Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cool Orchids

Cool terrestrial orchids. I enjoy looking at the photos, even if I haven't bought them.

In addition to (or because of) being very cool, they're also expensive. I can't justify the price. I suspect it's OK with the company if I show their product (note - no connection between me and the company. I haven't even bought their product - yet) -

White Flower Farm orchids

Cypripedium reginae

Cypripedium parviflorum pubescens. "
evenly moist, humus-rich soil with a slightly acid to neutral pH and dappled shade."

Then there are Bletilla, which are East Asian ground orchids but not lady slippers.
Bletilla ochracea Chinese Butterfly

Bletilla striata Kuchibeni. This one is more in my price range. I don't know if these will thrive in the Pacific Northwest dry-summer climate. The Cypripedium, either, for that matter.

They also carry a burgundy Paphiopedilium hybrid. However, I already have one. The instructions note "Lady's Slipper Orchids thrive in bright but indirect light. An east-facing window is ideal, but plants can also grow well in a south- or west-facing window if shaded somewhat by neighboring plants or a sheer curtain. If the leaves begin to bleach to a pale green or yellow green color, then your plant is receiving too much light. Lady's Slippers need warm temperatures (70-80°F) during the day and cool temperatures (60-65°F) at night to set their flower buds. They also prefer a high relative humidity -- upwards of 50%." Since my little plant has pale leaves, it may have had too much light, but now it's in a shaded W. window, and during the winter in Pacific NW I don't think that excessive light is an issue.

The Cypripedium really is out of my range. Maybe if I won the lotto. I keep thinking about the lower priced Bletilla.... It's the only way I'll ever see one in person. I'll think about it for a while. There is one spot that might work, with shade from large old Cherry tree, privacy fence on west, and chicken house on south. Exposure is East, and this is the spot were I moved most of the hostas. If it is kept from drying out too much in the midsummer, it might work.

Wikipedia on Cypripedium: "As with most terrestrial orchids, the rhizome is short and robust, growing in the uppermost soil layer. The rhizome grows annually with a growth bud at one end and dies off at the other end. The stem grows from the bud at the tip of the rhizome. Most slipper orchids have an elongate erect stem, with leaves growing along its length." (Illustration from Wikipedia, Cypripedium acaule)

Here's another site I ran across. The prices are getting more tempting. I can't vouch for the source.

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