Archive for the 'Books' Category

Latin Orchid Names

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Long Latin orchid names can be intimidating. They’re tough to pronounce with lots of syllables, like Paphiopedilum, Coelogyne, and Lepanthopsis astrophora. For orchid growers who don’t know any more of Ancient Rome’s mother tongue than “Veni, vidi, vici,” it can be a big barrier. Many orchids don’t have common names, so Latin is unavoidable. Orchid […]

The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World’s Most Beautiful Orchid

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Can the prestige and profit of an orchid discovery make people, even reputable institutions, flout the law? You bet they can. And when it’s the dazzling PK lady slipper, the most important orchid discovery in a century, you can bet it involves lying, cheating, search warrants, subpoenas, and criminal fines. Author Craig Pittman recounts the […]

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 […]

Creepy Carnivorous Plants

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

As Halloween quickly approaches, it’s the perfect time for a few creepy carnivorous plants. They’re helpful orchid allies, providing superb natural pest control, and they make great green alternatives to toxic pesticides. Bug-eaters come in many forms. Most famous are Venus Fly Traps, but there are also hundreds of varieties of pitcher plants, and many […]

Tiny Orchid Treasures

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Miniature orchids have all the beauty of their larger cousins, but only take a fraction of the space. These tiny treasures enable orchid lovers to assemble a tropical collection in a single room, on a windowsill, or under lights. Mini forms exist in the Phal, Catt, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Masdevallia, and Oncidium families, to name a […]

How to Grow Fresh Air

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

I’ve always known that orchids are good for me, and now I have proof in How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office by Dr. B.C. Wolverton. Common orchid varieties like Phals and Dendrobiums are among the top houseplants to filter airborne toxins. Wolverton details the best plants to […]

Growing Orchids Under Lights

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Some orchid growers rely entirely on artificial light, while others, like me, use it to supplement lower sunlight levels in autumn and winter. No matter which category you’re in, you’ll find essential lighting info in Growing Orchids Under Lights. This American Orchid Society book focuses on practical light solutions for your home, office, or greenhouse. […]

Ghost Orchid in an Ice Rink

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

A blooming Ghost Orchid is a very rare sight, so imagine my surprise when I spotted this beautiful specimen in an ice rink. Made famous with the bestselling book The Orchid Thief and the movie Adaptation, Ghost Orchids are rare in the wild, tough to grow, and uncommon in cultivation. It’s the holy grail for […]

Choosing a Gift Orchid

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

With a bewildering variety of orchid choices for Mother’s Day, it helps to know some basics. Commonly sold orchids have varying charms and care needs, and you wanna pick what mama’s gonna like. For example, if mom likes bright colors, you might try Phals, or Moth Orchids. They can delight with weeks or even months […]