Orchid of the Week: Sobralia altissima

This morning I mentioned to my boyfriend that I needed to think of an orchid to feature, and he said “how about the world’s tallest orchid?” Brilliant! I Googled it and all signs pointed to the Sobralia altissima, a native Peruvian orchid. “Altissimo” means “highest” in Latin. This giant freestanding plant can grow up to 44 feet tall and has purple blooms that are 6 inches across. According to Wikipedia, this orchid’s common name in Quechua (the native Andean language) is “Inquil” or “Inkill”, meaning “bearer of language.” This is due to the wide lip of the large blooms.

I’m having a really hard time finding decent images of this orchid, so apologies for the less-than-stellar pics. I had to start searching Peruvian websites that I can’t really read in order to dig up a few small, crappy photos:

Photo credit: orchidspecies.com
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Orchid of the Week: Sedirea japonica

Apologies for skipping my Orchid of the Week post last Friday! I think I just wasn’t in the mood for some reason. Every now and then it just feels like too much effort to blog. But no worries, because Orchid of the Week is back today with Sedirea japonica, a beautiful little plant native to (duh) Japan.

Photo credit: newworldorchids.com
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Orchid of the Week: Hexalectris spicata

Whoops! I skipped my Orchid of the Week post yesterday, so here it is: the Hexalectris spicata. I chose this little orchid because I have a friend visiting from North Carolina this weekend; the plant is native to that state, among others. Hexalectris (which kinda sounds like a superhero, no?) is part of the Epidendroidae subfamily:

Photo credit: ncwildflower.org
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Orchid of the Week: Diuris pedunculata (or, Snakes on a Blog)

If you live in the New York area (and maybe even if you don’t), you probably know about the Egyptian cobra that went missing from the Bronx Zoo a week ago. Well, she has since been found, but not before going out on the town and hilariously Twittering about her “adventures.”

Photo credit: NY TImes

So in honor of this lovely snake-with-no-name (seriously, Bronx Zoo, name this lady!!), this week I’m featuring the Diuris pedunculata, whose nickname is the small snake orchid. I think I can see why—look at that little “fang” in the center of the bloom!

Photo credit: JVinOz, Flickr

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Orchid of the Week: Aeranthes grandiflora

One thing you don’t see very often in orchids is a nice green-colored bloom. I was flipping through one of my books for ideas this morning (Orchids by Thomas J. Sheehan) and found this lovely green orchid called Aeranthes grandiflora:

Photo credit: streetmorrisart, slippertalk.com

As part of the Angraecinae subtribe, it’s related to Angraecum sesquipedale, the “Darwin’s Orchid” that I featured awhile back. This baby is a Madigascar native with a butterscotch-like fragrance. Its blooms open at night and usually in succession over a long period of time. Apparently this orchid is easy to grow in the home, needing low light and medium to warm temperature.

Photo credit: larces, Flickr
Photo credit: TheGreenMan1982, Flickr

Here’s what the actual plant looks like in bloom—long spikes with spidery-looking, small flowers:

Photo credit: aeranthes, Flickr

Have a great weekend, everyone! My parents are arriving in NYC this evening so I’ll be off visiting with them.