The other night I was lying in bed and thought it would be fun to do a new feature on my blog where we take a look at a different type of orchid each week. The breadth of variety within the orchid family is astounding and I’m constantly finding out about orchids that I’ve never seen before.
So I’m going to feature a different orchid each Friday, partly for educational purposes, but mostly for marveling at pretty orchid photos. 🙂 Just one of the sources I’ll use to select orchids for these posts is 300 Orchids: Species, Hybrids & Varieties in Cultivation by Jane Boosey, which in and of itself holds tons of photos and information about orchids I’ve never even heard of. And (duh) it only has 300 kinds! According to Wikipedia there are up to 26,000 species of orchids…which, in my mind, may as well be infinity.
Alright, so after that windup, the the orchid I’ve chosen for the first Orchid of the Week installment is Encyclia cochleata, aka Prosthechea cochleata. According to Bloom-Again Orchids by judywhite, the name may even be changed again, to Anacheilium cochleatum.
This orchid is also known as the cockleshell orchid or the octopus orchid; the reason why is pretty clear. The blooms can be fragrant and the plant is a native grower in Florida (where it is endangered), among other countries like Colombia and Venezuela. I just think it’s freakin’ adorable — I mean look at it! This is one of the more unique-looking orchids that I’ve come across so far (with my fairly limited orchid knowledge).
This orchid variety tends to have long-lasting blooms and can even have blooms throughout most of the year. How cool is that!? I would definitely like to try growing an Encyclia cochleata at some point in my life. 🙂