Archive for January, 2013

Understanding Phalaenopsis Is Key To Appreciating It

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

At the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia, noted orchid expert Arthur Chadwick pens an informative column about Phals. Phals, a.k.a. Moth Orchids, are the most popular houseplant sold in the USA today, and they’re almost all hybrids. Chadwick details milestones in the past century of Phal hybridization. By combining and recombining Phal varieties, breeders have continued […]

More Winter Orchid Exhibits

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

One surefire way to cure winter’s cold is to stroll through a tropical rainforest. Warm up at a winter orchid exhibit in the list below or this earlier post. January 26 – April 21 At the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, the venerable Smithsonian features “Orchids of Latin America.” The exhibit looks […]

Alba Jewel Orchid

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

“Alba” is Latin for white or pale. With lighter leaves than its close Jewel Orchid relative, this beautiful variant from Vietnam is known as Ludisia discolor alba, or the Alba Jewel Orchid. Instead of dark green leaves with bright pink stripes, it has light green leaves with white stripes. Ludisias are easy to grow. These […]

In Thoreau’s Flower Journal, Clues for Climatologists

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Henry David Thoreau has inspired generations with his writings at Walden Pond. Now, scientists are using his journals to find clues about climate change. Starting in 1852, the author and naturalist recorded the dates for the first spring blooms of different flower species in Massachusetts. Scientists are looking at his 6 years of of data […]

Winter Dormancy

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Many orchid beginners are afraid of winter dormancy. Withholding water seems like a risky proposition, a surefire way to kill a plant. But don’t worry — dormancy actually mimics normal seasonal changes for orchids in the wild. Humidity and light levels stay high, but rains become infrequent. Many orchids take advantage of these dry spells […]

Winter Orchid Exhibits

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Tired of snow? Eager to see colors besides gray and brown? Orchids abound in winter exhibits at these botanical gardens around the USA. All offer a chance for an easy tropical getaway. January 9 – February 24 Denver Botanic Gardens displays over a thousand blooms in its Orchid Showcase. This year’s exhibit will take place […]

Hyacinth Orchid

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Here on the California coast, the winter chill helps to create a perfect home for this unusual Arpophyllum. Tall spikes with small purple flowers give this species its nickname, the Hyacinth Orchid. It blooms reliably on our back deck in late autumn, and usually stays in flower for a couple months over winter. This season’s blooms […]