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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The Illegal Orchid Trade And Its Implications for Conservation

Posted June 27th, 2018 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News

Illegal trade in wild orchids threatens many species with extinction. The first global study of the topic has been conducted by the IUCN Orchid Specialist Group’s Global Trade Programme. Orchids are being over-harvested from the wild for ornamental, medicinal, and food uses. Many are disappearing. In addition, endangered plants don’t receive as much attention as endangered animals, so they get less conservation assistance. The study names priorities to address these problems, such as conducting more research, encouraging the legal orchid trade, taking steps to reduce illegal trade, and advocating for more resources.

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

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