Grammatophyllum Speciosum Blooming at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Other Wonderful Things

I had forgotten about Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s free winter weekday admission until I saw Brokelyn’s post about it earlier this week. So I made plans to go with my also-marginally-employed friend on Friday morning (random aside: we planned to meet at 11am on 11.11.11!). I’ve been in the mood to go see some orchids, and I was also thinking about how the Grammatophyllum speciosum (AKA the Tiger Orchid) was probably due to bloom soonish. You may remember that I featured this plant as an Orchid of the Week quite awhile back; it’s believed to be the largest type of orchid in the world!

When we got to the Aquatic House at the BBG, we marveled at some lovely Vandas for awhile before I realized that the Tiger Orchid was already in bloom!! This plant is a truly stunning monster:

The amazing Grammatophyllum speciosum in bloom
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Orchid of the Week: Vanda Robert’s Delight

The orchid I’ve chosen to feature this week is a type that literally takes my breath away when I see it  in person: Vanda Robert’s Delight. This orchid comes in a variety of colors, but the purple ones are my favorites:

Vanda Robert's Delight
Photo credit: madfish1c, Flickr

I saw these Vandas on display at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx:

Vanda Robert's Delight
NY Botanical Garden

One of the things I love most about Vandas are the little skeleton-looking faces in the center of the blooms. Here’s a closer look:

Vanda Robert's Delight
Mini Skeleton Face

I don’t really have much to say about these flowers at the moment because I have a cold so my brain is sort of mush.  But I think these orchids are gorgeous so I had to post something about them. I could seriously look at pictures of Vandas online all day long. Vanda porn!

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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