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

60 Year Old Orchid’s One Week To Shine

Posted August 10th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Fragrant Orchids, In the News, Intermediate Growers

Head to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney this week to see a native Australian orchid in its full splendor. Dendrobium teretifolium is sometimes called the Rat’s Tail Orchid because of its long, skinny leaves. However, when it bursts into bloom, it earns another nickname, the Bridal Veil Orchid, with cascades of creamy white flowers. The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney harbors an exceptional old specimen hanging off a fig tree near its Palm House. The garden is open daily from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm during August.

Orchids in the Park 2019

Posted August 6th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Possibly an Epidendrum orchid, weird flowers, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaAnguloa clowesii, orchid species flowers, Tulip Orchids, Cradle Orchids, yellow flowers, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDisplay tables at Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Stelis cypripedioides, tiny strange flower with small pouch ringed by white fringe, miniature orchid species, pleurothallid, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaLady Slipper orchids, Paphiopedilum and phragmipedium flowers, paph and phrag, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaZygopetalum flowers, zygo orchid hybrid, purple and green floweres, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Orchids in the Park is San Francisco’s summer orchid show, and it’s always full of delights. At last month’s event, I heard many visitors gasping in wonder as they walked though the front door. Everyone from novices to experts could find something to marvel at. The weird and wonderful flowers in this post were only a few of the amazing sights. Check back soon for more photos.

Phalaenopsis flowers, Phals, Moth Orchid hybrid flowers, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium flowers, orchid flowers, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDisplay tables at Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, miniature orchid species flowers and leaves, mounted orchid, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMasdevallia rolfeana, orchid species flowers, pleurothallid, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium uniflorum, orchid species flowers and leaves, Orchids in the Park 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

August Orchid Events

Posted July 31st, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

This monthly show listing always demonstrates that there are orchid lovers around the globe, but surely, Australia must have more orchid lovers per capita than any nation. At this time of year, their show schedule surpasses any other place I can find online. There are over 30 shows this month in a country that has less people than the state of Texas, so I think my orchid math checks out.

August 1 – 3
Cattleya Symposium, Odom’s Orchids, 1611 S. Jenkins Rd., Ft. Pierce, Florida
August 2 – 3
Maroochydore Orchid Society Show, Uniting Church Hall, Gloucester Rd., Buderim, Queensland, Australia
August 2 – 4
Orchids by the Sea Show, War Veterans Hall, Veterans Parade, Collaroy Plateau, NSW, Australia
August 2 – 4
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Lagoa Santa, Colégio M2, Rua Vereador Ildeu Viana Matos, 273, Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
August 2 – 4
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de São Roque, Recanto da Cascata, Av. Antonio Maria Picena, 34, São Roque, São Paulo, Brazil
August 2 – 4
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Uberlândia, SESC, Av. João Naves de Ávila com Rua Prata, Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil
August 2 – 4
Exposição Nacional de Orquídeas de Penápolis, Ginásio de Esportes Dr. Nagib Sabino, Penápolis, São Paulo, Brazil
August 3
Australasian Native Orchid Society Sydney Plant Auction, Federation Pavilion, Doran Dr., Castle Hill Showgrounds, Castle Hill, NSW, Australia
August 3
Stawell Orchid Society Winter Show, Entertainment Centre, Main St., Stawell, Victoria, Australia
August 3 – 4
Orchids for Everyone Weekend, Bramall Learning Centre, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Ln., Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Read the rest of this post »

10 Rarest Orchids in the World

Posted July 26th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News, Problems

Meet the 10 rarest orchids in the world. Many are Lady Slippers, but there are also others, like the strange Australian Western Underground Orchid. Habitat destruction and over-harvesting of wild plants have been big problems, and now climate change is a growing threat. Since there are almost 30,000 orchid species, and many are highly endangered, I’m not sure if this is a definitive list, but certainly these are at risk. Others orchids are already extinct, or gone from the wild, but hanging on in cultivation. You can help by never buying plants taken from the wild, by supporting conservation groups, and by fighting climate change.

Chasing Ghost Orchids

Posted July 21st, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Fragrant Orchids, In the News, Videos, Warm Growers

National Geographic reports on important discoveries about Florida’s famous Ghost Orchids. Scientists and photographers have found that they aren’t just pollinated by one species of moth, but by several different species. That’s good for the strange and fascinating leafless orchids, which are very endangered. After spending thousands of hours taking photos at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, they observed that Ghost Orchids use at least five moth varieties for pollination. That means they’re not as vulnerable if some of the moths go extinct. There has been progress in conserving Ghost Orchids. Lab-grown plants are helping to replenish wild populations, and anti-poaching measures have had success. Check out amazing Ghost Orchids in the video below —

Don’t Miss the Orchids in Golden Gate Park Next Weekend

Posted July 16th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Dendrobium tobaense var. giganteum x sib, orchid species flower, weird flower, green white and orange flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaMiltoniopsis hybrid flowers, Pansy Orchid, white purple and pink flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium orchid flowers, yellow and orange flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Phalaenopsis I-Hsin Dream Bubble '#2', Phal, Moth Orchid hybrid flowers, peloric flowers, pink purple and white flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPorroglossum aureum, miniature orchid species flower, pleurothallid, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCattleya Blackjack 'Margay', orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Mark your calendars for Orchids in the Park next weekend! These photos from last year’s event are just a small taste of what to expect. In addition to the show, there will be vendors from around the world, orchid care classes, and a class on botanical illustration. Orchids in the Park takes place July 20th – 21st in Golden Gate Park’s County Fair Building, at 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way. Buy discount tickets online in advance, or pay regular price at the door. Don’t miss it!

Encyclia vitellina x Green Hornet, orchid hybrid flower, yellow flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaEncyclia mariae, orchid species flowers, AKA Euchile mariae, white and green flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaEpidendrum pugioniforme, orchid species flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Phalaenopsis, Phal, Moth Orchid hybrid flowers, pink purple yellow and white flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda Gordon Dillon x coerulea, orchid hybrid flowers, blue flowers, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhalaenopsis, Phal, Moth Orchid flower, Orchids in the Park 2018, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California