Brooklyn Orchids

The Tale of a Mislabeled Orchid

I was just looking at some orchids for sale on Oak Hill Gardens‘ website (thanks for the suggestion, Hillery!) and found out that my Phalaenopsis amboinensis is most likely a Phalaenopsis bastianii instead. Let’s compare, shall we?


Photo credit:


Photo credit:

Here’s a photo of my orchid (sorry it’s a bit dark…I took the pic a few minutes ago. It’s dark outside, and my lighting indoors isn’t great):

My amboinensis...or bastianii??

Totally a bastianii, right?? This is one of the orchids that I received from Orchids by Hausermann a year-ish ago. Its tag says that it’s an amboinensis, and when the first bud opened recently I noted that it looked different than I had expected. I figured that there’s a ton of variety in orchids, so…not a big deal. But when I saw the Phal bastianii on Oak Hill Gardens’ site, I recognized it immediately: that telltale furry purple lip, the slim, oval petals. I don’t really mind—I think it’s beautiful regardless—but I was surprised to find that it had been mislabeled. I suppose this stuff happens a lot in the orchid world, especially considering that when the plants aren’t in bloom, so many of them look the same!

Has anyone out there ever bought an orchid thinking it was one species, but then it turned out to be something else? Do tell!

Blooms and Spikes and Leaves—Oh My!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any updates on my orchid collection because there hasn’t been a whole lot going on other than the blooming of the mystery dendrobium, which, by the way, now has two blooms. Each has taken on a more pinkish and greenish tinge in the throat than when they first opened. The faint coloring is a little hard to capture in a photo, but you get the idea:

Beautiful mystery blooms!

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Meet My Newest Orchids

Last week I gave in to the lure of 20% off orchids at Orchids by Hausermann and ordered four more beauties to add to my collection. On Friday afternoon, my newest additions arrived!! They all look like they’re in good shape, and one of them even has a small spike growing! Click on the photos below to see larger versions.

Newest Orchid Additions!
From L to R: Encyclia cochleata, Phal hieroglyphica, Huntleya heteroclita, Phal violacea

The Encyclia cochleata is the largest of the four, and it’s still a pretty small plant, about 10″ tall at most. Here’s a closer look at it:

Encyclia cochleata
My Encyclia cochleata

The Huntleya heteroclita is so much smaller than I expected. Huntleyas are in the same family as Zygopetalums, and the two Zygos in my collection are literally about 10 times larger than this Huntleya! It may just be a seedling, I’m actually not sure. But it’s a cutie:

Huntleya heteroclita
Teeny Huntleya heteroclita

The smallest of my new orchids, however, is the Phalaenopsis violacea, which arrived in a 2″ pot:

Phal violacea
Adorable Phal violacea

Last but not least is the Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica, which has a small spike growing from its base! I will be SO THRILLED if this plant blooms soon!!

Phal hieroglyphica
Phal hieroglyphica

You can see the little mitten-shaped spike in this close-up:

Phal hieroglyphica spike
Phal hieroglyphica spike!

I haven’t repotted any of my new orchids yet (BAD!!) but I am going to do so this week to make sure all is ok with the plants’ roots.

In other news, this morning I finally bought a thermometer/humidity meter for my Orchid Room so that I can actually start to monitor these things; I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile! Already, I see that the humidity in the room is just over 50% so I think I’m going to get a small humidifier.

Hausermann’s Summer Sale: 20% off Orchids!

Orchid Sale!

I was looking at orchid porn photos yesterday evening because I was bored and still nursing a cold. To make myself feel better, I went to one of my favorite online stores: Orchids by Hausermann, and immediately discovered that they are running a summer sale on orchids—all orders are 20% off between July 18 and August 15!

So…you can see where this is headed. The orchid addiction is bad enough at full price—especially on Hausermann’s, which has some pretty good prices to begin with. But a 20% discount? I’m hopeless. Here are the four orchids that I ordered, with photos from Hausermann’s website:

1. Huntleya heteroclita – originally $7.99, $6.39 with discount. This one might have to make the next edition of Unfortunate Orchid Names. I’d never heard of Huntleya before, and after doing some research I discovered it’s in the same subtribe as Zygopetalum, which is one of my favorite types of orchids. No wonder I was immediately attracted to this one.

2. Encyclia cochleata – originally $10, $8 with discount. This orchid was my very first Orchid of the Week selection. I REALLY hope I can get this one to bloom. The flowers are so incredibly unique and adorable!

3. Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica ‘Egyptian Lore’ x self – originally $10, $8 with discount

4. Phalaenopsis violacea (Malaysia x var. Borneo) – originally $15, $12 with discount. I chose this variety as Orchid of the Week recently.

Guess what? I felt better after placing my orchid order. 😛 Now I wait on pins and needles for my shipment to arrive. If you’ve got an orchid itch that needs to be scratched, make sure you take advantage of Hausermann’s summer sale ASAP*!

*I just want to note that I write about Hausermann’s simply because I like the site. I don’t have any sort of deal with them whatsoever. Even with the FTC blog regulations it can be hard to tell who is in bed with whom, so I wanted to make that clear.  🙂

Newest Orchid Additions to My Home

My three new Phals from Orchids by Hausermann arrived on Friday afternoon — and I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of them is already in bloom! Check ’em out:

New orchids from Hausermann's
L to R: Phal. amboinensis, P. mannii x self, P. Cranberry Queen ‘Regal’

The P. manii blooms are teeny tiny; see how they compare to a quarter?

Phal. manii
Mini blooms on the Phal. manii

It’s hard to convey the absolute adorableness of these itsy-bitsy blooms in photos, but below is more detailed shot of a P. manii bloom. And by the way, these blooms do have a very subtle fragrance; to me they have a vague aroma of cinnamon.

Phal manii bloom
Phal manii bloom

And look, the P. amboinensis has a little spike starting to poke out from the stem! The little nub on the left is the spike. Spikes can be hard to identify, but remember that the spikes are flatter at the tip than roots when they begin to appear.

Phal amboinensis spike growth
New P. amboinensis spike growth

So far, seems like another successful purchase from Hausermann’s.  Each of my new orchids has nice long silvery roots and a couple of them have new leaves starting to grow out of the top of the crown. Oh yeah, and one of the best things about my new orchid plants? I only spent $40.50 on them, including shipping! Seriously, orchids CAN be affordable; you just need to know where to look.  🙂

More Orchids Coming My Way!

I’ve done it again: I ordered more orchids from Orchids by Hausermann. Awhile back I ordered five orchids from them, each on sale, and I was pleased with my order. So I just placed an order for three more orchids (each of which, by the way, is super affordable). Photos below are from the Hausermann’s website and are images of what each of the plant’s blooms should look like. I picked these three because they have pretty unique-looking blooms; they don’t look like your standard Phals. And the second two shown are supposed to be fragrant, which is fairly uncommon in Phals.

Phal. amboinensis ($8!)

Phal. amboinensis

Phal. Cranberry Queen ‘Regal’ ($10!)

Phal. Cranberry Queen 'Regal'

Phal. mannii x self ($10!)

Phal. mannii x self

Because the weather is much warmer than it was when I placed my first order from Hausermann’s, this order should arrive much faster. None of them will be in bloom, or even, in spike, but regardless I’m totally excited!!

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