A Fascination With Orchids

Spectacular show of natural colour in one place

The 7th International Orchid Show was held on the grounds of the National Parliament in Port Moresby at the beginning of October this year.It was over the weekend on 2-3 October, 2010. Please disregard the date on the photos – I’ve since adjusted the date so I have the correct date on my photos…phew!

Awards of various categories were made at the Show too.

I am as always, amazed at the splash of colour in one place as varieties of orchids could exist or grow so close together. Sometimes one can find a few varieties growing on one tree. This is really amazing. An awesome sight, without a doubt as one tree could have such a variety of colours  – purple, pink, white etc.

The orchid has fascinated me all my life as it is a flowering plant which you cant dig a hold in the ground and plant. It grows on other trees and plants. When I was growing up one of my maternal aunts introduced me to orchids. I tried growing some in the 90s but never succeeded. Maybe because I wasn’t keen enough to find out how to grow them. Perhaps one day – when I retire.

Growing on trees...amazing

Always awestruck by the beauty of these plants. I think the orchid is some sort of a parasitic plant, in this case.

There are some avid collectors and cultivators of these beautiful flowers. There is one such collector here in Port Moresby who has collected and cultivated around 6,000 varieties of spatulata orchids. Now that is something. He is featured in the catalogue of the Orchid Society of Papua New Guinea and also its Vice President. In the catalogue it reads in part, “…a world-class collection of spatulata orchids…”

Here are some of my shots of spatulata orchids and other varieties of this beautiful, perennial flowering plant.

I spent almost 2 hours at this Show just taking it all in. Wouldn’t you just?

Captivating Colours In My Eyes…

Stunning purple vanda...

I love orchids. I love the colours, shapes and sizes. I am amazed at how many types of orchids there are in the world including the exotics we find in PNG and in Asia – Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. The orchid or orchidaceae family of orchids is the largest family of flowering plants. Most probably the most adaptable flowering plant in the world in terms of colours, shapes and sizes. I say this from the many, many different kinds of orchids I’ve come across over the years.

Brilliant gold...

I developed an interest in orchids from the Andre Miller gardening programme on the NBC in Port Moresby during the 1980s. The University of PNG botanical gardens should also have interesting and beautiful varieties of orchids. There is a great post on the orchids of Papua New Guinea you can read about at  http://euraliapaine.blogspot.com

Another stunning orchid...

When I visited Kew Gardens I was not looking out for orchids specifically as there were lots to see. When I saw the exhibit I couldn’t believe my luck only because I was not expecting it. I always believed orchids were a tropical species of flowering plant.  I really like the vanda orchids – the colours are amazing and so beautiful. There are other kinds too. There are so many but these are just a few samples of the great collection at Kew Gardens.

A collage of stunning colours, shapes and sizes...

Charles Darwin’s book, “Fertilisation of Orchids” published in 1862, twenty years before his death, documented his  keen interest in cross polination of orchids by insects. This should be an interesting publication to read for orchid lovers. There should be a copy available in any reputable library.

The popular annual Orchid Festival will be at Kew Gardens from 5 February – 6 March 6 . This will be the 11th Annual Festival and will be featuring ‘more than 250,000 orchids’ at the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

Lovely pink...and one of my favourite shots.

I reckon the 11th annual orchid festival would be a more than great reason for visiting Kew Gardens. The exhibition of more than a quarter of a million types of orchids should be a fitting feast for all orchid lovers.