Archive for February, 2011

From San Francisco to Broadway

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

San Francisco hosts the largest orchid show in North America this week. The 59th Annual Pacific Orchid Expo starts with a Gala Benefit Preview on Thursday, March 3. The show is open to the public Friday, March 4 – Sunday, March 6. Tickets are available online. With 150,000 orchids under one roof, you’re guaranteed to […]


Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Vallarta Botanical Gardens has orchids, chocolate, and vanilla to enjoy, but it also has a painful side. Pointy cactus spines and sharp yucca leaves abound. Bougainvillea flowers crown vines with large, nasty thorns. No matter how beautiful, they can puncture and pierce. The gardens are perfectly safe, as long as you stay on paths and […]


Sunday, February 20th, 2011

During our recent visit to Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Dave and I took lots of Epidendrum photos. Mexico has many native varieties. It was easy to see that they’re tough plants like my own, and reliable bloomers. Some of the most colorful ones were growing in full tropical sun. The Epidendrum species known as the Greenfly […]

Underground Orchid Reveals Plant Evolution

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Australian scientists recently celebrated the successful cultivation of the bizarre Eastern Underground Orchid. Now, they’re learning about plant genetics from its close cousin, the Western Underground Orchid. This weird plant is also a Rhizanthella species, and lives below ground, except when its flowers peek through the soil. Without green leaves for photosynthesis, it survives by […]

Orchid Valentine

Monday, February 14th, 2011

If valentine romance is turning into worry over your new orchid, take heart. With a few care basics, orchids are as easy as common houseplants. Check out these tips, and then you can turn your thoughts back to your valentine. All orchids need high humidity. Dry air can lead to wilting flowers, drying leaves, and […]

Chocolate Valentine

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Chocolate is a Valentine’s Day requirement for chocoholics like me, and is made from the seeds of a small tropical tree. It’s not an orchid, but it is a fascinating plant that’s long been cultivated in Central and South America. My favorite food comes from cocoa pods, the fruit of Theobroma cacao, also known as […]

Tropical Extravaganza at Kew Gardens

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Kew Gardens is hosting a Tropical Extravaganza, billed as “London’s most colourful festival.” From February 5 – March 6, Kew showcases a rainforest display with tropical plants, including thousands of orchids, in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. With the planet’s largest plant collection, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has long been the center of the botanical […]

Vanilla Valentine

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Want to buy your valentine an orchid? Try vanilla! Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting you buy a vanilla plant. As you can see from the healthy specimens at Vallarta Botanical Gardens, these heavy vines are best left to climb up tropical trees or hang in greenhouses. However, it is easy to buy a […]