The National Orchid Garden of Singapore

Posted September 27th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Photos, Warm Growers

Entrance sign with vanda orchids, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic GardensAranda Hilda Galistan, Arachnis and Vanda orchid hybrid flower, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic GardensArundina graminifolia, Bamboo Orchid flower in front of fountain, orchid species, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic Gardens

Dendrobium Barack and Michelle Obama, orchid hybrid flower, antelope dendrobium, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic GardensRenanthera flowers, red orchid flowers, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic GardensEpidendrum orchid flowers, orange and yellow flowers, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic Gardens

Earlier this month, Dave traveled to Singapore for work, and had some time to play tourist, too. It was his first trip to Asia, his first time across the international dateline, and his first visit to the tiny, tropical island nation.  He returned with lots of photos, including many, many orchids. This first post shows pictures from the National Orchid Garden, which is part of Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Vanda orchid flowers, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic GardensDendrobium Bindi Irwin, green orchid hybrid flower, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic GardensDendrobium Zhou Xun, orchid hybrid flowers, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic Gardens

Dendrobium Lucian Pink, orchid hybrid flowers, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic GardensArch with yellow oncidium orchid flowers and palm trees in background, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic GardensAranda Khaw Phaik Suan, Arachnis and Vanda orchid hybrid flowers, Singapore National Orchid Garden located in Singapore Botanic Gardens

The National Orchid Garden boasts thousands of brilliant, tropical orchid varieties, like the warm-growing Vandas, Dendrobiums, Epidendrums, and Bamboo Orchids in these photos. Many are award-winning hybrids from Singapore’s large, commercial orchid industry. The National Orchid Garden is open from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm daily. Check back soon to see more pictures of Singapore’s greenery.

Orchids for the Autumn Equinox

Posted September 23rd, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi, Moth Orchid species flower, Phal, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaRhynchostele bictoniensis alba x aptera, orchid hybrid flower, AKA Odontoglossum, odont, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaEncyclia atropurpurea 'York' x self, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Habenaria rhodocheila 'Cardinal's Roost', orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia Memoria Augusto Silva, orchid hybrid flower, red flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium nobile type, orchid hybrid flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

The earth has seasons because it’s tilted. If the planet’s axis weren’t tipped over by 23.5°, we wouldn’t have long daylight hours over summer, or long hours of darkness over winter. If we were perfectly upright, we might have slight seasonal weather changes, but the climate probably wouldn’t vary much. Every day might be like today, with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of night. So that tilt matters a lot. It gives us our seasonal cycles, which drive so much natural beauty and variety. Celebrate today’s equinox, and our tilt, with these great orchid examples.

Acropera galeata, orchid species flowers, AKA Gongora, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaLycaste aromatica x (candida x campbellii), orchid hybrid flowers, yellow flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda Edwin Alberto, orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Laeliocattleya Natalie Clark, orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaAscocenda Jiraprapa x Butterfly, orchid hybrid flower, vanda flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaBarkeria spectabilis, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Vanilla Boom Is Making People Crazy Rich

Posted September 19th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Fragrant Orchids, In the News, Warm Growers

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. They’re also funding schools and community organizations, and diversifying local economies to prepare for a day when vanilla prices go down. The money has brought problems, too, like increased crime. Thieves steal beans from the vines, and a lack of banks in the area leads to people hiding cash in mattresses. But the benefits are outweighing the problems, as vanilla farmers are able to leave poverty and hunger behind, and have hope for the future.

More Native Colorado Orchids

Posted September 14th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, Orchids in the Wild, Photos

Goodyera oblongifolia, orchid species leaves with variegation, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, ColoradoGoodyera oblongifolia, orchid species leaves with variegation, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, ColoradoGoodyera oblongifolia, blooming orchid species, leaves with variegation, small white flowers on top of orchid spike, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, Colorado

Goodyera oblongifolia, blooming orchid species, leaves with variegation and veining pattern, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, ColoradoGoodyera oblongifolia, orchid species, leaves with variegation and veining pattern, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, ColoradoGoodyera oblongifolia, orchid species, leaves with variegation, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, Colorado

It’s always a pleasure to see orchids growing happily in the wild. During a recent family hike in Colorado’s San Juan National Forest, we spotted a couple of native orchid varieties. The first three rows of photos show the charming Goodyera oblongifolia, or Western Rattlesnake Plaintain. It’s named for its reticulated leaves which resemble snakeskin. Among these small patches of plants, the patterns were most noticeable on the newest leaves. A prominent white stripe remained in the middle of the older leaves. These orchids were finishing up their blooms, with a few small, white flowers at the tops of their spikes. Lots of seedpods were forming below.

