How to Photograph an Orchid

Posted March 23rd, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Books, In the News, Misc, QuickPost

Enjoy this beautiful National Geographic article with expert photography advice. Photojournalist Christian Ziegler, whose work includes Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids, shares tips for taking great pictures. Don’t miss the photo gallery with his stunning orchid shots.

Orchids to Celebrate the Equinox

Posted March 20th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Zygopetalum Advance Australia 'HOF' AM/AOS, Zygo orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis hybrid flowers, Moth Orchids, Phal orchids, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCattleya hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Masdevallia flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium Clarisse Austin 'Highland Red', orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaOncidium Irish Mist, orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

As today’s equinox brings spring to Northern California, we’re happy to be done with our long drought. Lots of strong storms over the winter have filled reservoirs and piled up the Sierra snowpack, but they have also caused some damage. We’ve had some minor problems in our garden, but most of the bruises on my outdoor orchids have been the result of hailstorms. Fortunately for this post, all these photos are from San Francisco’s recent orchid show, not from our garden. With more heavy rains forecast for us later this week, our outdoors plants won’t be ready to show off their blooms for a little while.

Dendrobium polysema, orchid species with fuzzy fringed flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCattleya flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium moniliforme, miniature orchid species flower, Sekkoku, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Phragmipedium besseae, Lady Slipper orchid species, aka Phrag, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium Olive Street x Cym. Sarah Jean 'Pearl Fall', orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMiltonia hybrid flower, orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

More from the Pacific Orchid and Garden Expo

Posted March 17th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Cymbidium hybrid orchid flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaLysudamuloa Red Jewel 'Sweet Baby', orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum Gloria Naugle, Lady Slipper orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Refrigerated orchid case with cool growing orchids, the center flower is Masdevallia Billion-Nims 'Red Tide', orchid species flower, surrounded by other masdevallias and orchids in baskets, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium Mingles Sapphire x goldschmidtianum, orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia posadae, orchid species flower close up, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

The Pacific Orchid and Garden Expo reliably highlights the best of the orchid world. Blooms abound, from the latest hybrids to obscure species. Dave and I are so busy with our cameras, but we are often stopped in our tracks by the stunning displays. Individual flowers and artful arrangements compete for attention from every direction. It’s an orchid overload!

Baptistonia echinata, aka Gomesa echinata, orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia tridens, orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium amethystoglossum, orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Maxillaria rolfei, orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPotinara Dick Smith 'Paradise', Cattleya orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium violaceum, orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

New Orchid Species Discovered in Vietnam

Posted March 13th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: In the News, Mini Orchids, QuickPost

New orchid species are discovered all the time. One of the latest, a tiny Podochilus species from Vietnam, adds to the tens of thousands already known to science.

McBryde Garden

Posted March 7th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Conservation, General Gardening, Photos

There’s much more to Kauai’s wondrous McBryde Garden than its orchids. Here are some more photos from our recent visit, starting with Dave’s incredible picture of two rare Hawaiian Moorhens looking for lunch in a stream. We were told that they are normally very shy birds, but these two didn’t seem to mind us snapping their photos.

Hawaiian gallinule, Gallinula galeata sandvicensis, rare Hawaiian native birds, 'alae 'ula, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenWhite hibiscus flower, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenCoral Tree, Erythrina x sykesii, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical Garden

Tropical trees near Lawa'i Stream, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenBrachychiton bidwillii, little kurrajong, flowering tree from Australia, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenCup of Gold flower, Solandra maxima, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical Garden

Among Hawaii’s main islands, Kauai is the last refuge for many threatened birds and plants. McBryde plays an essential role in preserving endangered species. It’s a sanctuary for many of the islands’ endemics, like the yellow flowers with a honeybee in the next photo below. That’s a plant called Nehe in Hawaiian, one of many natives at risk. These and other imperiled tropical species make the garden a true conservation refuge, and a remarkable place to visit. Don’t miss McBryde Garden if you’re lucky enough to be on Kauai.

Lipochaeta connata subsp. acris, rare native Hawaiian species, Nehe, yellow flowers with bee, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenTropical trees, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenHibiscus flower, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical Garden

Purple and white flower, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenBromeliads, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenTropical trees near Lawa'i Stream, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical Garden

An Imperiled, Hidden Orchid Waits Out the Cold

Posted March 4th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, In the News, QuickPost

The New York Times reports on one of New York City’s hidden jewels, a native orchid species called the Downy Rattlesnake Plantain. This remarkable jewel orchid keeps its leaves over winter. Despite many threats, a few still survive in the city’s green patches.

