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Let There Be Orchids!

Updated on March 28, 2015
One orchid of thousands in our home
One orchid of thousands in our home

We Love Orchids!

If you just love orchids, and can't get enough of them, why not grow some yourself? My husband does. He just loves them - and so do I!

Our kitchen counters are often loaded with about 20 of them in bloom, and the pungent, but delicate, exotic aroma of the orchids perfumes the entire house. Forget hiring an interior decorator; grow some orchids! You will have the best "interior decorations" - beauty by the hand of God.

You may not know it, but orchids are one of the most incredible flowers, and they don't all look like "corsage orchids", either! He grows orchids that look like little men, and orchids that look like butterflies, and orchids that have "beards", and orchids with spots, and orchids with faces, and orchids that look like little angels, and orchids that look like fairies, and orchids that look like Darth Vader, and orchids that have frills, and orchids with skirts, and orchids that are so small - you could fit ten of the flowers on a US quarter, and orchids so large that one could cover most of a dinner plate, and orchids that move, and orchids that spit - yes, they do!

Sorry - I am really sorry, but you cannot get the "Orchid Tour"!

I only took photos of about 700 or so of our orchids, but I didn't put them all here - aren't you glad? Because my husband will NOT let you in to see them, I thought I would showcase some of them here, for you to enjoy!
I only took photos of about 700 or so of our orchids, but I didn't put them all here - aren't you glad? Because my husband will NOT let you in to see them, I thought I would showcase some of them here, for you to enjoy!
Catesetum Orchid
Catesetum Orchid

The Spitting Orchid

This orchid really spits!

These lovely yellow blooms are from a Catesetum orchid. It is designed to "spit" its seeds or spores, or whatever the correct name is, to insure that lots of baby Catesetums will be "born". This one spit on our hands, the kitchen counters, and on our clothing. The "glue" that the orchid uses is better than epoxy, or at least it seems like it to us, because it is extremely hard to remove from any surface where it happens to land.

The first time I saw the Catesetum "spit", I thought I was seeing things. Little critters just LOVE to hide in the orchid mix; used to secure the orchid in its pot. So...I am always looking for what I saw out of the corner of my eye. I looked and looked, but didn't see any insects. All I could find was a tiny, odd-looking object on the counter, several inches from the orchid. Well, after a bit of investigation, and asking my husband, I found out, that this is how they propagate themselves.

It is REALLY interesting to see it in action; if you are in the vicinity, you can actually hear the "spitting". A moment of searching usually finds what was "spit", securely "glued" to a nearby surface. Occasionally, it was glued on...us!

Bulbophyllum Orchid
Bulbophyllum Orchid

Coming Unhinged Orchid

I almost jumped out of my skin!

The Bulbophyllums are just some of the most unusual, and scary orchids, ever. I will never forget the day I was photographing one for the first time. I had the orchid held up in the air, so I could get the proper lighting on it, and had my camera set on Micro, so I could get the details, and...the "tongue" flipped down - fast!

I just about "jumped out of my skin"! Hollering for my husband, I said "This thing just MOVED!". He had no idea what I was referring to, so I took the orchid over to him, and showed him. He just started laughing, and told me that they're SUPPOSED to...the tongue is on a "hinge", just like a hinge on a box, or the figure eight safety on a bracelet, or the hinge on a door. I was AMAZED! I still AM amazed...that is just incredible!

To add to the interesting properties of the Bulbopyllum, some of them look like little "aliens", so when that tongue flipped down, the psychological effect it had on me, was just ridiculous. This one, in particular, looks like it has legs and arms, and a head. Really, it does! Take a good look at that tongue, and how large it is, in proportion to the entire flower. The "flipping tongue" scared me, but it is just perfect. I just wish I had been warned, so I knew it was coming, but - no such luck!

Now, I am prepared for the Bulbophyllum's antics, and I must say, they have "grown on me", and now - they are my favorites!

What an aristocrat - at least HE thinks he is!
What an aristocrat - at least HE thinks he is!

He Thinks He's An Aristocrat!

What an attitude!

This handsome orchid really believes he is royalty; a genuine blue-blood. Just look at that long orchid nose! It comes in handy, for looking down on other people. We have tried to tell him that is not acceptable behavior, but he turns us a deaf petal!

When he blooms, we have to put him off by himself, so some of the baby orchids who are very sweet and shy, do not get their feelings hurt. We also don't want some of the timid ones to be afraid to open their tiny orchid lips and speak.

Occasionally, we have to call on the angel orchids, to explain the facts of orchid life to him. They tell him that every orchid starts out the same way, and there is no such thing as "orchid rank" or "orchid titles", but he swears he was born to the throne.

At least, he is not an active troublemaker, but he needs to adjust his attitude. Thankfully, he only blooms once in a while!

Mini Mark Holmes species orchid
Mini Mark Holmes species orchid

Be a Clown, be a Clown

Definitely NOT the tears of a clown...he's happy!

Now, really - don't the vibrant splashes of color remind you of a circus clown? That always what I think of, when this spectacular array of colors unfolds in this rather nondescript-looking orchid.