Goodyera oblongifolia, orchid species, small white flowers, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, ColoradoGoodyera oblongifolia, orchid species seedpods, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, ColoradoGoodyera oblongifolia, blooming orchid species, leaves with variegation and veining pattern, Western Rattlesnake Plaintain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, Colorado

Probably a Corallorhiza orchid, Coralroot, red seedpod on red stem, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, ColoradoProbably a Corallorhiza orchid, Coralroot, red seedpods on red stem, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, ColoradoProbably a Corallorhiza orchid, Coralroot, red seedpod on red stem, native orchid species growing wild in San Juan National Forest, Montezuma County, Colorado

The final row of photos shows seedpods from what was probably a Coralroot, or Corallorhiza orchid. Coralroots are strange plants which have no leaves, but instead feed off fungi in the ground. They only appear above ground when they flower and fruit. My guess is that these plants are one of two species that are native to the area, either the Striped Coral Root, Corallorhiza striata, or the Spotted Coral Root, Corallorhiza maculata. Since the flowers were gone by late summer, it’s tough to distinguish them from only their red seedpods. To see more native Colorado species, check out my earlier post with photos of the Fairy Slipper Orchid and Bog Orchid.

Deceptive New Zealand Orchids Pretend That They’re Mushrooms

Posted September 8th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, Fragrant Orchids, In the News, Mini Orchids, Videos

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 experimental greenhouse. He’s discovered that a single species of orchid is, in reality, five separate species. He’s also found that each one has a slightly different scent, and attracts a different type of fungus gnat. Check out the short video below to see the flowers and insect.

September Orchid Events

Posted September 1st, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

September is busy with orchid events around the globe, especially in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Don’t miss these great opportunities to enjoy incredible flowers, take photos, talk to fellow orchid lovers, and buy plants.

September 1
Hastings River Orchid Society Show, Wauchope RSL Club, Young St., Wauchope, NSW, Australia
September 3
RHS Orchid Committee Show, Univ. of Cambridge Herbarium, Sainsbury Laboratory, Bateman St., Cambridge, UK
September 4
Santa Clara Valley Orchid Society Fall Auction, American Legion Hall, 1504 Minnesota Ave., San Jose, California
September 5 – 22
The Life and Work of Nellie Roberts – RHS Orchid Artist, San Mei Gallery, 39a Loughborough Rd., London, UK
September 6 – 7
Hibiscus Coast Orchid Society Display, Orewa Community Hall, 368 Hibiscus Coast Hwy., Orewa, Auckland, New Zealand
September 6 – 7
South Gippsland Orchid Society Spring Show, Town Hall, Baillieu St., Wonthaggi, Victoria, Australia
September 6 – 7
Batemans Bay Orchid & Foliage Society Show, Soldiers Club, 2 Beach St., Batemans Bay, NSW, Australia
September 6 – 7
Nambour Orchid Society Spring Show, Uniting Church Hall, Coronation Ave., Nambour, Queensland, Australia
September 6 – 8
Plantae Orchid Club Spring Show, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
September 6 – 8
North Shore Orchid Society Show, St. Ives Shopping Village, Mona Vale Rd., St. Ives, NSW, Australia

Read the rest of this post »

How to Prepare Orchids for a Hurricane

Posted August 30th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: In the News, Problems

With Hurricane Dorian barrelling towards landfall, Motes Orchids in Florida offers helpful info about how to prepare orchids for a big storm. Their tips include:

  • Keep orchids dry, then saturate them several hours before the storm. The water adds weight to the pots, which may keep them from blowing away. It also prepares plants in case water supplies are disrupted in the following days.
  • Bring plants indoors or down to lower locations. Don’t keep them directly on the ground where flood waters may damage them.
  • Tarps and shade cloths are usually useless against hurricane-strength winds. Remove or retract them, and replace after the storm.
  • It’s possible that trees and other protective shading will be gone, so make plans to protect orchids from the strong post-hurricane sun.

