Archive for November, 2013

Orchid Seeds – Nature’s Tiny Treasures

Friday, November 29th, 2013

In the UK, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) is saving orchid seeds. As protection against extinction, the MSB stores seeds from thousands of plant species. Since orchid seeds are so tiny, they can be difficult to conserve. Orchids have the smallest seeds of any flowering plants. Some are only as big as specks of dust, […]


Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

You may not like spiders, but you’ll like Spider Orchids. Brassias’ long, delicate petals resemble arachnid legs, and their muted color patterns help complete the effect. (Note that these Spider Orchids are different than the Australian Caladenia orchids with the same common name.) Many Brassias are fragrant, and sport large, graceful blooms. The flowers of […]

Dormant Orchids

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Orchid care changes with the seasons, and many orchids begin dormancy as winter approaches. During this rest period, they need less water and fertilizer. Winter dormancy mimics a dry season in the orchids’ native habitats. Orchids like the Cattleya, Dendrobium, and Oncidium in the pictures below won’t bloom without a dry period. Cut back on watering […]

Australians Battle to Save Rare Orchid

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

The endangered Caladenia Spider Orchid is on the edge of extinction. With only two plants known, it’s Australia’s rarest orchid. Fortunately, botanists and volunteers are fighting to rescue it. For security, scientists have kept the plants’ exact location near Melbourne a secret. They’re not even saying which of the hundreds of species of Caladenias this […]

Bringing Back Miami’s Native Orchids

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Palm Beach Daily News reports that a local botanical garden is bringing native orchids back to Miami. Thanks to efforts by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, young plants will be attached to trees in Miami’s roadways, public spaces, and schoolyards. Both the Florida Butterfly Orchid, Encyclia tampensis, and the Cowhorn Orchid, Cyrtopodium punctatum, once covered oak […]

Boat Orchids

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Cymbidiums, or Boat Orchids, are some of the most popular orchids in the world. Their beauty and hardiness have helped turn them into favorite houseplants, cut flowers, and corsages. This current popularity is merely the latest chapter in their long history, since Cymbidiums have been cultivated in East Asia for thousands of years. There are […]

Living in the California Academy of Sciences

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

There’s much more to the California Academy of Sciences than a rainforest. As one of one the nation’s preeminent natural history museums, it also features an extensive aquarium, a planetarium, a living roof, and even a small penguin colony.  This post highlights some of the creatures living in the museum. Starting in the aquarium, the […]