Archive for September, 2011

Bees Don’t Really Need Orchids

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Orchids need bees more than bees need them. Scientists have long known that male orchid bees use orchid scents to court females. Many tropical species like Stanhopeas and Cycnoches rely on their perfumes to attract amorous male bees as pollinators. The males collect scent compounds using special brushes on their legs, and pollinate flowers in […]

More Orchids in the Park

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

To celebrate today’s solstice, I have more photos from last weekend’s Orchids in the Park, along with a few non-orchid shots from Golden Gate Park. Starting outdoors, end of summer delights included a fruit-laden pink passionflower and a working 1914 carousel at the Children’s Playground. The third photo shows part of the living roof at […]

Blues in the Park

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

It may sound like the name of a music festival in Golden Gate Park, but actually, it’s about orchids. They’re blue orchids to be exact, like the brilliant Dendrobium in the first photo. It’s an uncommon orchid color, and it’s only one of many standouts from Orchids in the Park 2011. Thanks to Dave’s photography […]

Fun Phal Fact

Friday, September 16th, 2011

If your Phals, or Moth Orchids, aren’t in bloom right now, here’s a useful, fun fact: 3 weeks of cooler temperatures in early autumn can trigger new flower spikes. Typically, Phals don’t want temps below 65°F (18°C.) To mimic a cool spell in their Southeast Asian homes, let them drop to 60°F (16°C) at night, […]

Golden Dendrobium Threads

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

A Burmese group is reviving their tradition of adorning ethnic clothing with orchid threads. In northern Myanmar (also known as Burma,) they weave Dendrobium fibers into fabrics. Locally called “waso,” the orchid is Dendrobium moschatum, a species with great flowers and a musky fragrance. It’s native to lower elevations all around the Himalayas. Fibers made […]

Orchids in the Park

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Orchids in the Park is “two days of orchids and fun.” It’s a sale and exhibition from the San Francisco Orchid Society, coming Sept. 17-18 to the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, 9th Ave. & Lincoln Way. This is a junior version of the enormous Pacific Orchid Expo held earlier in the year.  […]


Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

This hardy orchid is a Cyrtochilum, a reliable bloomer in the Oncidium family. It has spectacular yellow, white, and purple flowers. Dozens of blossoms emerge from long, vining flower spikes, which can extend up to 10 ft. (3 m.) These spikes grow for months, and like to wind around my tall Epidendrums. Blooms as wide […]