Archive for the 'Misc' Category

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 —

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 […]

Orchids from Another Planet

Friday, October 28th, 2016

If we ever found flowers on another planet, could they possibly be stranger than these earthly orchids? Some of these blooms look like visitors from Mars or Neptune. Despite their alien facades, they’re simply members of the enormous orchid family, which has diversity beyond measure. Their long Latin names, like Masdevallia caudivolvula and Sigmatostalix posadarum, […]

Orchids for Hillary

Monday, October 24th, 2016

AboutOrchids only dabbles in politics related to orchid conservation, and this post is no exception. If you’re an orchid lover, the only choice for president this November is Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee would be a disastrous decision for many reasons, but the one that’s most important on this blog is saving our endangered planet. […]

Fall Color in Colorado

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Orchids may be our favorites, but natural beauty comes in many forms. That certainly includes the stunning fall colors of the Colorado Rockies. Dave and I recently visited Southwest Colorado, and enjoyed awe-inspiring mountains gilded in their autumn foliage. The bright yellow leaves belong to aspens. In the thin mountain air around 10,000 feet (3048 […]


Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Orchid-gami is a modern twist on orchids and origami. Kids of all ages can create a beautiful Lady Slipper bloom from a few pieces of paper. Simply download the PDF file, print the pages, cut out the patterns, and follow the instructions to fold together. The North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC) is working with […]

Intoxicating Orchids

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Some Epipactis orchids get their pollinators a little drunk. They’re European relatives of the native North American Epipactis I’ve grown, and their nectar contains narcotics. Visiting wasps become sluggish, and spend extra time on the flowers, improving the odds for pollination.

Disposable Orchids

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Disposable orchids are part of modern life. Once the blooms finish, the plant goes into the trash or the compost bin. If you want more flowers, then buy a new plant. That’s the idea behind most orchids sold today, like these modern hybrids in today’s photos. Each new and improved variety is a glorious work […]