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?


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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!

My Phal Amboinensis is Blooming!

The title of this blog post says it all. I discovered a little bloom opening this morning when I went to mist my orchids:

Tiny stripey bloom!

This is the first of my Hausermann’s purchases to spike and bloom (aside from the Phal manii which was in bloom when it arrived). Mine looks a little different from the typical Phal amboinensis, which you can see in this orchid of the week post from awhile back. The purple lip is what makes this one unique:


The bloom isn’t fully open, but I got so excited that I had to write about it. As you can see, there are two other buds developing on this spike (I wish there were more, but at least it’s blooming, period!). Once this baby opens up more, I’ll post another update!

Also: I’m planning to go to The Orchid Show at the NYBG this Friday! Woohoo!!

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):

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