Orchids, A Cure for the Winter Blues

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Orchids, A Cure for the Winter Blues

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru

Orchids at Powell Gardens provide a cure for the winter blues and spring fever. Scroll down and enjoy a quick look at the colors and varieties currently in bloom. Many of the plants are not labeled.

I have lived here 12 winters and never have I heard so many folks complain about the winter! It has actually been “average” but so many winters have been mild recently that we have forgotten what a real one is like. (Green Lantern Dendrobium depicted.)

We grow orchids in our Greenhouse #2, which is not open for visitors to see. When they come into bloom they are transfered to theVisitor Center’s front desk and the conservatory so everyone can enjoy them.
Drops of Orange Cattleya
There are more species of orchids (Family Orchidaceae) than any other family of plants. There are about 50,000 species found from the arctic to the tropics. Hybridizers have created many, many hybrids!
Vanilla; yes, the vanilla flavoring we all enjoy comes from the seed pod of this orchid! Our gardener, Tracy Flowers, is trying to pollinate this plant this spring. All vanilla orchids must be hand pollinated and the best are grown in Madagascar even though this plant is native in Mexico. It is a large, vine-like orchid.
Orchids even come in exquisite greens like this species hybrid Paphiopedilum.
The “Paphs” are orchids related to wild lady’s slippers.
This Dendrobium orchid was mislabeled Epidendrum pseudepidendrum. Keeping track of so many species, hybrids and cultivars is challenging!
This Vanda orchid always causes rave reviews with its deep indigo blue flowers.

At the end of the rainbow lies purple and Vandas show this royal color off in style. I hope this quick blog of images entices you out to see our orchids on display. The next two months are peak orchid blooming season–look for them in the conservatory. They come in all colors of the rainbow and are sure to soothe the soul.
Our orchid collection owes many thanks to our former Horticulturist David Bird, who now grows and sells orchids with his family business Bird’s Botanicals.
All photographs taken by Alan Branhagen on February 13, 2008 at Powell Gardens.