drain out. Don’t let the flowerpot sit in water for too long, or the orchid’s roots may rot.

High humidity – Orchids need water vapor in the air and good air movement. Dry air can damage flowers and attract pests. To raise humidity, group plants together, or put plants in a humid place like a bathroom or kitchen. Use a cool mist humidifier, or a spray mister. Place flowerpots on top of a layer of pebbles in trays of shallow water, always keeping the pots above the water level.

Brassolaelia Morning Glory 'H & R', Cattleya orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaCattleya orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2016, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCattleya orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, California

Identifying your orchid – The most popular varieties are Moth Orchids, like those in the first row of photos above. Lady Slippers in the second row are also favorites. Cattleyas are in the third row, and are known as the classic corsage orchids. The final row of pictures shows a Cymbidium, a Coelogyne, and a Masdevallia, and there are many more. They all come in many colors, sizes, and patterns, so use these images as general guidelines, not exact models. Once you know what kind of orchid you have, you can learn more about its care needs. And have a happy Mother’s Day!

Cymbidium hybrid orchid flower, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaCoelogyne mooreana, orchid species flowers and buds, grown indoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia orchid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2006, San Francisco, California

Magical Masdevallia Orchids

Posted May 10th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, Photos

When it comes to spring blooms in our garden, the Masdevallias really stand out. There are still some Cymbidiums flowering, and the Epidendrums never stop, but these brilliant colors steal the show.

Masdevallia ignea x falcata, orchid hybrid flowers, primary hybrid, orange flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia ignea x falcata, orchid hybrid flowers and leaves, primary hybrid, orange flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea, purple flower, orchid species flower, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

Masdevallia coccinea, purple flowers, orchid species flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea var. xanthina 'M. Wayne Miller' AM/AOS, orchid species flowers, yellow flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea var. xanthina 'M. Wayne Miller' AM/AOS, orchid species flower, yellow flower, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

The orange flowers belong to a hybrid, Masdevallia ignea x falcata. Some of the blooms are battered by the elements, but they last for months anyway. The purple and yellow ones belong to two different plants which are variants of the same species, Masdevallia coccinea. Unlike many of their miniature Pleurothallid relatives, they boast large flowers. Standing on tall stems, they wave in the breeze like colorful orchid flags. These magical Masdevallias are certainly the stars of the show.

Masdevallia coccinea with purple flower & Masdevallia coccinea var. xanthina 'M. Wayne Miller' AM/AOS with yellow flower, orchid species flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia ignea x falcata, orchid hybrid flowers and leaves, primary hybrid, orange flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia ignea x falcata, orchid hybrid flowers, primary hybrid, orange flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

World’s Largest Glasshouse Reopens at Kew

Posted May 5th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, General Gardening, In the News, Videos

The world’s largest glasshouse is open for business again!  Plant lovers can once again lose themselves in the newly refurbished Temperate Greenhouse at Kew Gardens in London. The 1863 building has been repaired many times, but this time it was thoroughly modernized. The Temperate Greenhouse dwarfs the nearby Palm House and Princess of Wales Conservatory. Thousands of plants, many endangered, have been returned from temporary homes after a 5-year renovation. Check out two BBC videos below about the news and Kew’s botanical wonders.