Orchid of the Week: Dendrobium Sonia

In honor of the final episode of Lost (which airs this upcoming Sunday night…*sniff*), the orchid I’ve chosen for this week is the Dendrobium Sonia, which is commonly used in Hawaiian leis:

Dendrobium Sonia Lei
Photo credit: alohaflowersleis.com

Here you can see this hybrid beauty in its natural, non-lei’d state:

Dendrobium sonia
Image credit: bluenanta.com

Gorgeous! Just looking at these blooms takes me away to a tropical paradise.

The Dendrobium Sonia is a type of Dendrobium Phalaenopsis, which, as you may deduce from its name, is a plant similar in habitat and appearance to the Phalaenopsis orchid. In addition to leis, you’ll often see these dens in cut flower arrangements and sometimes as a plate garnish at Asian restaurants (particularly Thai). Supposedly the blooms are edible but I don’t know how I feel about eating flowers. Personally, I’d much rather just grow them and enjoy their beauty in my home.

My Recent BBG Visit and Orchid Purchases

One of the best parts of Funemployment is having the opportunity to take advantage of deals like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s Free Winter Weekdays (which ends March 2). Once I discovered I could visit without paying a dime I knew I HAD to go see their orchid collection, which is in bloom between November and March. The orchid collection is located in the Aquatic House portion of the Steinhardt Conservatory, which I had somehow completely bypassed during my previous BBG visits.

So a couple weeks ago I made my way to the BBG, armed with my fully charged digital camera. I was the only visitor inside the Aquatic House at the time and it was so peaceful to have the whole place to myself. The house isn’t all that big, but there are a ton of orchid plants inside and it is definitely tropical in there; I had to take my puffy winter coat off immediately. There were plenty of Vandas in bloom:

Purple Vanda orchid

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