30 March 2010

A little Farch denial...

Well. On Friday, the weather decided to throw that Farch snit I've been expecting for several weeks, first bringing us a little snow, then dropping the mercury down well below zero Celsius. I decided to throw an equal though less dramatic snit by getting sick and spending most of the weekend in a befuddled haze, when actually awake. Today, the weather has moderated in temperature though now the snit has converted merely to galeforce winds. I'm over my sicksnit and getting on with the business of well, business.

You may remember I went to an orchid show and sale several weeks ago, as an anodyne to Farch weather, and that a paphiopedilum orchid sort of followed me home. I thought I'd show off some of the incredible orchids AND their amazingly amusing names, just to push back the crabbiness of Farch a little bit more.

I really don't know all that much about most orchids (other than a little about our native species, and a bit about phalaenopsis plants because they keep following me home. Orchids remind me a little bit of cats, purebred horses, or other fancy creatures, in that the naming of orchids "is a difficult matter, it isn't just one of your holiday games..." I'm sure T.S. Eliot wouldn't mind me adapting his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats into The Orchid Fancier's book of Delectable Names.

Anyway. This delightful creature in the top photo is called Cymbidium 'Stonehaven Cooksbridge.'

Meet Vuylstekeara 'Fall in Love'. Well named, indeed because I think it's quite easy to fall in love with something this exquisite.

Oh, this is what followed me home: Paphiopedilum 'Limerick x Greenvale x Cherokee.' I have no idea what any of that means other than it's three crosses of cultivars, and that I decided it was time to take the leap to a paph. So far, Limerick is doing fine in my office.

Now this one I understand. Laelia 'Santa Barbara Sunset' seems a great description to me because although I haven't been there (yet), these colours, I suspect, are similar to those of a dreamy California sunset

Meet Dendrobium 'Crystal Pink.' The cool thing about this plant is that the flowers are small, about the size of a guitar pick. Alas, I didn't have a pick with me, and I don't want to show the photo of my broken thumbnail beside the flower. Just take my word on this, okay?

I have no idea who Andree Millar is/was, but how lucky to have a Dendrobium named after her!

This is Dendrobium aberrans, and again, these are tiny flowers: each one is about the size of a thumbnail. I seem to be drawn to the dendrobiums, but maybe it's because they were faithfully labeled AND I took photos of the labels so I wouldn't just say, "oh, there's a pretty one..."

Here's one where the breeder had a lot of fun with the name. Say hello to Degarmoara 'Skywalker Red Star.' It seems to me there were other 'Skywalkers' there, but I could be wrong about that.

This is a plant that I remember from other years, so obviously its flowering schedule is pretty consistant. This is Cymbidium 'Pelleas Merah'.

Staying with the Cymbidiums (which I dearly love and want to have), this charmer is named 'Ming Pagoda.'

And to wrap up this display of exotic perfection, let's say hello to Slc 'Crown Jewel.' Now. I have NO idea what Slc means, other than it's probably an abbreviation for some kind of crossing of genera. If someone who knows more about them would like to clarify that, please leave a comment, by all means. I don't like being inaccurate with information, but this isn't what you'd call an informative post: it's mostly eye candy to help us get through what's left of Farch, and into what Annie of The Transplantable Rose calls Marpril.

Of course, the coming of April will bring out the T. S. Eliot in me yet again, as I get to quote from my favourite poem ever. And what, do you suppose, might THAT poem be? Dear friends and gentle gardeners, I leave you with that until the changing of the month.


  1. Slc. is the abbreviation for Sophrolaeliocattleya. It's a trigeneric hybrid. (Sophronitis x Laelia x Cattleya)

    I really like the Dendrobium Andree Millar. Never seen anything like that before, and I was just at an orchid show on Saturday. The Cymbidiums are nice too.

  2. I don't know anything about Orchids and never seen any in person. But they are very easy on the eyes. Some are so interesting and look like an opened pod containing a little humanoid shape. Some even have two "eyes." But the "Skywalker" one has probably the easiest shape to see, with the white ball being the "head."

  3. In general, I don't like pink and I don't like orchids - which shows how, when I say I am entranced by the Santa Barbara Sunset . . . how entranced I must be!


  4. Mrs IG has an orchid, a whitish pink one. There you go, that's a definite identifier! Anyway, she keeps on killing it, and it keeps on coming back to life.

  5. These photos are enough to take the F out of Farch. 'Fall in Love' looks like it is holding a fairy hostage in the center of its bloom. What a gorgeous collection.

  6. Orchids are quite exotic but I hear they are easy to maintain. These are gorgeous! I'm partial to Limmerick's boldness!

  7. Jodi - you are right about the California sunsets - they look just like "Santa Barbara Sunset". Beautiful. Farch can go away with these wonderful pics. But today it's going to feel more like Mapril or even Mune by the end of the week.

  8. They are indeed elegant.

    How on earth do you keep your kitties from tasting them? Snacking on and depotting house plants is a favorite kitty activity here.

  9. This wonderful colour is just what I need on this cloudy, drizzly day, Jodi.
    Santa Barbara Sunset's colours are perfect for the name. I wish I had it here to enjoy in person!
    But how would you choose between all these beauties?
    Your Limerick is very cheerful to brighten the Farch days.
    The redwings are coming in droves so I think of you often :)
    I hope you have them too.
    Thanks for sharing the joy of those gorgeous orchids. Wish I'd been there!

