Weird Orchids or What?
My Husband Grows Some Weird Orchids
When you think of an orchid, what image races into your mind? A "corsage-type" orchid, right? Well, I am here to tell you, my husband grows some orchids, that don't even LOOK like orchids, or any other flower I've ever seen, for that matter.
This is one of my husband's VERY cool "WILD MAN" Orchids. Wouldn't THAT be startling, as a corsage? It is startling enough, when it blooms! The sight is indescribable - you'd have to see it yourself, to appreciate the intricacy of this particular gem.Usually, there are several of these that bloom on the same plant. They almost look like they are "walking", when you first encounter them. I'll bet that you have never seen one of THESE for sale at a nursery!
I must say, the first time I saw this exotic orchid bloom, it reminded me of a traffic signal - red, yellow, and green!
This is a Scary Orchid...
When you think of an orchid, what image races into your mind? A "corsage-type" orchid, right? Don't you think of a large, frilly, elegant flower, that has decorated prom gowns and Mother's Day dresses for decades? I do!
Well, I am here to tell you, my husband grows some orchids, that don't even LOOK like orchids, or any other flower I've ever seen, for that matter. I did not even know that so many different types of orchids existed, but in the last few years I learned that the orchid species consists of over 25,000 different types. All of them are not "showy", like the ones with which most of us are familiar.
Take this little guy, for instance. I call him our Casper the Ghost Orchid . Now, just step back a bit, blur your eyes, and tell me - IS THIS NOT A GREEN CASPER? Come on, admit it! That's exactly what he looks like, and not just in a photo, either!
He looks like he just jumped out of some closet, and yelled BOO! - doesn't he? I thought he did once, but my husband said he didn't!
Talk About a Weird Orchid!
Ah! I just love this bloom!
The first time I saw it, I just laughed...it is so beautiful, and totally unlike any orchid I had ever seen!
One of my two favorite types of orchids, this one is a Schomburgkia. What its exact name is - eludes me.
I'll have to check the tag, when it blooms again - but, who cares? It is simply spectacular, and that incredible color that you see in the photo, is exactly the color of that orchid, when it blooms!
By the way, this orchid is HUGE! It is as large as my hand, and does not really resemble any of the other orchids that my husband grows.
Our Knight in Shining Petals
One of my favorites...
This one doesn't scare me - I love it! Talk about reminiscent of medieval...doesn't it make you think of knighthood? Looks like he ought to have armor on, and be astride his mount, or something...
If you really want to know, his technical name is...are you ready? Paphiopedilum Enzan Fruit x spicerianum. How's THAT for a moniker?
His petals just GLISTEN when they are struck by the slightest lighting, and they are really thick, not delicate, like you would expect from an orchid. When he blooms, he blooms for a long time, and I never cease to be amazed at his splendor!
He is really large, too - about six or seven inches from the top of his petals, to the bottom. It is always a pleasure, when he blooms, as his elegance decorates any room in which he is displayed.
Photo credit: Emily Tack 2008
Would YOU like to grow orchids like these? - It is easier than you think!
For years, I have enjoyed photographing and viewing my husband's orchids. He seems to have a special touch, when it comes to growing even the most difficult ones. According to him, it is not that hard to grow them. Well, I thought it would be a good idea to add some "How to Grow Orchids" options for you, just in case he is understating the facts.
Amazon has lots of choices; we have added a few books about orchids, to get you started. Here is the first one...
The Little "Candy-Striped Duck Orchid"...
Okay, there IS no such thing - but I think this orchid looks like a little duck. Can't you see its bill? If you allow your imagination to run wild a bit, you might just see the resemblance to Daffy Duck, the sarcastic cartoon duck.
The orchid's bloom is really small, but when you get up close to it, you can see how intricate it is. I always feel like it is just about ready to start talking to me....but, it never has.
For "the life of me", those stripes remind me of the candy-stripers, who volunteered at the hospitals - do you see it? I will bet that you did not know any orchids looked like this little fellow!
Japanese Warrior Required Orchid...
These delicate little, profusely blooming beauties are called Japanese Wind or Japanese Warrior Orchids. We have a few that bloom with white flowers, and some that are a lovely shade of purple.
My husband told me that in order to complete Samurai warrior training, each Japanese warrior had to successfully grow these orchids.
I understand why! They are not the easiest orchid to grow, but when you successfully do it, they will perfume your evenings with an aroma that smells like it is a cross between jasmine, and gardenia. They only emit that intoxicating fragrance once the sun has retired, and once you have experienced it - you'll never forget it!
This Orchid is Rarely Seen...
I have only seen one - THIS one!
One rare, delicate beauty, that does NOT look like an orchid.
Like the Japanese Wind Orchids, this orchid is also a tough one to get to bloom, so - very few people are familiar with it.
The orchid almost makes one feel like they are viewing a flower that is "shy", it is so petite, and subtle.
