Orchids in the Park

Posted July 28th, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Dendrobium cuthbertsonii agathodaemonis type, miniature orchid species, pink white and orange flowers, Orchids in the Park 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaSobralia xantholeuca, orchid species, yellow and light pink flower, Orchids in the Park 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaBroughtonia sanguinea, orchid species, pink and white flower, Orchids in the Park 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Every year, Orchids in the Park puts on an amazing display. This past weekend, the event again filled Golden Gate Park with fantastic orchids. San Francisco’s smaller annual show can’t compare with the Pacific Orchid Expo’s size and spectacle, but it always boasts outstanding and unusual plants. Of course, I especially love the bizarre varieties, which stretch the definition of what a flower can be. Check back soon for more photos from this remarkable event.

Bulbophyllum dearei 'John's Island' HCC/AOS, yellow white and purple flower, Orchids in the Park 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaHabenaria medusa, orchid species, white green and red flower, Orchids in the Park 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum sukhakulii alba 'Holy Moley' x 'Tamien', Lady Slipper orchid species, red green and white flower, Orchids in the Park 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Orchid Observers: A Citizen Science Project

Posted July 26th, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News, Orchids in the Wild, Videos

London’s Natural History Museum needs your help. The museum has started an Orchid Observers citizen science project, and it’s looking for volunteers to help study how climate change is affecting native British orchids. Scientists have already found that some species have been blooming earlier, consistent with warmer springtime temperatures.

At Orchid Observers, you can choose whether to photograph native orchids, identify the orchid species in the pictures, or transcribe data from online museum specimens. Of course, you need to be in Britain to take photos, but anyone in the world can help examine pictures or plant specimens online.

Check out the video below for more. It includes some spectacular footage of the native British orchid species you’ll be helping.

Orchids in the Park Is Coming!

Posted July 22nd, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

The San Francisco Orchid Society presents Orchids in the Park this coming weekend, July 25th – 26th. Check out the orchids at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, near the park entrance by 9th Avenue & Lincoln Way. Enjoy orchid displays, vendors, talks by orchid experts, book sales, and raffles. To further whet your orchid appetite, here are a few photos from past events. Don’t miss it!

Cirrhopetalum makoayanum, orchid species, Orchids in the Park 2010, San Francisco, CaliforniaLaeliocattleya flower, orchid hybrid, purple and white flower, Orchids in the Park 2010, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrochilum magnum, orchid species, long chain of small greenish white flowers, Orchids in the Park 2010, San Francisco, California

Orchids at Chelsea Physic Garden

Posted July 17th, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Photos

Where can you find orchids in London besides Kew Gardens? Try the smaller, lesser-known, and older Chelsea Physic Garden. Inside its glasshouses, Chelsea Physic Garden houses a small but impressive orchid display. Founded in 1673 to study medicinal plants, it’s one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, 86 years older than Kew. I visited at the end of June, and found some great orchids in bloom. There were several beautiful and bizarre Stanhopeas in bud, and a couple more in flower.

Stanhopea oculata 'Aurea', orchid species in bloom at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UKStanhopea oculata 'Aurea' flower buds, orchid species at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UKStanhopea oculata 'Aurea', orchid species flowers at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UK

These orchids were on display in the glasshouses next to the Gift Shop. The Tropical Corridor Glasshouse showcased this brilliant white Sobralia blossom and climbing Vanilla vine.

Sobralia macrantha, orchid species with white and yellow flower at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UKVanilla planifolia, orchid species, vine growing up wall in Tropical Corridor Glasshouse, at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UKLycaste x groganii, natural orchid hybrid, yellow flower side view, at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UK

There were several large orchids hanging in intermediate glasshouses, too, including the Dendrobium and Coelogyne in the final two photos. They must be spectacular when in bloom, and they’re both fragrant, also.

Chelsea Physic Garden, Tropical Corridor, inside view of glasshouse, London, UKDendrobium kingianum, orchid species hanging in glasshouse at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UKCoelogyne cristata, orchid species hanging in glasshouse at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UK, unfortunately not in bloom

Orchids are just a small part of Chelsea Physic Garden. Its main displays highlight medicinal, edible, and other useful plants, and also feature a new woodland grove. Don’t miss historic Chelsea Physic Garden when visiting London!