  10. "Fall in Love" indeed -- that has to be my personal favourite. I had such wonderful blooms on my orchids last spring, but haven't had a bit of luck with any of them since. I sense that the light is not suitable in the apartment; so I'll just enjoy your vicariously. ;)

    Get psyched for what promises to be a glorious SPRING weekend! Fri-Sat-Sun/18-19-20! Gotta love it.

  11. BTW, your question about "Slc" got me looking for answers and I found this: Sophrolaeliocattleya (abbreviated Slc.) = Sophronitis x Laelia x Cattleya Its "parents", I believe, if I get the gist of it correctly. :)

  12. I think that maybe one of each should follow you home.....

    What beauty to have congregated in one place.



  13. Your talk of Farch is hilarious! I'll be so glad when Farch is over. Wonderful orchid photos! I am a budding orchid collector myself and cannot have enough! The naming is so confusing and one of the biggest hurdles I am facing in my endeavors. It seems like the deeper I get into this hobby, the more confused I become. For instance, I have a "Harlequin" type Phalaenopsis, named Sogo Pearl PRO #15. I will not go into the explanation of what SOGO means, for it has a complicated meaning, but PRO stands for the location in which it was hybridized--Pine Ridge Orchids. At least, I think that's true. How complicated is that!

    These orchid shows being showcased in so many blogs right now are making me insanely jealous! I live so far from everything, but I desperately need to find an orchid show to visit. Usually, I get my "fix" by driving 15 miles to the nearest Lowe's.

  14. this is such a lovely post celebrating the beautiful and delicate orchid which in each exquisite flower beholds the art of nature...wonderful that it is blooming right now as we crave for our spring flowers and it definitely creates more attraction than if it were blooming amongst the many flowers of spring & summer! Your pictures are bright and fresh as well as your sense of humor ! (oh, there's a pretty one!)

  15. Oh, boy. Your orchid pictures are stunning, every one of them! I was not very good at orchid since I put my first a couple of orchids indoor, and they just did not do well. Until later, I figured out they will be much happier. My first cattelaya just bloomed, and I am so exciting! Now I have nine of different orchids now, and I can see where this is going toward... Hope the addiction will not be too deep to make my wallet crying... :)

    Thanks for a great post and beautiful pictures! And if later on I become addicted to Orchids, you know you are one of them to blame! LOL

  16. I am a recent fan of orchids and am growing my first two Moth Orchids. So far, I have been able to coax one to re-bloom. Hopefully the other will follow suit soon. I attended college in Santa Barbara and "Santa Barbara Sunset" is as close as you can get to the beautiful colors of the actual sunsets :-)

  17. I'll have Limerick please. I love slippers, we have King Arthur, and a non-flowering Lost Labellus. Never mind Farch, our Cymbidiums live in the garden in the shade of trees.

  18. If only the computer could pass along scents! I know the scent in the Orchid room in DC last winter was heaven to the nose! They are all so beautiful...

  19. I must admit to leaving a trail of deceased orchids in my wake. I'm terrible at growing them. I can usually sustain them through their initial bloom, but somewhere along the way toward re-blooming...they die. Your photos are stunning though, almost enough to make me want to try again, except I hate to inflict that much suffering on a plant. I love the 'Crystal Pink' though, it looks so delicate, and all of your photos are beautiful! Good luck with the new Limerick!

  20. Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well. We are having crazy weather here, there was even the mention of snow! Hopefully April will bring us all some consistently warmer and nicer weather.
    Your orchid photos are beautiful. I love the one you chose. I seem to remember you mentioning you liked green flowers.

  21. Thank you to Mr_subjunctive and Nancy for letting me know that SLC stands for Sophrolaeliocattleya. It's no wonder that the name is abbreviated!

    Kara, that's a good observation about some of them looking sort of humanoid!

    Marnie, the bad kitties usually leave the plants alone. I keep orchids up where they can't be reached, and keep other plants that I really don't want them messing with (toxic plants like my cycad, African violets that don't look good wearing cat hair) in my office, which I shut when I'm not in there. Mungus was eyeballing the new rosemary plant that I bought yesterday, but a squirt from the water bottle discouraged him and he went on his way.

  22. Lovely little beauties, all! I have the same question as Marnie...my cat eats everything green--even plastic, silk and/or straw plant-look-alikes!!! I hope Farch goes into April in a Marpril kind of way. Otherwise, it may be more like Farpril for you, and I know you don't want that!

  23. I think I saw them following you home. If a cluster of these beauties show up, shivering, at your door, please take them in...

  24. I have that same tri-cross Paph! It lives in my bathroom quite happily. I love the Laelia; that one is causing me to have severe orchid lust.

  25. You say Farch - I say Winter. I've got the St. Lawrence Seaway Valley to moderate it some but I can't count on Spring until Mayune. Or at least couldn't in the past but over the last few years it's becoming Apmay

    A little eye candy is always welcome.

  26. Can I just say I am drooling over those wonderful pictures of the orchids - isn't it great to see names besides the varieties - I am so used to seeing just dendrobium or cymbidium on a plant label in our local stores. I love your yellow cymbidium photo - it reminds me of marzipan...... I love the smell of that and the thick petals of the cymbidium.

  27. BEE YOU TEE FULL. I can't pick a favorite. I want them all.

    Love the crocus banner photo too.

  28. What a bunch of beautiful blooms! (Say that fast 3 times.)

    One of these days, one of those will talk me into taking it home with me, and I'll do my best to take care of it.


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