Judging merely by its leaves, you would never expect the neon colors that appear when it blooms. The leaves are firm and shiny, and the colors look like they were made by a neon or fluorescent marker. when this one blooms, it fairly screams - surprise!,

One of our miniature orchids
One of our miniature orchids

Little Baby Bunting

The little baby in swaddling clothes...

When you see this one from a distance, the center looks like a ghostly face. But, when you see it up close, this one looks like a little baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes. The petals that surround the center of the orchid, really make it look like there are little spotted, dotted scalloped shells, protecting a tender infant. This one is only about the size of a dime, and very sweet!

When this orchid blooms, there are lots of these "little baby faces" looking out at you, and it is reminiscent of some of the popular baby pictures we have seen recently, with the babies' heads in the center of flowers; clever idea.

Due to its size, this little orchid is extremely difficult to photograph clearly, but...you get the idea!

See the smile on her face?
See the smile on her face?

The Flying Nun Orchid

Here she comes, to save the day!

Here she comes - the Flying Nun!

Well, that's what this orchid looks like, as though it is in flight, about to arrive any moment to handle whatever problem she may encounter.

When seen "in person", this orchid is just one incredible flower!

Check out the "wings", the "hood", the "face" - does that not make you want to worship God, who created this beauty?

Read About Orchids on Amazon

Bulbophyllums; the Incomplete Guide, From A to WHY?
Bulbophyllums; the Incomplete Guide, From A to WHY?

You're right, the cover isn't spectacular, but Bulbophyllum ORCHIDS are! I think they are the most interesting of all the varieties of orchids that grow.

In every one of them, I see a little person - sometimes an angel, sometimes a demon, sometimes an alien, sometimes a baby; one never knows what is going to bloom when a Bulbophyllum "opens up".

I couldn't help the author to complete his guide, but I could help him with the "WHY"! We simply love them, that's why!

 

Can you see why I say "Let There Be Orchids"?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I love how the top petals on both of these have a lime green tip -if you look closely, you can see them!You may THINK this is the same orchid in some of our other pages, but it is not. Love the deep red "lip"!These three little spotted fellows always hung out together.Another spectacular bright red orchid of ours. I do love the red ones.This orchid is obviously a female - she is all "frills"!Can you BELIEVE the lime green colors of these two?One of our favorites, and "in person", its splendor is hard to believe.What a lovely muted shade of orange. Not quite salmon, not quite peach...Another spectacular "show-off"! The contrast in colors is what is so striking.Ah! My second favorite type - the Schomburgkia orchid. They come in many different colors and shapes.
I love how the top petals on both of these have a lime green tip -if you look closely, you can see them!
I love how the top petals on both of these have a lime green tip -if you look closely, you can see them!
You may THINK this is the same orchid in some of our other pages, but it is not. Love the deep red "lip"!
You may THINK this is the same orchid in some of our other pages, but it is not. Love the deep red "lip"!
These three little spotted fellows always hung out together.
These three little spotted fellows always hung out together.
Another spectacular bright red orchid of ours. I do love the red ones.
Another spectacular bright red orchid of ours. I do love the red ones.
This orchid is obviously a female - she is all "frills"!
This orchid is obviously a female - she is all "frills"!
Can you BELIEVE the lime green colors of these two?
Can you BELIEVE the lime green colors of these two?
One of our favorites, and "in person", its splendor is hard to believe.
One of our favorites, and "in person", its splendor is hard to believe.
What a lovely muted shade of orange. Not quite salmon, not quite peach...
What a lovely muted shade of orange. Not quite salmon, not quite peach...
Another spectacular "show-off"! The contrast in colors is what is so striking.
Another spectacular "show-off"! The contrast in colors is what is so striking.
Ah! My second favorite type - the Schomburgkia orchid. They come in many different colors and shapes.
Ah! My second favorite type - the Schomburgkia orchid. They come in many different colors and shapes.

They are ready for a night on the town

Can you not tell these are dressed for the ball?
Can you not tell these are dressed for the ball?

50 Bloom-Again Orchids

Bloom-Again Orchids: 50 Easy-Care Orchids that Flower Again and Again and Again
Bloom-Again Orchids: 50 Easy-Care Orchids that Flower Again and Again and Again

If you are going to put your heart and soul into growing orchids, you might want to check out this book. The author has made it very easy for a beginner to learn how to grow orchids, and the ones she has chosen to highlight will bloom over and over again.

 
He is "Darth Vader" in orchid disguise, to me...
He is "Darth Vader" in orchid disguise, to me...

Darth Vader

Well, picture him all in black...

I TOLD you one of them looked like Darth Vader! Well - doesn't he? Just the color is off. If it was BLACK, you'd think you had a whole lot of little Darth Vaders coming at you when it blooms!

Look at the "helmet". Is this a "Darth Vader" orchid, or what? I recognized the resemblance immediately.

He stands up ramrod-straight on the orchid stem, and is about 2 inches tall. The maroon coloration is extremely intense, and his petals are just about iridescent.

