Archive for December, 2011

January Orchid Shows

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Ring in the new year with orchids! Orchid shows around the globe offer bright bursts of colors and scents to celebrate all month. Your souvenirs may include tropical plants or a camera full of photos. January 3 Orchid Society of Coral Gables Judging Symposium, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, Florida January […]

Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation

Monday, December 26th, 2011

The Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation works to save plant and animal biodiversity. Ceiba was founded in 1997 to preserve and restore ecosystems in Central and South America. With offices in Madison, Wisconsin, and Quito, Ecuador, the non-profit group supports community-based projects, sponsors scientific research, and provides public education.  Ceiba works with local communities to […]

Warm Thoughts

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

I prefer to look at the proverbial glass as half full: it may be the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but starting tomorrow, the days grow longer. Even in the mild climate of the California coast, the season’s chill has arrived. Orchids excel at inspiring warm thoughts, and these tropical beauties are […]

Orchid Gift Guide

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

As the world’s largest and most diverse plant family, orchids provide a great way to personalize your gift choice. There’s an orchid that’s right for just about everyone. If you’re buying a gift for an over-waterer, try a Cymbidium, Masdevallia, Miltonia, Paph, or Vanda. These types need daily watering. For an under-waterer, try a Cattleya, […]

Orchid Awards

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Orchid names may include initials which represent awards. Many organizations around the globe honor outstanding plants and growers. Initials following an orchid name are marks of excellence conferred by expert judges. Abbreviations show the award and the organization separated by a slash (/). These 3 cultivars have received prizes: Dendrobium victoria-reginae ‘Blues Brothers’ HCC/AOS (HCC/AOS […]

Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Giving an orchid gift can be tough at a time of year when that gift might freeze its blooms off. Instead, consider this gorgeous orchid book that’s getting lots of buzz — Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids. Veteran National Geographic photographer and biologist Christian Ziegler explores orchid adaptions, diversity, and how orchids deceive […]

Precious Vanilla Pods

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

A vanilla farmer in Malaysia recounts the challenges of cultivating the world’s second most expensive spice. The Vanilla orchid grows as a vine whose flowers open for just a single day. After pollination by hand, the vanilla beans take months to mature, and then months more to dry and cure. That hasn’t deterred farmer K.K. […]


Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Dendrobiums are one of the largest and most diverse orchid families. They include more than 1200 species and thousands more hybrids, with a vast range of colors, shapes, sizes, and growing conditions. The first 2 pictures below show the most common variety, the somewhat confusingly named Phalaenopsis-type Dendrobiums. No, they’re not Phals — they’re Dendrobiums […]