Archive for the 'Orchid Names' Category

What’s in a Name: Indigenous Orchids of the Andes Mountains

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Orchids’ scientific names have often been chosen by people of European descent, even when those species are native to tropical Africa, Asia, Australia, or the Americas. However, many scientists are now paying overdue homage to these orchids’ native lands. Increasingly, they’re picking names to honor indigenous peoples, who may have had knowledge of these species […]

Why Do Orchid Names Change?

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Maybe you have a grasp on the complex world of orchid names, from reading nametags to understanding awards, plus all that Latin. Well, if you think you’re done, I’m sorry. You still have to deal with orchid name changes. Why do names change? Sorting out family ties between 30,000 orchid species is no easy task, […]

Which Ones Are Butterfly Orchids?

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Which ones are Butterfly Orchids? Well, they all are. These very different plants have each been dubbed Butterfly Orchids, and that can be confusing. Common names vary, and that’s why scientific names are so important. With scientific names, everyone in the world can know they’re talking about the same plant. Common names are great for […]

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 […]

Latin Orchid Names

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Long Latin orchid names can be intimidating. They’re tough to pronounce with lots of syllables, like Paphiopedilum, Coelogyne, and Lepanthopsis astrophora. For orchid growers who don’t know any more of Ancient Rome’s mother tongue than “Veni, vidi, vici,” it can be a big barrier. Many orchids don’t have common names, so Latin is unavoidable. Orchid […]

King Phillip Came Out For Green Seeds

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

I didn’t learn much in my high school biology class, but many years later, I can still remember one thing: King Phillip Came Out For Green Seeds. That sentence, stuck in my head thanks to the power of mnemonics, is a useful memory trick for the levels of scientific classification of all living things: Kingdom, […]

Orchid Awards

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Orchid names may include initials which represent awards. Many organizations around the globe honor outstanding plants and growers. Initials following an orchid name are marks of excellence conferred by expert judges. Abbreviations show the award and the organization separated by a slash (/). These 3 cultivars have received prizes: Dendrobium victoria-reginae ‘Blues Brothers’ HCC/AOS (HCC/AOS […]

Genus Abbreviations

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Orchid name tags often use standard genus abbreviations. The genus name is the first word of a plant’s name, such as “Vanda” in the name Vanda coerulea, or “Phalaenopsis” in the name Phalaenopsis New Stripes. Here’s a list of abbreviations for some of the most common orchid varieties: C. or Catt. = Cattleya Cym. = […]

Cultivar Names

Friday, August 5th, 2011

An orchid name tag may include a cultivar name, which recognizes an interesting or exceptional plant line. The word “cultivar” is a contraction of “cultivated variety.” Properly written, it’s capitalized within single quotes. These 3 beauties provide our examples: Cymbidium Lotza Spotz ‘Jacob’ Epicattleya Chic ‘Zebra’ Rhynchostylis gigantea ‘Spots’ Cymbidium Lotza Spotz ‘Jacob’ is a […]

Hybrid Names

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Since most orchids sold are hybrids, let’s continue the Orchid Names category with more about them. When a hybrid is a cross between plants from the same genus, it uses that genus name. For example, 2 Phalaenopsis parents produced the hybrid Phalaenopsis Bonita: Phalaenopsis Bonita = Phalaenopsis stuartiana x Phalaenopsis buyssoniana If a hybrid is […]