Archive for May, 2011

June Orchid Shows

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Shows wind down in the Northern Hemisphere as summer approaches, but orchid lovers down under have lots of choices. In Canada, the Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival is not a show, but a chance to enjoy Ontario’s native orchids blooming in the wild. It includes presentations and tours with orchid experts (reservations required.) June 1 – […]

Spring Orchid Checklist

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

By the end of May, San Francisco’s rainy season has usually given way to the dry season, but this year’s weather seems anything but typical. Fortunately we’ve had nothing like the violent storms in other parts of the country. Instead, a cool, wet spring is keeping the garden well hydrated. The light rains and mild […]

Ten New Orchid Species Found in Costa Rica

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Costa Rica has added even more orchids to its remarkable biodiversity. Near the border with Panama, in a previously unexplored region of La Amistad International Park, scientists from Lankester Botanical Garden have discovered 10 new species. Finding new orchids isn’t unusual, but it’s astounding that researchers found so many in a small area during a […]

Invasion of the Orchid Snatchers

Friday, May 20th, 2011

The story’s been told many times before, e.g. The Orchid Thief, but tragically, it never dies. The BBC has an update on the “Invasion of the orchid snatchers,” collectors who illegally take orchids from the wild. The article includes info about several orchids, including Phrag kovachii, the giant purple lady slipper discovered in Peru in […]


Monday, May 16th, 2011

Over the years, I’ve looked at lots of pictures of Stanhopeas to try to figure them out. It’s easy to see that the blossoms are large, showy, and unusual. It’s harder to make sense of their incredible shapes. They could be fantastic birds, weird bugs, or strange humanoids. So if these photos leave you somewhat […]

Miller Nature Preserve

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Check out these two short videos to explore the brand new Miller Nature Preserve near Cleveland, Ohio. With 83 acres (34 hectares) of woodlands and a 5000 square feet (465 square meters) conservatory, it’s already a destination. Besides an extensive orchid collection, the conservatory has tropical plants, bonsai trees, carnivorous plants, fountains, and waterfalls. Enjoy […]

Mother’s Day Orchids

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

If you’re admiring a beautiful orchid gift, and you’re worried about killing it, take a deep breath and relax. Common orchid varieties don’t deserve their finicky reputations, and don’t require a green thumb. With a few care basics, they can keep their exotic tropical flowers for weeks or months. Most orchids sold today are sturdy […]

Hybrid Vigor

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Ever since orchids exploded in popularity in Europe in the 1850’s, orchid lovers have crossbred them. By blending genes of different species, and then choosing the best and sturdiest offspring, breeders have developed combinations with hybrid vigor. Complementary traits from both parents produce tougher plants. Hybrids are easy to grow and flower, and hardy enough […]

May Orchid Shows

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Orchid show across 6 continents are ready to dazzle and amaze. Many are perfectly timed for Mother’s Day. Later in the month, the Chelsea Flower Show in London will strut its stuff as the most famous garden show in the world. Expect plenty of orchids among its many extraordinary exhibits. May 1 Fenland Orchid Society […]