More Orchids From Kew Gardens

Posted July 11th, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Photos

Kew Gardens is packed with botanical treasures, and it’s impossible to see them in a single visit, or a single blog post. Here are some more photos from our recent trip to the world’s preeminent botanical garden. The first picture shows the Palm House, which features orchids scattered among its tropical plants. The second picture has the Princess of Wales Conservatory, with two rooms devoted to orchids, and the third highlights one of those rooms, the Tropical Orchid Zone.

Palm House, Kew Gardens, London, UKPrincess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UKTropical Orchid Zone, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UK

The remaining photos show a few of the fascinating orchids on display during our visit. The next six pictures are orchid species. Some are common, like the Chinese Ground Orchid, and others are much more unusual, like the Grammatophyllum. They are just a fraction of Kew’s orchid gems.

Bletilla striata, Chinese Ground Orchid, orchid species in bloom outside the Palm House, Kew Gardens, London, UKGrammatophyllum scriptum, orchid species, Bell Orchid, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UKOncidium sphacelatum, Popcorn Orchid, orchid species in the Palm House, Kew Gardens, London, UK

Phalaenopsis fasciata flowers, Moth Orchid species, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UKLycaste aromatica, The Sweet Scented Lycaste, orchid species with yellow flowers, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UKAerides rosea, The Rose Colored Aerides, orchid species with pink and white flowers, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UK

We couldn’t find name tags on the orchids in these last three photos, but they’re certainly worthy of inclusion. An antelope-type Dendrobium, and two colorful Vandas, round out this visit to Kew. Check back soon for more.

Antelope type Dendrobium orchid, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UKVanda orchid flowers, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UKVanda orchid flower, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UK

Orchids at Kew Gardens

Posted July 5th, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Photos

Kew Gardens is the heart of the botanical world.  It’s one of the oldest, largest, and most important botanical gardens, and it maintains the largest collection of living plants on earth. Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s also one of London’s top tourist attractions. And, of course, it has lots of great orchids. Dave and I visited Kew Gardens at the end of June, and were astonished by all its botanical beauty. I’m just starting to sort through our photos. Here are my first orchid shots from Kew Gardens.

Vanda orchid, yellow flower with dark red spots, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UKCatasetum orchid, light yellow and red flowers, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UKPhragmipedium orchid, red and yellow Lady Slipper flower, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UK

We found lots of orchids in Kew’s remarkable Princess of Wales Conservatory, and a few more in the majestic Palm House. The Princess of Wales Conservatory has zones for both tropical and temperate growers. The blooming orchids feature rare species, including some which Kew has brought back from the brink of extinction.

Paphiopedilum orchid, pink yellow and green Lady Slipper flower, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UKPhalaenopsis orchid, white yellow and red Moth Orchid flowers covered with dew, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UKBrassia orchid, orange red and white orchid flowers, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UK

Dating to 1769, Kew covers 300 acres (121 hectares) with gardens, glasshouses, statues, and historic buildings, including the royal Kew Palace. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has been at the forefront of plant conservation and research for more than two centuries. It maintains one of the largest botanical libraries, and one of the largest collections of dried plant specimens, in the world. Continuing an effort begun by Charles Darwin to register all plant names, Kew publishes the International Plant Names Index, as well as the Plant List. There’s so much more to this incredible institution — check back soon to see more pictures from Kew.

Oncidium hybrid orchid, orange red and white orchid flowers, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UKDendrobium victoria-reginae, purple and white orchid flowers, orchid species, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UKCoelogyne pulverula orchid species, purple white and reddish-brown flowers, orchid species, dozens of flowers hanging down, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UK

July Orchid Shows

Posted July 1st, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco

The orchid world focuses on the southern hemisphere this month, with busy show schedules in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and South Africa. There are still shows up north, too, in Louisiana, Iowa, Hawaii, Ontario, and more. San Francisco Bay Area residents, don’t miss Orchids in the Park in Golden Gate Park on July 25th-26th! Enjoy incredible orchids on display and on sale at San Francisco’s smaller annual orchid show.

