July Orchid Shows

Posted June 30th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

The show schedule may slow for the Northern Hemisphere this month, but Australia and Brazil have busy calendars. Whether it’s Rio, Brisbane, or Baton Rouge, don’t miss these great chances to enjoy amazing orchids.

July 1
Writhlington School Orchid Festival, Writhlington School, Knobsbury Ln., Radstock, Somerset, UK
July 1 – 2
Illawarra & District Orchid Society Winter Show, Senior Citizens Hall, Benaud Crescent, Warilla, NSW, Australia
July 4 – 7
Newcastle Orchid Society Show, Stockland Jesmond, Blue Gum Rd., Jesmond, NSW, Australia
July 7 – 8
Eurobodalla Orchid Club Winter Show, CWA Hall, Queen St., Moruya, NSW, Australia
July 7 – 9
Caboolture Orchid Society Show, Morayfield Community Centre, Morayfield Rd., Morayfield, Queensland, Australia
July 7 – 9
Exposição Orquídeas no Museu, Museu da República, Rua do Catete, 153, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
July 7 – 9
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Araraquara, Shopping Lupo, Rua Gonçalves Dias, 543, Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil
July 7 – 9
D.O.G.-Sommertreff mit Länderwettbewerb Ungarn-Österreich-Deutschland, Gärtnerei Cramer, Zum Steiner 11, Bischofswiesen, Germany
July 8
North of England Orchid Society Monthly Meeting & Show, Barton Village Hall, Barton, Lancashire, UK
July 8 – 9
Baton Rouge Orchid Society Show & Sale, LSU Burden Museum and Gardens, 4560 Essen Ln., Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Cymbidium Society of America

Posted June 26th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers

The Cymbidium Society of America (CSA) began in 1946 to further the growth of Cymbidiums and other cool growing orchids. The group has branches throughout California, and one each in Hawaii and New Zealand. It also has members around the world who enjoy helpful online orchid tips and the quarterly CSA Journal. Activities include shows, auctions, and an annual Cymbidium Congress, with expert speakers and a banquet. And despite the name, they’re not only about Cymbidiums. Many other orchid varieties which enjoy the same care, such as cool growing Paphs, are included as well. Visit the CSA website for more info, or to become a member.

Solstice Colors

Posted June 20th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Photos

Maxillaria tenuifolia, Coconut Orchid, orchid species flower, grown indoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaAda aurantiaca, aka Brassia aurantiaca, orchid species flowers, grown outdoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea var. xanthina 'M Wayne Miller' AM/AOS, orchid species flower, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

To celebrate today’s solstice, enjoy this rainbow of orchids. Depending on which hemisphere you’re in, it’s the summer solstice or the winter solstice, the longest day or the shortest day. The seasons, and the cycles of life, march on everywhere.

Papiopedilum venustum var. album, Lady Slipper, orchid species flower, grown indoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda coerulea v. compacta, orchid species flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2015, San Francisco, CaliforniaSobralia macrantha, orchid species flower, grown outdoors in San Francisco, California

Florida’s Million Orchid Project Is Growing

Posted June 17th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News, Warm Growers

The Million Orchid Project continues to return rare native plants to Florida’s cities. While earlier efforts have focused on Miami-Dade County, volunteers recently attached 250 endangered species to trees, or planted them in the ground, in Boynton Beach, making them the first in Palm Beach County. This ambitious experiment is based on a wildly successful project underway for many years in Singapore. South Florida’s attempt is being led by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and hopes to create thriving populations of rare, native orchid species. Learn more from earlier posts about The Million Orchid Project, and An Orchid Revival in South Florida.

Canada Has Lots of Lady Slippers

Posted June 10th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, Cool Growers, In the News

The Ram’s Head Lady Slipper is very rare. Typically, this small orchid species grows in isolated patches with only a few dozen plants. Cypripedium arietinum is native to alvar forests in the northeastern USA, the Great Lakes region, and from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan. Recently, an Ontario quarry, wanting to expand, hired field ecologist Dan Brunton for an environmental study of the area. To everybody’s astonishment, he discovered a field with hundreds of thousands of Ram’s Head Lady Slippers. And he now estimates that there could be a half million plants in the area! Fortunately, the quarry owners have agreed to set aside 64 acres (26 hectares) of land to protect these and other rare species. That should help Canada continue to have lots of Lady Slippers.

Chain Orchids

Posted June 5th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Dormancy, Fragrant Orchids, Growing, Photos

Dendrochilum orchid, Chain Orchid, small flowers in spiral arrangement, Pacific Orchid Expo 2007, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrochilum yuccaefolium, close up of small orchid species flowers, Chain Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2013, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrochilum glumaceum, orchid species flowers, Chain Orchid, Kawamoto Orchid Nursery, Honolulu, Hawaii

Ever heard of Chain Orchids? Also called Dendrochilums, they’re an unusual orchid family, lesser known than their close relatives, the Coelogynes. With multitudes of small, densely clustered flowers, they’ve earned the nickname Chain Orchids. Each “chain” consists of mini star-shaped blooms. Some people may sneer at tiny flowers, but massed by the dozens, or hundreds, or thousands, they are always impressive. Many varieties are fragrant, too.

