• Our Winter Garden Blooms

    AboutOrchids Jan 20, 2021 | 00:11 am

    For over 30 years, I’ve been living and gardening in California, and I’ve certainly become spoiled by the fact that we can garden year-round here. But I did grow up in New Jersey, and went to college in upstate New York, so I also remember ice cold winters when nothing was growing. Outdoors was mostly […]

  • Online Orchid Fever Raises Alarm in Southeast Asia

    AboutOrchids Jan 13, 2021 | 05:10 am

    Malaysian researchers are exposing the illegal plant trade on social media. Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar have thousands of native orchid species, many sought out by collectors. There has always been an orchid trade, but online sellers have a wider reach than ever before. Sites like Facebook and eBay are […]

  • The Streaked Rock Orchid: A Tough Mini from Down Under

    AboutOrchids Jan 7, 2021 | 04:04 am

    The Streaked Rock Orchid is a wonderful Australian native. Its strange flowers resemble elaborate birds in flight. Its little, pencil-like leaves turn purplish-red in the sun, making it look like a pointy, colorful hedgehog. In the wild, Dendrobium striolatum lives attached to rocky cliffs in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. Our […]

  • January Orchid Event

    AboutOrchids Jan 2, 2021 | 02:06 am

    Happy new year! Kudos to New Zealand for smartly managing the pandemic. That’s why I’m listing their show. Please check directly with the phone number on their webpage for the latest updates. I’ve found links for a few other events this month, but they don’t have clear COVID19 precautions, and they’re in areas that don’t […]

  • The Ugliest Orchid in the World

    AboutOrchids Dec 28, 2020 | 03:25 am

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the discovery of the ugliest orchid in the world has been big news. The newly identified Madagascan Gastrodia agnicellus has small, brown blooms that look like little pieces of rotting fruit. Like other members of the Gastrodia genus, this species is leafless, and takes its energy […]

  • Another Pandemic Solstice

    AboutOrchids Dec 21, 2020 | 20:25 pm

    This year’s winter solstice arrives with darkness, cold, and a raging pandemic. I’m certainly ready to be rid of all three. The days will start lengthening tomorrow; if only there were such definite dates for the pandemic. Fortunately, vaccinations are starting. However many months we need to wait for ours, we will gladly get them […]

  • Saving Orchids Could Help Keep the Peace in Colombia

    AboutOrchids Dec 17, 2020 | 04:42 am

    The orchid-laden nation of Colombia has suffered a violent past. Colombian scientist Tatiana Arias hopes to use the country’s orchids to help keep the peace. In the last few years, a fragile peace treaty has ended six decades of violence between drug cartels and the government. Now, many rural areas need a reliable source of […]

  • Secret Garden: Unearthing the Mysteries of Orchids

    AboutOrchids Dec 12, 2020 | 04:43 am

    The Nature Conservancy is working with groups like the North American Orchid Conservation Center to better understand and save endangered orchids. They’re studying orchids, their natural environments, their pollinators, their fungal partners, and the threats they face. With over 25,000 orchid species around the world, it’s a formidable task. In fact, there are more orchid […]

  • The Cultural and Ecological Implications of the Salep Orchid Trade

    AboutOrchids Dec 6, 2020 | 05:00 am

    In Defense of Plants’ podcast explores the salep orchid trade. I’ve blogged before about salep, a traditional drink or dessert made with orchid tubers. It’s popular in Turkey, Greece, around the eastern Mediterranean, and other parts of the Middle East. Orchid tubers are made into flour, which is then turned into hot drinks, cold drinks, […]

  • A Beautiful Laelia Orchid Species

    AboutOrchids Nov 30, 2020 | 04:25 am

    I love this gorgeous Mexican species, Laelia gouldiana, but our garden pests annoyingly love it, too. The first row of photos above shows happy, uneaten flowers from recent years. In contrast, the three rows of photos below show damaged flowers, the worst from this year, and some milder damage in 2016 and 2018. Whatever chomped […]