July 2 – 4
Hawkesbury District Orchid Society Show, Windsor Riverview Shopping Centre, George St., Windsor, NSW, Australia
July 3 – 5
Exposicao Nacional de Orquideas de Assis, ACIA, Av. Antonio Zuardi, 970, Vila Cambui, Assis, Sao Paulo, Brazil
July 3 – 5
Caboolture Orchid Society Show, Morayfield Community Centre, Morayfield Rd., Morayfield, Queensland, Australia
July 4 – 5
Alfred County Orchid Society Winter Show, Methodist Church, Margate, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
July 4 – 5
New Zealand Orchid Society Winter Show, Mt. Albert War Memorial Hall, 751 New North Rd., Mt. Albert, New Zealand
July 4 – 5
Victorian Country Orchid Clubs Challenge, Cobden Technical School, McKenzie Rd., Cobden, Victoria, Australia
July 4 – 5
Illawarra Orchid Society Show, Senior Citizens Centre, Warilla, NSW, Australia
July 4 – 5
Shoalhaven Orchid Society Winter Show, Berry Showground Pavilion, Victoria St., Berry, NSW, Australia
July 5
Southern Ontario Orchid Society Summerfest, Toronto Botanical Gardens, 777 Lawrence Ave. E., North York, Ontario, Canada
July 7 – 8
Atherton Tableland Orchid Society Winter Show, Anglican Church Hall, Vernon St., Atherton, Queensland, Australia

Read the rest of this post »

Beauty Drives Orchids Towards Extinction

Posted June 27th, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News

A distressing study of Asian orchid species reports that many are threatened with extinction. Habitat destruction, deforestation, and illegal sales of wild plants are destroying these beauties. The Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia inspected Thai flower markets, and found hundreds of endangered species for sale. Even though it’s illegal to sell these plants taken from the wild, the laws are almost never enforced. The study’s authors have called for better monitoring of these species, and improved enforcement of conservation laws.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also has a sad update that almost all Asian Lady Slipper orchid species are highly endangered. It’s not all bad news, however. Conservation efforts to save some threatened animal species, such as the Iberian Lynx and Guadalupe Fur Seal, are succeeding, and this proves that these efforts do work. Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General, said “But this update is also a wake-up call, reminding us that our natural world is becoming increasingly vulnerable. The international community must urgently step up conservation efforts if we want to secure this fascinating diversity of life that sustains, inspires and amazes us every day.”

Summer Orchid Adventure

Posted June 21st, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Phalaenopsis Mambo, Moth Orchid hybrid, Orchids in the Park 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaZygopetalum Warringal Wonder, orchid hybrid with green white and purple flowers, Orchids in the Park 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium rigidum, mini orchid species, Orchids in the Park 2014, San Francisco, California

Welcome summer’s arrival with amazing orchids. These brilliant tropical blooms celebrate the summer solstice with warmth and beauty. Within your own home, orchids can transport you to the depths of a tropical jungle, or to the heights of a cloud forest. If you take a summer vacation, orchids may entice you into a far-flung botanical garden, or into a living, breathing rainforest. Here’s to a summer orchid adventure!

Brassolaeliocattleya Memoria Vida Lee 'Light Lime' AM/AOS, Cattleya hybrid, Orchids in the Park 2014, San Francisco, Californiapossibly Phragmipedium besseae, Lady Slipper orchid with red and yellow flowers, Orchids in the Park 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium laevifolium, mini orchid species with bright pink flowers, Orchids in the Park 2014, San Francisco, California

These photos are from last year’s Orchids in the Park, held in Golden Gate Park. This year’s event is coming up on July 25-26. It’s definitely on my summer orchid calendar.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Posted June 16th, 2015 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Conservation

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is the world’s largest plant conservation network, and it’s trying to save the planet’s plants. Based at Kew in London, the group’s membership includes over 800 botanic gardens from 118 countries. These gardens work together to share info, battle climate change, educate the public about the environment, and coordinate protection efforts. BGCI currently runs large conservation projects in China, North America, Russia, and the Mid East. Check out the Eastern Prairie White Fringed Orchid, one of the species they’re working to save in Illinois.  You can help by donating, becoming an individual member, and supporting your own local botanical garden.