Orchids Lovers: Nutjobs & Weird Rich People?

It’s no wonder why many people think orchid lovers are mentally ill freaks of nature, or rich eccentric folks with lots of time of their hands — or some combination of these quirks.  Many film, TV, and written portrayals of orchid enthusiasts perpetuate these stereotypes. The first representation of an orchid lover that comes to mind — probably because it’s one of my favorite shows ever — is Harold Smith, the agoraphobe played by Lenny von Dohlen in Twin Peaks:

Harold the orchid guy on Twin Peaks
Image credit: 25yearslatersite.com
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Unfortunate Orchid Names: 2nd Edition

There were a lot of amused comments from readers on my blog post 10 Unfortunate Orchid Names, so I decided that a second edition was in order. Orchids have all sorts of crazy names and so many of them take my mind straight back to the gutter…I just can’t help it! For your perverse pleasure, here is a list of 20 more unfortunate orchid names…

1. The word ‘orchid‘ itself comes from the Greek word ‘orchis’, which means testicle. If you take a look at the roots on the genus Orchis, it’s crystal clear where the name came from:

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
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Orchid Books on eBay

Awhile back I developed a little obsession with hunting eBay for good deals on orchid books. I was able to find great deals on some helpful books to add to my small collection! Here’s what I ended up with:

300 Orchids: Species, Hybrids & Varities in Cultivation by Jane Boosey

This fat little orchid bible retails for $29.95 but my winning bid was $3.99. Total including shipping was $7.13. So I saved $22.82 on this one!

Growing Orchids: A Cultural Handbook Prepared by the AOS, 1993 Revised Edition

My winning bid was $0.99, and total cost including shipping was $3.49.

Orchids by Thomas J. Sheehan

My winning bid was another whopping $0.99! Total cost including shipping: $4.15. I can’t even find this book online, so I think it may be out of print (though the publication date is 2001, so it’s not all that old). It was published in association with the Smithsonian Institution and the American Orchid Society.

11 of 12 volumes of Orchids Magazine from 1996, American Orchid Society

My winning bid was $4.99; total cost including shipping: $10.71.

All in all, I spent $25.48 on three orchid books and 11 magazines. If you divide the cost, that’s $1.82 per publication! Not too shabby, eh? I love justifying purchases that way. There’s a ton of information in these books and magazines and I’ve been using them to do research for my blog posts and to care for my orchids. These purchases were definitely worth it!

10 Unfortunate Orchid Names

Ok, I’ll admit it. Sometimes my mind is in the gutter. A lot of the time, actually. So when I hear orchid names like the ones listed below, my mind automatically goes there. I’ll let the names speak for themselves. In no particular order, here are…

1. Cattleya labiata

Photo credit: PlatyceriumTatsuta, Picasa
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I’m an American Orchid Society Member!

AOS Welcome Packet

Recently I became a member of the American Orchid Society (AOS, found at www.aos.org) and my membership includes all these cool benefits:

  • Monthly subscription to Orchids magazine
  • Free and discounted admission to more than 200 botanical gardens and arboreta
  • Receive the annual Orchid Source Directory detailing orchid suppliers worldwide
  • Access to online orchid information and features available only to members
  • 10% discount on purchases in the Orchid Emporium or on-line
  • Discount on back issues of Orchids magazine and on American Orchid Society published books
  • Reduced processing fees for American Orchid Society judged plant and flower awards
  • Discounts on orchid class fees at the American Orchid Society Botanical Gardens
  • Free admission to the American Orchid Society Botanical Gardens and 50% off admission for any guests

That’s all pretty sweet for only $65 a year, right?! Especially with the inclusion of the monthly magazine subscription. I’m pretty psyched about the free admission, reduced guest fees, and gift shop discounts at AOS botanical gardens. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York Botanical Garden, and Queens Botanical Garden are all on their list, as is the Missouri Botanical Garden (MoBot) in my hometown of St. Louis. Plus, I now have access to the members-only forum on the AOS website. More orchid nerdery! Love it!

To Do: Queens Botanical Garden

I just now discovered that there is a Queens Botanical Garden. I’ve lived in New York City for more than eight years and I didn’t know this! I actually found out on Twitter; this morning I started following @NewYorkology and they had re-tweeted (re-twatted?) a post from @queensbotanicl about being closed today due to the snow.

The QBG comprises 39 acres of land in Flushing, about an eight block walk from the last stop on the 7 train. That neighborhood is quite a hike to get to if you don’t live in Queens (I just made a trek out that way earlier this week to go to Spa Castle) but if you jump on a 7 express you’ll get there a whole lot faster.

Admission is free until March 31, 2010; they’re going to start charging adults $4 on April 3. Seniors will pay $3 and students with a valid I.D. will pay $2. Four dollars is really cheap for admission to any attraction in the NYC area, so I wouldn’t mind paying a bit to check it out – especially when plants will be starting to bloom!

Greenies will be excited to hear that the garden has a composting project that offers information and education about the process. The garden doesn’t appear to have an orchid collection, but that’s not going to stop me from visiting. Once the weather warms up I’m going to check the QBG out and will report back here.