Archive for the 'Fragrant Orchids' Category

Blooming in Our Garden

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Despite wind, fog, bugs, raccoons, and other gardening obstacles, our backyard in Pacifica is full of blooms for the start of summer. There’s lots of lush growth from our drought-busting winter. Even orchids that like a dry winter dormancy didn’t seem to mind the heavy rains, like the purple Zygo and white Dendrobium in the […]

Chain Orchids

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Ever heard of Chain Orchids? Also called Dendrochilums, they’re an unusual orchid family, lesser known than their close relatives, the Coelogynes. With multitudes of small, densely clustered flowers, they’ve earned the nickname Chain Orchids. Each “chain” consists of mini star-shaped blooms. Some people may sneer at tiny flowers, but massed by the dozens, or hundreds, […]

Stinky Orchid Shuts Down Smithsonian Greenhouse

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Its flowers resemble maggot-infested meat, and its scent has been compared to “a thousand dead elephants rotting in the sun.” Meet the orchid species Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis, which attracts carrion flies as pollinators.

The World’s Favorite Flavor at Risk

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Wild vanilla is disappearing. On top of that bad news, farmers in Madagascar have had poor harvests.

Cattleya Charms

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

As winter’s chill arrives, this brilliant tropical Cattleya is inspiring lots of warm thoughts in our home. It’s been boasting vivid purple and white blooms for over a month. In addition to their stunning colors, they emit a sweet, spicy fragrance. It’s no wonder that Cattleyas have been favorite corsage orchids for decades. Along with […]

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 […]

A Beautiful Coelia Orchid

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Coelia bella is a great orchid species, both easy to grow and easy to pronounce. Its charming purple, white, and yellow flowers give off a light marzipan or almond oil fragrance. To say Coelia, ignore the “o” and say Celia like the woman’s name, SEE-Lee-Ah. The second part of its Latin name, bella, translates as […]

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 […]

Ghost Orchid Scientists Aim to Restore Rare Florida Flowers

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Scientists are working to restore wild populations of Florida’s native orchids, including the famous Ghost Orchid. Seedlings grown in labs are being transplanted in the Everglades. So far, results have been promising, with many young plants surviving the move. For most of the year, these bizarre, leafless orchids are simply masses of roots attached to […]

Purple Zygo Orchids

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

When you think of Zygo orchids, think purple. Zygos are known for brilliant purple hues, rich scents, and long-lasting flowers. Alongside all that purple, their showy blooms include green, white, and maroon. These photos show just of few of the growing number of Zygo varieties, with many new hybrids on the market. The species are native […]