Yes, There Are Orchids in Iceland

Posted August 13th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, Fragrant Orchids, Orchids in the Wild, Photos

Dactylorhiza maculata, orchid species flowers, Heath Spotted Orchid, Moorland Spotted Orchid, white and purple flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southrn Iceland, July 2018Dactylorhiza maculata, orchid species flowers, Heath Spotted Orchid, Moorland Spotted Orchid, white and purple flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018Dactylorhiza maculata, close-up of orchid species flowers, Heath Spotted Orchid, Moorland Spotted Orchid, white and purple flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018

In a chilly, windy July rain, near a trail with a long name, in between glaciers with longer names, orchids bloom in southern Iceland. Orchids near the Arctic Circle? In fact, orchids live just about everywhere on earth, including Iceland, which is home to seven native species. Two of them are shown here. The Heath Spotted Orchid has purple and white flowers, and the Vanilla Scented Bog Orchid has yellow flowers. My amazing mother-in-law Brenda took these great photos during a recent hiking tour in Iceland.

Dactylorhiza maculata, orchid species flowers, Heath Spotted Orchid, Moorland Spotted Orchid, white and purple flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018Dactylorhiza maculata, orchid species flowers, Heath Spotted Orchid, Moorland Spotted Orchid, white and purple flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018Habitat of Dactylorhiza maculata, orchid species flowers, Heath Spotted Orchid, Moorland Spotted Orchid, white and purple flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018

Two rows of photos above show the Heath Spotted Orchid, a terrestrial found in damp areas in Iceland, throughout Europe, and even into Siberia. The first row of photos shows one plant, and the second row shows another. Look closely to see how the purple spots and patches differ between the two, which happens a lot in this variable species.

The third row of photos below shows a Vanilla Scented Bog Orchid.  This species is native to eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, northern Europe, and northern Russia. It’s reputed to have a sweet scent, and it also grows in cool, damp areas.

Pseudorchis albida subspecies straminea, orchid species flowers, Vanilla Scented Bog Orchid, greenish white flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018Pseudorchis albida subspecies straminea, orchid species flowers, Vanilla Scented Bog Orchid, greenish white flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018Pseudorchis albida subspecies straminea, close-up of orchid species flowers, Vanilla Scented Bog Orchid, greenish white flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018

Habitat for Pseudorchis albida subspecies straminea, orchid species flowers, Vanilla Scented Bog Orchid, greenish white flowers, terrestrial orchid, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail, Fimmvorduhals Trail, southern Iceland, July 2018Coeloglossum viride, Frog Orchid, orchid species illustration and distribution map in Iceland, orchid name shown in Icelandic Latin English and GermanPlatanthera hyperborea, Northern Green Orchid, orchid species illustration and distribution map in Iceland, orchid name shown in Icelandic Latin English and German

The final row of photos shows another orchid habitat view, and then two guide illustrations of other Icelandic species, the Frog Orchid and the Northern Green Orchid. All of these remarkable plants are the tough polar cousins of the tropical ones we know better. Whatever they lack in size or glamour, their ability to survive in a cold, harsh climate marks Icelandic orchids as true stars of the flower world. Photos courtesy of Brenda Hogue.

Rare Australian Orchids Thrive Despite Harsh, Dry Winter

Posted August 8th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: In the News, Orchids in the Wild

Western Australia’s south coast is suffering through an exceptionally dry winter, but some rare native orchids are thriving anyway. Local orchid lovers are finding Queen of Sheba Orchids and other fascinating Australian natives despite the drought. With underground tubers to store water, these little terrestrials can handle some adversity. Orchid enthusiast Robert Tozer noted “Only about a week or so ago I found these little Dark Banded Greenhoods growing on ground I would compare to a concrete floor. It was rock hard and yet this little orchid has come up and is still flowering. They are pretty solid and pretty resilient.”

August Orchid Shows

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

From Auckland to Zululand, there are orchid shows, festivals, fairs, auctions, extravaganzas, and spectaculars. Go to any one of them and enjoy gorgeous flowers.