Dendrochilum wenzelii, orchid species flowers, Chain Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2010, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrochilum propinquum, orchid species flowers and leaves, with long chains of tiny flowers, Chain Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrochilum uncatum, orchid species flowers, Chain Orchid, Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich, Switzerland

Dendrochilum orchid species from Philippines, Chain Orchid, small flowers in spiral arrangement, Orchids in the Park 2012, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrochilum rhombophorum, orchid species flowers, Chain Orchid, close up of small flowers, Oakland Orchid Show 2010, CaliforniaDendrochilum orchid, close up of small flowers, Chain Orchid, Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

The genus Dendrochilum shouldn’t be confused with Dendrobium; they share their first two syllables, but not their last two. Dendrochilums are mostly intermediate and warm growers, but there are varieties which can handle cooler temps. All need regular water, fertilizer, high humidity, bright light, including morning sun, and winter dormancy.

Dendrochilum tenellum, orchid species with tiny flowers and grass-like leaves, Pacific Orchid Expo 2011, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrochilum latifolium var. latifolium, orchid species with tiny flowers, Chain Orchid, Princess of Wales Conservatory, RBG Kew, London, UKDendrochilum cootesii, orchid species flowers, Chain Orchid, San Francisco Orchid Society meeting, January 2010, Golden Gate Park, California

Chain Orchids are native to tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. Many species occur in the Philippines, Sumatra, and Borneo. Their small flowers invite you to slow down, and take a closer look. Even if, like me, you need reading glasses, or the zoom on your camera, to really see them in detail, Chain Orchids are worth the time. For more info, check out www.Dendrochilum.com.

June Orchid Shows

Posted June 1st, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

Cape Town, Calgary, Adelaide, Orlando, São Paulo — every month orchid lovers assemble in every corner of the earth. Shows, sales, auctions, and potluck dinners celebrate hypnotic orchid flowers. Don’t miss these spectacular events!

June 1 – 3
North Shore Orchid Society Show, St. Ives Shopping Village, Mona Vale Rd., St. Ives, NSW, Australia
June 2 – 4
Hilo Orchid Society Show & Sale, Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium, 350 Kalanikoa St., Hilo, Hawaii
June 2 – 4
Long Island Orchid Festival, Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, 1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay, New York
June 2 – 4
Conejo Orchid Show & Sale, Thousand Oaks Road Public Library, 1401 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks, California
June 2 – 4
New Orleans Orchid Society Show & Sale, Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, Louisiana
June 2 – 4
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Catalão, Clube Recreativo e Atlético Catalano, Catalão, Goiás, Brazil
June 2 – 4
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de São Joaquim da Barra, Clube da Baixada, Rua Voluntário Geraldo, 390, Baixada, São Paulo, Brazil
June 3
Bourse aux Orchidées, Gymnase d’Andeville, 1, rue Jean Jaurès, Beauvais, France
June 3 – 4
Calgary Orchid Show, Triwood Community Center, 2244 Chicoutimi Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
June 3 – 4
Southport & Districts Orchid Society Show, Albert Waterways Community Centre, 91 Sunshine Blvd., Broadbeach, Mermaid Waters, Queensland, Australia

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New Orchids Discovered in the Philippines

Posted May 29th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: In the News

The Philippines is full of fascinating orchids, and eight recently discovered species add even more to the country’s total. The article includes good pictures of the new flowers, which are all found on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. There are three new Dendrobiums, two Bulbophyllums, a Dendrochilum, a Glomera, and a stunning Thrixspermum.

An Outstanding Masdevallia Orchid

Posted May 23rd, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Cool Growers, Photos

Masdevallias love our foggy weather, and we love our Masdevallias right back. This brilliant pink Masdevallia was a gift from a friend many years ago, and I’ve grown it outdoors ever since. Over the past month, it’s put out a bumper crop of 32 flowers and buds, most of them still going strong when Dave took these photos last week.

Masdevallia coccinea, bright pink orchid species flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea, bright pink orchid species flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea, bright pink orchid species flowers standing on tall stems, leaves, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

I’ve blogged about this orchid before, and its sunny yellow cousin, too. Many Masdevallias are miniatures, but not this species.  These remarkable blooms sway in the breeze on top of 2 ft. (61 cm) stems. After a few weeks in the sun and wind, some of the older blossoms have faded a bit. But the new flowers still boast their vivid pink, and a few more maturing buds attest that this plant is going strong.

Masdevallia coccinea, bright pink orchid species flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea, bright pink orchid species flower, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea, orchid species flower bud, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

This orchid variety can bloom repeatedly throughout the year, each time keeping its flowers for a month or more. For growers who can provide consistently cool, humid conditions, Masdevallia coccinea puts on a reliably impressive show.

Masdevallia coccinea, close up of bright pink orchid species flower, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea, bright pink orchid species flowers standing on tall stems, leaves, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaMasdevallia coccinea, bright pink orchid species flowers, grown outdoors in Pacifica, California

Madagascar’s Plants Are Running Out of Time

Posted May 18th, 2017 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News

Scientists at RBG Kew in London are warning that Madagascar’s native plants are in grave danger of extinction. The fourth largest island in the world is a biodiversity hot spot, home to over 11,000 plant species, most of which are found nowhere else. That includes almost 1000 orchid species like AngraecumsJumelleas, and Oeoniellas. Habitat destruction, climate change, and invasive plants have been taking their toll, and many varieties have already been lost. Stuart Cable, head of Kew’s Madagascar research, warned that “Dozens of species are known from old collections but have not been seen since. Extinction is happening all the time here. It is very scary.”

Fortunately, there are glimmers of good news. Madagascar’s government has increased protected areas. Seed banks are storing some seeds to stave off extinction of those plants. And a Kew project has local schoolchildren involved in raising seedlings and returning plants to the wild, such as the very endangered Angraecum longicalcar. That may save this orchid species from oblivion, but there are no easy solutions for Madagascar’s extinction crisis.