Orchid of the Week: Haraella retrocalla

Before I get into discussing this week’s featured orchid, I want to take a second to pat myself on the back because this is my 100th blog post! I’m pretty proud of my blog, so yay me. Also, I had my best blog day ever this week in terms of views—188 hits on Monday, January 10! Whoever’s reading…thank you!  🙂

Okay, the orchid I’ve chosen to write about this week is Haraella retrocalla. It’s a small epiphytic plant native to Taiwan with blooms that I think look like big fat yellow-and-purple bumblebees:

Haraella retrocalla
Photo credit: florzinha-de-estufa.blogspot.com
Continue Reading

Orchid of the Week: Cephalanthera austiniae

Hey, it’s the first snowfall of 2011 here in Brooklyn!

More of the white stuff

I wondered if there were any orchids known as a “snow orchid”…so I googled it and stumbled upon a really fascinating orchid called Cephalanthera austiniae. You know why it’s referred to as the snow orchid? The entire plant is white! There’s just a tinge of yellow in the center of the blooms:

Cephalanthera austiniae
Photo credit: MiguelVieira, Flickr

Continue Reading

Orchid of the Week: Phalaenopsis Amboinensis

Yikes, I’ve been seriously shirking my orchid blogging duties. I don’t even want to look back and see when I last did an Orchid of the Week blog. Well, because today is the last day of 2010 I figured I should get in one final blog post this year. And I’ve chosen to feature Phalaenopsis amboinensis, one which I have in my personal collection—and mine is beginning to spike!!

This orchid is native to Indonesia and has small, star-shaped waxy blooms with tiger-like striping. Take a look at this specimen (not mine):

Photo credit: orchidspecies.com
Continue Reading

Orchid of the Week: Aerides Maculosum

Right now, the Indian festival of lights known as Diwali is taking place, so in honor of Diwali I’m featuring an orchid that is native to India: Aerides Maculosum. It’s also known as the Cat’s Tail, Fox Tail or Fox Brush orchid. It’s a tropical epiphyte within the Vandaceous Alliance. I LOVE Vandas, so it’s no wonder I was attracted to this little beauty:

Photo credit: snonymous2, Flickr

The flowers are very small, sometimes only about 2 centimeters across.

Photo credit: travelpod.com

These blooms totally have that bug-eyed look in the center, just like Vandas.

Photo credit: prashant, Picasa

Quite lovely, no? For comparison, here’s a photo of a Vanda that I took at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden:

Vanda at the BBG Aquatic House

Vanda blooms are WAY bigger than Aerides maculosum, which look like tiny gems in comparison.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Orchid of the Week: Brassia Arcuigera

It’s baaaaaaaack…Orchid of the Week! Sorry for my lameness in skipping these posts for the past few weeks. This Sunday is my favorite holiday: Halloween. So this week I’ve chosen a spooky orchid, the Brassia arcuigera. Why Brassia? This type of orchid is also known as the Spider Orchid…and I’m terrified of spiders. Totally appropriate for a Halloween weekend post. 🙂

Brassia orchids are found in South Florida, the West Indies, and tropical America. These orchids are pollinated by female spider-hunting wasps—who knew such a thing existed??

Photo credit: klehmgrowers.com

I can’t even bring myself to search for an image of a spider to post here for comparison’s sake, because I’m so arachnophobic that I can’t even look at photos of the suckers. So you’ll just have to use your imagination on this one. But I think it’s pretty obvious why this orchid has the spidery nickname: take a look at those long, spindly “legs”! At least they’re not furry *shudders violently*.

Photo credit: Quimbaya, Flickr

I’m going to have to end this post soon, because looking at so many photos of spidery flowers is actually starting to make my skin crawl just a bit, despite my love for orchids. Here’s one last image:

Photo credit: The Black Azar, Flickr

Have a happy and safe Halloween weekend, everyone!!