August 1
Santa Clara Valley Orchid Society Fall Auction, American Legion Hall, 1504 Minnesota Ave., San Jose, California
August 3
Stawell Orchid Society Winter Show, Entertainment Centre, Main St., Stawell, Victoria, Australia
August 3 – 4
South West Orchid Society – Taunton Flower Show, Vivary Park, Taunton, Somerset, UK
August 3 – 5
National Orchid Extravaganza, The Centre, 1 Pellitt Ln., Dural, NSW, Australia
August 3 – 5
Manly Warringah Orchid Society Show, Dee Why RSL Club, Pittwater Rd., Dee Why, NSW, Australia
August 3 – 5
Festival de Orquídeas e Plantas Ornamentais de São Roque, Recanto da Cascata, Av. Antonio Maria Picena, 34, São Roque, São Paulo, Brazil
August 3 – 5
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Penápolis, Ginásio de Esportes Dr. Nagib Sabino, Penápolis, São Paulo, Brazil
August 3 – 5
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Lagoa Santa, Colégio M2, Rua Vereador Ildeu Viana Matos, 273, Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
August 3 – 5
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Varginha, Corredor Cultural, Praça Matheus Tavares, Centro, Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil
August 4
CSA New Zealand Show, Western Springs Garden Community Hall, 956-990 Great North Rd., Pt. Chevalier, Auckland, New Zealand

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More Photos from Orchids in the Park

Posted July 29th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Calanthe masuca, AKA Calanthe sylvatica, orchid species flowers, purple flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaHabenaria medusa, orchid species flower, weird flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaBulbophyllum thaiorum bicolor form, AKA Cirrhopetalum thaiorum, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Vanda coerulescens, orchid species flower, blue white and purple flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium tobaense var. giganteum x sib, green white and reddish-orange flower, weird flower, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaGrammatophyllum scriptum v. leopardianum 'Blacklight', orchid species flower, Leopard Orchid, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s recent summer orchid show featured plenty of incredible sights. These photos highlight some amazing flowers on the strange fringes of the orchid family. They also demonstrate that no other flowering plant family can hold a candle to the astounding diversity of orchids. If we didn’t know better, would anybody guess that these organisms are related at all? It’s a boggling concept, yet they were all under one roof at Orchids in the Park. Find the first set of photos from the show here, and stay tuned for more as I continue to sort through our pictures.

Masdevallia exquisita, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaLaelia purpurata, AKA Cattleya purpurata, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPolystachya valentina, orchid species flower, weird flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Laeliocattleya Natalie Clark, cattleya orchid hybrid flower, catt, yellow flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia orchid flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaOdontoglossum uro-skinneri, AKA Rhynchostele uroskinneri, odont orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Orchids in the Park Shines Again

Posted July 24th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Cattleya purpurata var carnea 'Josie's Choice', aka Laelia purpurata, orchid species flower, close up of flower lip, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium hybrid flowers, Dendrobium nobile-type orchid, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaChysis limminghei, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Dendrobium sanderae, orchid species flower, white and green flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaGrammatophyllum scriptum cultivar, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaAerides odorata, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Last weekend’s Orchids in the Park was another success. San Francisco’s summer orchid show featured great display tables, vendors, talks by experts, and more. This first set of photos just hints at the show’s riches. I’ve been growing and studying orchids for over two decades, and I can still reliably find fascinating colors, shapes, and fragrances at this show that are new to me. Check back soon to see more of our finds.

Epigeneium treacherianum, aka Dendrobium lyonii, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis cornu-cervi, orchid species flower under leaf, Moth Orchid, Phal, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaLycaste aromatica x (candida x campbellii), orchid hybrid flowers, yellow flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester, orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia Joy Edstrom 'Avalon' HCC/AOS, orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaRhynchostele bictoniensis alba x aptera, orchid hybrid flowers, with purple Laelia flowers in background, Orchids in the Park 2018, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Native Orchids in the Wild and Online

Posted July 21st, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, Events, Orchids in the Wild

Lovers of North American native orchids won’t want to miss the Native Orchid Conference. This year’s event is happening July 26-30 at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland. The annual conference features lectures and field trips to see native orchids in the wild.

Online, you can find Everything You Need to Know About North American Native Orchids at Gardenista. The article includes great photos and conservation info, too.

You’re Invited to Orchids in the Park This Weekend

Posted July 16th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Dendrobium laevifolium, orchid species flowers, miniature orchid, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPorroglossum muscosum 'Dark Angel', orchid species flower, miniature orchid, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis hybrid flower, Phal, Moth Orchid, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Stanhopea wardii, orchid species flower, close up of column and strange flower lip, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCattleya tenebrosa, aka Laelia tenebrosa, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaSobralia flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Don’t miss Orchids in the Park this weekend!  The SF Orchid Society’s summer show and sale is happening Saturday & Sunday, July 21 – 22, at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. These photos are a small sample of the incredible sights from last year’s event (see more from last year here and here.) Whether you’re interested in the latest hybrids or the strangest species, this is the place to find them. In addition to the show, there will be lots of vendors, care demos, raffles, and more. Buy tickets online or at the door. Don’t miss it!

