Archive for the 'Fragrant Orchids' Category

Indoor Orchids Chase Away Winter Blues

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Orchids can help take the chill out of a gray winter, cold rains, and short days. Fortunately, I have a lot blooming indoors right now. First, there’s a fragrant Cattleya hybrid in the row of photos above. It’s been reliable for years, pumping out white blossoms with rich purple coloring. The ruffled petals and lips […]

A Sweet Little Caucaea Orchid

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

This Caucaea was a great find at a San Francisco Orchid Society sale last year. It’s a cool-growing miniature with a strong, sweet fragrance. Caucaeas are in the Oncidium family, and they’re named after the Cauca region of the northern Andes. Caucaea is pronounced “kaw-KAY-uh.” This species is Caucaea phalaenopsis, named for its resemblance to […]

Extraordinary Catasetum Orchids

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

In Defense of Plants explains why Catasetum orchids really stand out. They have fascinating flowers, but unlike most orchids, these beauties have different male and female blooms. This puzzled botanists long ago, who thought that they were separate species. It was the famous scientist Charles Darwin who finally resolved the confusion. Darwin studied how the […]

A Lovely Little Leptotes

Monday, June 7th, 2021

My indoor orchid shelves don’t have much room to spare, so if I buy a warm grower, it’s got to be a miniature. At the 2020 Pacific Orchid Expo, I spotted this little charmer for sale. Leptotes pohlitinocoi has a name that I can’t pronounce, but this small Cattleya relative is definitely worth the shelf […]

Spring Equinox Orchids

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

Lots of orchids have been blooming in our late winter garden, eager for today’s change of season. My favorite purple Zygo reliably boasts stunning flowers, shown in the first row of photos above. Their beauty is surpassed by their sweet fragrance, which is one of my favorites. The second row features a wonderful Coelogyne, which […]

‘Like Finding Life on Mars’: Why the Underground Orchid is Australia’s Strangest, Most Mysterious Flower

Friday, February 19th, 2021

If we find life on Mars, will it be as strange as Australia’s Underground Orchids? These bizarre plants, also known as Rhizanthellas, live their whole lives below ground. They even bloom underground, and smell like vanilla. Known to science since 1928, there are now five identified species around the continent. All five are endangered, and […]

The Streaked Rock Orchid: A Tough Mini from Down Under

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

The Streaked Rock Orchid is a wonderful Australian native. Its strange flowers resemble elaborate birds in flight. Its little, pencil-like leaves turn purplish-red in the sun, making it look like a pointy, colorful hedgehog. In the wild, Dendrobium striolatum lives attached to rocky cliffs in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. Our […]

A Beautiful Laelia Orchid Species

Sunday, November 29th, 2020

I love this gorgeous Mexican species, Laelia gouldiana, but our garden pests annoyingly love it, too. The first row of photos above shows happy, uneaten flowers from recent years. In contrast, the three rows of photos below show damaged flowers, the worst from this year, and some milder damage in 2016 and 2018. Whatever chomped […]

Summer Orchid Blooms

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Summer brings plenty of blooms, including these four orchids which live outside in our back garden. In the first row of photos, there’s a mini Sarcochilus hybrid with deep red flowers. Hybrids like these have been popular in Australia for years, and lately I’ve been seeing more of them available in the USA. It’s less […]

Thunia Orchids Grow Fast and Tall

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Thunia flowers may resemble Cattleyas, but they are very different orchids. Thunias grow tall canes that look like cornstalks, and their 5 inch (12.7 cm) blooms hang in clusters from the tops. They may be the fastest growing orchids. New canes can reach up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall in only a few months. […]