Archive for the 'Misc' Category

Great Website for Orchid Species

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Everyone interested in orchid species should know about the Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia. I’ve mentioned this website in passing before, but it truly deserves its own post. Remarkably, this site lists 22,000 out of 28,000 orchid species! That’s almost 80% of all known orchids, with more continually added. There’s no other resource I know […]

Orchids: Masters of Deception

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Enjoy this adorable animation explaining how deceptive orchids can be. Some orchids trick pollinators, steal from fungi, or take advantage of trees to grow above the forest floor. And they’ve convinced lots of humans to do their bidding, too. The video below comes courtesy of the University of Western Australia and Curtin University.

Beginners Guide to British Orchids

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

What’s the difference between a Fen Orchid and a Bog Orchid? Best to consult A Beginner’s Vegetative Guide to the Orchids of the British Isles. This great, free resource from London’s Natural History Museum is expertly written, with beautiful illustrations and clear-cut explanations for botanical concepts. The guide focuses on identifying species by their leaves, […]

Researchers Identify Oldest Orchid Fossil

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Scientists have identified evidence of the oldest orchid fossil on record. Preserved in amber between 45 and 55 million years ago, a tiny gnat is carrying a tinier bundle of orchid pollen. “We probably shouldn’t say this about a plant, but orchids are very smart” laughed George Poinar, Jr., entomologist at Oregon State University, and […]

The Orchid Mantis Is Not a Flower

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Orchid mantises mimic flowers so well that their lunch flies right to them! Check out two great videos showing these stealthy little predators — Learn more about orchid mantises in this earlier blog post.

How to Photograph an Orchid

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Enjoy this beautiful National Geographic article with expert photography advice. Photojournalist Christian Ziegler, whose work includes Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids, shares tips for taking great pictures. Don’t miss the photo gallery with his stunning orchid shots.

Orchids: Masters of Disguise

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Orchids are the opening act in this Smithsonian podcast about trickery. Many different orchids have become masters of disguise to attract pollinators. These include Hammer Orchids and Bulbophyllums, which mess with some insect minds to improve their pollination odds. Just as importantly, orchids have enlisted human help. Listen to learn more — https://rss.art19.com/episodes/380430f6-c088-4200-a323-5ef3a9b58f87.mp3

Give Orchids for the Holidays

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

It’s easier than ever to give orchids for the holidays with Orchids magazine. The award-winning monthly is better than ever, and it’s just one of many benefits of an American Orchid Society (AOS) membership. The magazine’s stunning, high-quality flower photos are reason enough to subscribe. Each issue also includes expert info and articles from every […]

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 […]

Orchid Snack Food

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

As the BBC reports, chikanda is a traditional food in parts of Zambia and Tanzania, made from the tubers of local orchids. These tubers look like little potatoes. They are cooked with peanuts and chilies into savory cakes resembling meatloaf, and called chikanda. Swedish botanist Sarina Veldman has been studying the DNA of tubers for […]