Archive for the 'Cool Growers' Category

Canada Has Lots of Lady Slippers

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

The Ram’s Head Lady Slipper is very rare. Typically, this small orchid species grows in isolated patches with only a few dozen plants. Cypripedium arietinum is native to alvar forests in the northeastern USA, the Great Lakes region, and from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan. Recently, an Ontario quarry, wanting to expand, hired field ecologist Dan […]

An Outstanding Masdevallia Orchid

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Masdevallias love our foggy weather, and we love our Masdevallias right back. This brilliant pink Masdevallia was a gift from a friend many years ago, and I’ve grown it outdoors ever since. Over the past month, it’s put out a bumper crop of 32 flowers and buds, most of them still going strong when Dave […]

An Imperiled, Hidden Orchid Waits Out the Cold

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

The New York Times reports on one of New York City’s hidden jewels, a native orchid species called the Downy Rattlesnake Plantain. This remarkable jewel orchid keeps its leaves over winter. Despite many threats, a few still survive in the city’s green patches.

Hyacinth Orchids, Big and Small

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

For years, I’ve had great success growing a Giant Hyacinth Orchid outdoors. With long, graceful leaves, it’s an elegant plant even when not in flower. But certainly, it’s at its best when it bursts into bloom. Tall stalks emerge, each boasting dozens of small, purple flowers. Every winter, this orchid reliably puts on a great […]

An Orchid Obsession in New Zealand

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

New Zealand’s native orchids are not big and showy like their tropical cousins, but they sure can inspire an orchid obsession. The article includes half a dozen photos of native species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

Four Gentlemen on a Flowerpot

Monday, December 5th, 2016

The Chinese artistic theme of the Four Gentlemen refers to four plants, including an orchid. Recently, while Dave and I were enjoying dinner at a local restaurant, I spotted a nearby flowerpot illustrating the Four Gentlemen. I can’t read Chinese, so I don’t know what the writing says, but I recognized each plant. The first […]

Saving Minnesota’s Rare Orchids Before It’s Too Late

Monday, November 14th, 2016

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is working to conserve rare native orchids. The Arboretum is building a seed bank for all of the state’s 48 native species, including the official state flower, the Showy Lady’s Slipper. The effort is part of a larger conservation project, headed by the Smithsonian Institution, to preserve seeds from all of […]

A Big Purple Sobralia Orchid

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Sobralia flowers never fail to impress. Recently I mentioned this plant in a post about Growing Orchids Outdoors in Pacifica. This Sobralia species bloomed for years outside in our San Francisco garden. It didn’t do so well after our move to the coast, so I finally brought it indoors. After a quick growth spurt, it flowered […]

Growing Orchids Outdoors in Pacifica

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

We moved from San Francisco to Pacifica over two years ago, and ever since, I’ve been learning how to grow orchids next to the ocean. Since I keep my cool growers outdoors, they’re subjected to all the elements which Mother Nature can throw at them. These outdoor orchids prove their toughness day after day, and […]

Native British Orchids

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Check out the blog of nature writer and photographer Jon Dunn, featuring lots of great photos and stories of native British orchids in the wild. Some of his recent posts include “Epipactis Heaven and Helleborine”, “Orchids of the Highlands and Islands”, “To Bee or Not Too Bee”, and “Lady, Man, Monkey and Chimaera Orchids”, and […]