We always look forward to this orchid blooming, out of the thousands that my husband grows. Every single one is a statement in itself, and just when I think I have seen them all; another orchid blooms, and just "blows me away"!

Orchid Gallery of just a few of our beauties.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cattleyas - Last bloom was over 110 flowers - in one pot!.Schomburgkia - a curly wonder.What a red-lover's delight, and sparkles like mad in the light.Teeny little fairies - what darlin's!Looks like someone splashed paint on this baby, doesn't it?Puts you in mind of an antelope, right?What an unusual, exquisite lime green bearded Digbyana orchid!Jack-in-the-pulpit?Royal dendrobium that resembles a pansy.Frills and lace - reminiscent of Victorian times.
Cattleyas - Last bloom was over 110 flowers - in one pot!.
Cattleyas - Last bloom was over 110 flowers - in one pot!.
Schomburgkia - a curly wonder.
Schomburgkia - a curly wonder.
What a red-lover's delight, and sparkles like mad in the light.
What a red-lover's delight, and sparkles like mad in the light.
Teeny little fairies - what darlin's!
Teeny little fairies - what darlin's!
Looks like someone splashed paint on this baby, doesn't it?
Looks like someone splashed paint on this baby, doesn't it?
Puts you in mind of an antelope, right?
Puts you in mind of an antelope, right?
What an unusual, exquisite lime green bearded Digbyana orchid!
What an unusual, exquisite lime green bearded Digbyana orchid!
Jack-in-the-pulpit?
Jack-in-the-pulpit?
Royal dendrobium that resembles a pansy.
Royal dendrobium that resembles a pansy.
Frills and lace - reminiscent of Victorian times.
Frills and lace - reminiscent of Victorian times.

Did You Enjoy The Orchids?

Which one of them was your favorite?

See results

300 Photos of Exotic Orchids on Amazon

Now, THIS author is a man after my own heart. The book is called "Understanding Orchids". Maybe it will help you understand yours, or pique your interest into growing them. We certainly own some strange ones, whose behavior I don't understand!

Understand Orchids? MAYBE...

Understanding Orchids: An Uncomplicated Guide to Growing the World's Most Exotic Plants
Understanding Orchids: An Uncomplicated Guide to Growing the World's Most Exotic Plants

As much as I admire this author, I have to tell you that you will STILL not understand orchids, after you read his book. I have tried and tried. His guide IS excellent though, and you will find his advice easy to follow, but if you think you will EVER understand orchids, think again. We have quite a few renegades who run roughshod over us!

 

Photo credits: All images portrayed here were photographed or created by the author - E. Tack

© 2010 Emily Tack

Comments Welcome - How'd you like our orchids?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have took a picture of an orchid, and I can't find out what it is called to save my life. It is purple, with small white spots. 5 pedals, and in the center it has what looks like a little celestial being. It has two purple eyes, and white face. can someone tell me what it might be called?

    • justramblin profile image

      justramblin 4 years ago

      What a fantastic lens! Such beautiful orchids and so very interesting. Thanks very much.

    • Shades-of-truth profile image
      Author

      Emily Tack 6 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: I could give you one of my husband's - but then, I'd never get back in the house, so - I guess I won't do that! Pretty soon, I'll have some information up here, on where you can get one, to love and hold and cherish, for your very own!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I would love to have a Spitting Orchid! Do you know where or how I can get one?

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 6 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I love orchids- what a wonderful collection!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Just beautiful. I used to grown orchids and you are stirring the passion in me. Blessed and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

      Norma

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      I love these flowers. Nicely done lens. Blessed by a SqidAngel :)

    • Shades-of-truth profile image
      Author

      Emily Tack 7 years ago from USA

      @Swagger1: Thank you so much, everybody! I am just about ready to tell my husband! He'll be glad you like them so much, but don't show up at the door - he won't let you in.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My mom ysed to have an Orchid Tree in her back yard. I used to Love that tree. It was Soo Beautiful when in bloom.

    • profile image

      Swagger1 7 years ago

      Nice lens and orchids are beautiful.

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love love this lens! The photos are great and there are great interesting and funny facts. I really want to own a spitting orchid! 5*

    • Shades-of-truth profile image
      Author

      Emily Tack 7 years ago from USA

      @Stazjia: Thanks, everyone! If you know anyone who likes odd flowers, send it along! We have a lot more of the "weird" ones, and will share more when I get a chance!

    • profile image

      askfault 7 years ago

      Amazing photographs! Didn't realize so many varieties of orchids existed. Nice presentation and thanks for sharing!

    • garyrh1 profile image

      garyrh1 7 years ago

      Oh nice, those are extremely pretty! :) I love the lens, thanks :)

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I love the names of these orchids. And the photos are beautiful. You've done a really nice job with this!

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      What a great lens about orchids, I love it. Blessed.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

      Lovely lens. I am a flower grower and can symathise with your fascination and passion.It's wonderful to read a lens made with such enthusiasm and first hand experience. Maybe you can teach us all some more about orchid growing. 5*

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I love the way you write about orchids, very personal and idiosyncratic in a good way. Blessed.

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