Sunday, 12 October 2008

The Strange and Wonderful World of Orchids

Our steamy humid climate is perfect for orchids. The Cattleya is the blowsy tart of the the family Orchidaceae. She is irresistible to bees who visit to sample the Miss Cattleya's perfume. My husband is wary of Cattleyas. He finds them to showy for his liking but I love them as they are so over-the-top. A long-stemmed Dendrobium is the girl next door. Solid, dependable and occasionally, very beautiful. She will acclimatise easily to most conditions, blooming to show that she is happy and content.
The Oncidium is the shy beauty. The flower of many Oncidiums mimics the shape of a full-skirted dancing woman.

The centre of this "Chocolate Drop" Cattleya is as darkly beckoning as its namesake. It follows through on its name with the warm unmistakeable smell of chocolate.
Cattleya Cattleya "Chocolate Drop"

A Dendrobium on its way out.

The equitant Oncidium is native to the Caribbean. Each flower is tiny and perfect. A study in miniature.