Great Ikea Find: Lady Slipper Orchid

Along with the month of March came a lovely day in Brooklyn: sunny with temperatures in the 40s (as I type this my weather widget says it’s 49 degrees)! I’ve been hibernating in my apartment a lot because of all the shitty weather we’ve been having—February 2010 broke the record for snowiest month ever in NYC. Ugh, all this white stuff is not for me. So when I got up this morning and realized how nice it was outside, I decided to take a long stroll—something I haven’t done in awhile.

I walked from my neighborhood, Sunset Park, on up to Gowanus to visit the Lowe’s at 2nd Ave. and check out their orchids. They had plenty of orchids—mostly Phals and Dendrobiums – but they were a little pricey for my unemployed ass. Not terribly expensive, but I know that Ikea and Trader Joe’s sell them for less. Because I found myself fairly close to the Red Hook Ikea, I decided to navigate my way there on foot using my phone’s Google map.

Ikea had a number of orchids to choose from, but most were in pretty sorry shape. Lots of brown leaves. There were a lot of Phals and Oncidiums, a few Dendrobiums. I was perusing the sad selection, trying to see if there was anything worth buying, when a healthy looking Paphiopedium (aka lady slipper) caught my eye! For $14.99! It appeared to be the only one available so I snatched it right up and carried it home via bus (which, inexplicably, drove in circles around Red Hook before heading the right way), then subway.

Of course I took photos of my new orchid as soon as I got home so that I could share them here! If you click on the photos you can see bigger versions. One bloom is fully open and a second is beginning to open:

Paphiopedilum orchid

Its profile looks kinda like a parrot, no?

Paphiopedilum orchid

Full view…look at those pretty leaves, it’s like the top of a pineapple:

Paph full view

I love it when I find a different type of orchid at a big box store. By “different”, I mean not a Phal or Den, because those seem to be the most commonly sold in big box stores.  Today’s find is my first Paph ever; I really really hope I don’t kill it!

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