Epidendrum parkinsonianum, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaAscocenda Princess Mikasa 'Midnight', Vanda hybrid, purple orchid flowers, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMaxillaria Harold Ripley, orchid hybrid flower, closer up of frilly flower lip, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Cochlioda rosea, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaEncyclia prismatocarpa, AKA Panarica prismatocarpa, AKA Prosthechea prismatocarpa, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaRenanthera flower, red orchid flower, Orchids in the Park 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Kilauea Eruption Downsizes Big Island Orchid Growers

Posted July 13th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: In the News, Videos

For many people, life has changed on Hawaii’s Big Island since Kilauea’s latest eruption began in May. Among the property damage, the Honolulu Star Advertiser highlights an orchid business which lost greenhouses and plants. Other growers in the area have also been affected. Besides the threat of flowing lava, volcanic gases can be dangerous for both people and plants. Watch the video below for more.

Beautiful But Thorny at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Posted July 8th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Books, General Gardening, Photos

Cactus with yellow flowers, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CaliforniaAloe microstigma, spiny succulent species with yellow and orange leaves, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CaliforniaCactus with bright pink flower, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, California

Agave victoriae-reginae, Queen Victoria Agave, variegated leaves with white stripes, succulent species, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CaliforniaCactus with pink and yellow flower, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CaliforniaTree form Yucca, succulent plant, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, California

Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California is packed with incredible cacti and succulents. As my mother-in-law said, “This garden just screams OUCH!” Spines, thorns, and barbs abound, along with stunning flowers, brilliant leaf colors, and striking plant forms. The 2.5 acre (1 hectare) public garden features thousands of drought tolerant plants, from tiny succulents to tall trees.

Dudleya, succulent plant with greyish white leaves growing in brown rocks, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CaliforniaVariegated agave, succulent plant with spines on leaves, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CaliforniaCactus with bright yellow flowers, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, California

Walnut Creek is about 30 miles (48 km) inland from San Francisco, but many climate zones away from the cool, foggy coast. Hot, dry summers are the norm, with little or no fog. The area can be +35°F (+19°C) warmer than the coast, with days over 100°F (38°C) in summer and autumn. It’s not suitable for most orchids, but many orchids are also succulents. We spotted a blooming Epidendrum in a shaded area, shown in the final photo below.

Aloe striatula and Aeonium, bright yellow Aloe flowers, succulent plants, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CaliforniaSucculent in bloom, orange flowers, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CaliforniaEpidendrum orchid, red and yellow flowers, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, California

Ruth Bancroft was a walnut farmer’s wife who became fascinated with succulents. She started acquiring plants, skillfully designed her garden, and became an expert in low-water, or xerophytic, gardening. Ruth Bancroft died in 2017 at the age of 109, a quarter century after her creation had opened to the public. The incredible collection she built is thriving, and continues to inspire plant lovers who don’t mind screaming OUCH! See more with The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

July Orchid Shows

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

Orchid events are happening from San Francisco to Sweden to South Australia this month. Don’t miss these great opportunities to enjoy incredible flowers, take photos, talk to experts, and buy orchids.

July 4 – 6
Newcastle Orchid Society Show, Stockland Jesmond, Blue Gum Rd., Jesmond, NSW, Australia
July 5 – 6
Maitland & Coalfields District Orchid Society Show, Cessnock Market Place, Cessnock, NSW, Australia
July 5 – 7
Manly Warringah Orchid Society Winter Show, Glenrose Village Shopping Centre, 56/58 Glen St., Belrose, NSW, Australia
July 5 – 7
Hawkesbury District Orchid Society Show, Windsor Riverview Shopping Centre, 227 George St., Windsor, NSW, Australia
July 5 – 8
Bankstown Orchid Society Show, Chester Square Shopping Centre, 1 Leicester St., Chester Hill, NSW, Australia
July 6 – 7
Alfred County Orchid Society Winter Show, Methodist Church, Margate, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
July 6 – 8
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Pindamonhangaba, Parque da Cidade, Av. Geraldo José Rodrigues Alckmin, Pindamonhangaba, São Paulo, Brazil
July 6 – 8
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Assis, ACIA, Av. Antônio Zuardi, 970, Villa Cambuí, Assis, São Paulo, Brazil
July 7
North of England Orchid Society Monthly Meeting & Show, Barton Village Hall, Barton, Lancashire, UK
July 7 – 8
Burnham Nurseries Summer Orchid Festival, Forches Cross, Newton Abbot, Devon, UK

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