March Orchid Shows

Posted March 1st, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

March is a busy month for orchid shows around the planet. They are all great opportunities to see stunning flowers, take pictures, talk to orchid experts, and buy plants. Don’t miss these worthwhile events.

March 3 – 5
Martin County Orchid Society Show, Martin County Fairgrounds, 2616 SE Dixie Hwy., Stuart, Florida
March 3 – 5
Festival de Orquídeas, Café y Arte, Recinto del Pensamiento, Manizales, Colombia
March 3 – 5
Orchid Society of the Ozarks Show & Sale, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, 4703 N. Crossover Rd., Fayetteville, Arkansas
March 3 – 5
Triad Orchid Society Show, AB Seed Educational Building, 8432 Norcross Rd., Colfax, North Carolina
March 3 – 5
Queensland International Orchid Fair, Beenleigh Showgrounds, James St., Beenleigh, Queensland, Australia
March 4
Northeastern Wisconsin Orchid Society Spring Show & Sale, Riverwalk Hotel Downtown Neenah, 123 E. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah, Wisconsin
March 4
Cheltenham & District Orchid Society Show, Churchdown Community Centre, Parton Rd., Churchdown, Gloucester, UK
March 4
Wessex Orchid Society Spring Show, Porchester Community School, White Hart Ln., Portchester, Fareham, UK
March 4 – 5
Santa Cruz Orchid Society Show & Sale, Soquel High School, 401 Old San Jose Rd., Soquel, California
March 4 – 5
Golden Gate Cymbidium Society Show & Sale, Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave., Oakland, California

Read the rest of this post »

Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017

Posted February 27th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Epidendrum pseudepidendrum, orchid species with green and orange flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda Pachara Delight, orchid hybrid with purple flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMediocalcar decoratum, miniature orchid species with orange and yellow flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Ascocenda Kulwadee Fragrance 'Black Spot', Vanda hybrid with dark spots on flowers, , Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaVriesea bromeliad, large tank bromeliad with white coloration, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaOdontioda Ruby Palace, Oncidium orchid hybrid, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

The Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition was a great success this past weekend. After many years at Fort Mason, the event returned to its old home in Golden Gate Park’s Hall of Flowers. Even as visitors managed tougher parking and big crowds, it was still obvious that the flowers were just as magical as previous expos. Enjoy this small sample of our photos from the big event, and check back soon for more pictures.

Lycaste orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Californiavery large Laelia anceps plant in bloom, orchid species flowers and leaves, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaRenanthera citrina, orchid species flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Masdevallia orchid flowers, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaSmall succulents, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum orchid, Lady Slipper flower, Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition 2017, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Orchids at McBryde Garden

Posted February 22nd, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Conservation, Photos, Warm Growers

McBryde Garden on the island of Kauai is one of Hawaii’s extraordinary places. Set in a verdant valley, it’s part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, with a mission of conservation and research, especially for Hawaii’s endangered native flora. Dave and I were lucky enough to visit recently and enjoy its amazing sights.

Bulbophyllum flower, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenWhite Spathoglottis flower with dew, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenVanda hybrid flower, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical Garden

The garden covers about 200 acres (81 hectares) on Kauai’s south shore, and is adjacent to the smaller Allerton Garden. Besides native Hawaiian plants, McBryde also has large collections of palms, fruit trees, and other tropicals. Visitors can find orchids near the tram stop at the top of the Biodiversity Trail. There are also many mounted on trees throughout the grounds. The orchids in these photos are not Hawaiian natives, but many other plants in McBryde Garden are.

Darwin's Orchid, Comet Orchid, Angraecum sesquipedale, orchid species with white flowers, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenAntelope Dendrobium flowers, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenDendrobium flower, DenPhal orchid hybrid, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical Garden

Phalaenopsis Kelly Kilcup, Moth Orchid hybrid, flower buds leaves and roots attached to tree, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenDendrobium Super Star x moniliforme, DenPhal orchid hybrid, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenVanda orchid flowers, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical Garden

National Tropical Botanical Garden is a non-profit group that has three gardens on Kauai, one on Maui, and one in Florida. Its mission is to study and save the world’s tropical plants. You can support their work by making a donation, joining as a member, becoming a volunteer, or visiting their gardens. Check back soon for posts highlighting more of McBryde’s botanical treasures.

Vanda hybrid, orchid flowers and leaves, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenVanilla planifolia, orchid species vine and leaves, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical GardenAntelope Dendrobium orchid flower, McBryde Garden, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, National Tropical Botanical Garden

The World’s Favorite Flavor at Risk

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

Wild vanilla is disappearing. On top of that bad news, farmers in Madagascar have had poor harvests.