Archive for the 'Fragrant Orchids' Category

The Delights of Orchids Indoors

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

As we continue to shelter at home, it really helps to be surrounded by our indoor orchids. A few of my plants have been putting on great spring shows. The Mexicoa species in the first row of photos above has already been blooming for two months. Now, it’s put out five new spikes of brilliant […]

A Big Season for Cymbidium Orchids

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

The California coast is already a beautiful place, and Cymbidium orchids make it even better. Since we moved to Pacifica several years ago, we’ve acquired more of them. Dave occasionally brings a nice one home from the grocery store. Usually they bloom in different seasons, but this year they all decided to flower over the […]

Rescuing a Delicious Australian Orchid

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on saving the Sunshine Diuris, a rare and delicious Australian orchid species. Diuris fragrantissima is also known as Snow in the Paddocks. Once common in grasslands around Melbourne, this species’ tubers were a favorite food source for Aboriginal peoples. It was so plentiful that European settlers picked its flowers by […]

Edmond Albius: The Boy Who Revolutionized the Vanilla Industry

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

The modern vanilla industry owes its existence to a young enslaved African, Edmond Albius. Vanilla vines had been imported from Mexican jungles to the tiny French colony of R√©union, in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. But without their Mexican bee pollinators, nobody could figure out how to produce vanilla beans. In 1841, Edmond Albius, then […]

Vanilla Boom Is Making People Crazy Rich

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Vanilla prices have been so high that some Madagascan farmers are getting rich. Madagascar is one of the poorest countries. It’s also the world’s leading vanilla grower, producing about 80% of all vanilla beans. With the influx of cash from this valuable orchid crop, farmers are buying nicer homes, better farming equipment, and solar panels. […]

Deceptive New Zealand Orchids Pretend That They’re Mushrooms

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

Radio New Zealand exposes a tale of botanical deceit.¬†Corybas, also known as Spider Orchids, are strange little plants which inhabit the New Zealand forest floor. Humans can’t smell their mushroom-scented blooms, but fungus gnats can. They’re tricked into pollinating the flowers. To study how that works, orchid researcher Carlos Lehnebach converted his bathtub into an […]

60 Year Old Orchid’s One Week To Shine

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

Head to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney this week to see a native Australian orchid in its full splendor. Dendrobium teretifolium is sometimes called the Rat’s Tail Orchid because of its long, skinny leaves. However, when it bursts into bloom, it earns another nickname, the Bridal Veil Orchid, with cascades of creamy white flowers. The […]

Chasing Ghost Orchids

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

National Geographic reports on important discoveries about Florida’s famous Ghost Orchids. Scientists and photographers have found that they aren’t just pollinated by one species of moth, but by several different species. That’s good for the strange and fascinating leafless orchids, which are very endangered. After spending thousands of hours taking photos at the Corkscrew Swamp […]

Orchids Living on the Coast

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Life is great on the Northern California coast, but it can be tough for plants. Strong winds and chilly fog can be big challenges for our garden. Fortunately, the vast and diverse orchid family provides lots of choices. Here are three tenacious orchids that are happily living just 1/3 mile (0.5 km) from the ocean. […]

A Bucket Orchid’s Trap

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

National Geographic Wild has captured extraordinary footage of Bucket Orchids and bees. Coryanthes, or Bucket Orchids, have evolved intricate traps, complete with scented lures and dripping faucets, to detain their pollinators. While trying to gather the flower’s fragrant oils, the bees slip into a bucket of liquid, and can only escape by squeezing past the […]