More Photos from Orchids in the Park

Posted August 28th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Eulophia euglossa, orchid species flower, African orchid species, green white and purple flower, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhragmipedium schlimii, orchid species flower, Phrag, Lady Slipper, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis stuartiana yellow form, orchid species flower, Phal, Moth Orchid, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Oncidium orchid flowers, yellow and purplish-brown flowers, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaRhynchostylis coelestis 'Blue Sparkle', orchid species flowers, bluish-purple and white flowers, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaLaeliocattleya Black Forest 'Dark Splendor', Cattleya orchid hybrid flower, dark red and purple flower, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
I’ve sorted through more photos from last month’s Orchids in the Park event in San Francisco, and it’s easy to see why I always rave about it. With thousands of flowers, it’s a veritable feast for the eyes, nose, and mind. The vast orchid family provides a constant new supply of wonders, even for those of us who’ve been immersed in them for a long time. Check out my first set of photos in this previous post.

Phragmipedium kovachii hybrid, Lady Slipper orchid flower and bud, Phrag, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaGrammatophyllum scriptum var. leopardianum, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda Lavender Lace 'Amethyst', orchid hybrid flowers, purple flowers, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Phalaenopsis, orchid hybrid flower, Phal, Moth Orchid, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis, orchid hybrid flowers, peloric flowers, Phal, Moth Orchid, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaParaphalaenopsis labukensis, orchid species flower, close up of flower lip, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Stay Cool with the International Odontoglossum Alliance

Posted August 23rd, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, Cool Growers, Photos

Odontoglossum nevadense, AKA Oncidium nevadense, Odont, orchid species flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaOdontoglossum Flocalo x Halifax, Odont, orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaOdontoglossum wyattianum, AKA Oncidium wyattianum, Odont, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2012, San Francisco, California

The International Odontoglossum Alliance (IOA) is a great resource for everyone who loves this family of cool growing orchids. Odontoglossums, called Odonts for short, are native to high elevations in the Andes. There are many popular varieties like the species and hybrid in the photos above. Foggy climates, like the San Francisco Bay Area, suit them well. The IOA aims to educate orchid growers and support conservation measures to protect these beautiful blooms. Find helpful info about growing Odonts and the IOA’s newsletters in English and Spanish on their website. Membership is free and open to all who are interested in these cool orchids.

Native Colorado Orchids in Bloom

Posted August 17th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, Mini Orchids, Orchids in the Wild, Photos

Calypso bulbosa var. americana, Fairy Slipper flower, North American native orchid species, miniature orchid, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners regionCalypso bulbosa var. americana, Fairy Slipper flower, North American native orchid species, miniature orchid, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners regionCalypso bulbosa var. americana, Fairy Slipper flower, close up of flower lip, North American native orchid species, miniature orchid, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners region

Orchids are not just denizens of the tropics; they live almost everywhere in the world. Even the high elevations of Colorado’s Four Corners region host many native species. Two of them are shown here: the Fairy Slipper, or Calypso bulbosa, and the Bog Orchid, or Platanthera. My mother-in-law took these photos in early July while she was hiking in the Colorado Plateau.

Calypso bulbosa var. americana, Fairy Slipper flower, North American native orchid species, miniature orchid, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners regionBog Orchid, Platanthera orchid, North American native orchid species, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners regionBog Orchid, close-up of Platanthera orchid flower, North American native orchid species, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners region

Fairy Slippers are native to Canada, the northern USA, northern Europe, and northern Asia. They’re some of the most colorful little orchids in their cool forests, with bright pink, yellow, and white blossoms.

I’m not sure which type of Bog Orchid shows in the final five pictures because they mostly have buds, and not many flowers are open. There are several species of Platanthera local to the area, and they can be tough to distinguish. They lack the charming colors of the Fairy Slippers, but have tall clusters of small, fascinating blooms. For a detailed look at native Colorado varieties, check out the North American Native Orchid Journal.

Photos courtesy of Brenda Hogue.

Bog Orchid, Platanthera orchid, North American native orchid species, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners regionBog Orchid, Platanthera orchid, North American native orchid species, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners regionBog Orchid, Platanthera orchid, North American native orchid species, growing wild in Montezuma County, southwestern Colorado, Four Corners region