You most likely will never see one of these for sale at your local nursery. They are quite rare, and I feel privileged to have seen it.
I think it is just lovely - not showy or frilly, not breath-taking or gorgeous - but lovely.
The Preacher in the Pulpit Orchid
Well, that's what they look like to me!
These, some people call "Spider Orchids", but I call them "Preacher in the Pulpit Orchids". They seem to have NO blooming season, at all, because once they start, they just keep on blooming.
They also make me think of aliens, wearing striped cowls, flying down from the sky to announce an imminent takeover of our planet. It is difficult for me to see these lovely flowers as anything but space travelers.
Now, seriously - you tell me - do they look like ORCHIDS?
Yes, It Is an Orchid!
You are not likely to see this adorning anyone at a prom or a wedding - it's too "funky"!
The tan petals are so l-o-n-g, and rippled - they look like they should be on a fancy dress. When it blooms, that intense sunshine yellow and the icy pink are just surprising, to say the least.
Very few people know that this is an orchid, but we do, don't we?
This one is actually called a Schomburgkia. I do not know the whole botanical name for it, but that is the species to which it belongs. That species is one of my favorites, as the flowers are so very unique. The blooms last for several days, and they are ALWAYS a delight to see.
I see a little "person" in the center of this one, do you?
Bulbophyllum Orchids on Amazon
I have to admit that the Bulbophyllums are my favorite orchids. From Amazon, here is one you will not want to miss, about those unusual blooms!
Why Not Grow Your Own Orchids?
Long, Lean, and Lovely!
If it appears to you that these long orchids were photographed over the bathtub, they were! I had to get them in the proper lighting.
They are a variety of Bulbophyllum, called Bulbophyllum Longissima. That's about all I know, except that they are one of the longest orchids I have ever seen.
Some orchids bloom at the end of a long stem, but these particular orchids are very sociable, and always bloom in a "bunch". That enhances their elegance, but it makes them difficult to photograph!
Inside each long bloom, to my vivid imagination, is a little "bird" emerging. If you look closely, you can see what I mean. For the life of me, I expect them to take flight. They never do, but I keep watching...
Unfortunately, their "weeping" blooms don't last very long, and they do not have a detectable aroma.
When they bloom, it is quite a "show", but they are not likely to make it as corsage orchids!
The "Measle" Orchids...
I was SURE they had a disease...
These orchids are sick. Can't you see it?
Look at the spots! They are covered with them!
I didn't even know that orchids could get the measles, but...seeing is believing.
Actually, these orchids are as healthy as they can be, but they look like they have
contracted some disease. If someone said "orchid", this is definitely not the mental
image that would manifest itself. Nonetheless, these ARE orchids, and very lovely
ones, too...in person, that is!
This "Butterfly Orchid" Shocked Me!
If I want to keep my job, as "Orchid Spotter", I have to go check out all of the orchids that are hanging in the trees, periodically.
One afternoon, after performing my rounds, I was just about ready to return inside, when I decided to look underneath the canopy of leaves, to see if any orchids had blown down.
Oh, my goodness! THIS orchid was blooming, right up out of its pot setting on the ground, and "like to" scare me out of my mind! I didn't know my husband even HAD an orchid that looked like this. I didn't think anything looked like this...well. it does!
I have also been "honored" to be chosen as the "Critter Spotter" of the household - a dubious honor at best. I seem to see every creeping, crawling, wriggling, slithering creature that graces our domicile. When I saw this one, I was pretty sure that I had spotted an orchid AND a critter! Don't you think it is weird?
The Fan Orchid, that Revived Me!
After the harrowing experience I had, spotting the "Butterfly Orchid" above, I had to be revived. What better implement, than another orchid?
These darling beauties look just like a fan, when they bloom, and believe you ME, they came in handy THAT day!
Delicate or not, they served their purpose. So, we lost a few blooms with all of the frantic "waving them around" that I did - they'll grow back.
It was purely a miracle that I even noticed that they were in bloom! After I saw that terrifying orchid above, I really didn't want to see if anything else was blooming - I just wanted to get indoors!
How to Grow an Orchid...
Don't ask me - I don't have a clue! I just watch my incredible husband do it, with apparent ease. I never see him poring through orchid books, or researching "How to Care for Orchids" online. But, the man has a knack for growing spectacular orchids - in the rough!
If you keeping scrolling down the page, you will see that I have put some books here, from Amazon, that will teach you step-by-step, how to easily grow orchids, yourself! I have not tried doing that, but my husband has been doing it for years, with ease. If he can do it, so can you!
I truly hope you have enjoyed some of the Weird Ones here, and please check out our other articles on orchids. There are a lot more orchid photos and stories of ours, here on HubPages! If you read them, please don't tell my husband! He is very private, about his orchids. He hasn't seen any of these articles yet, and if he finds out - I'll know EXACTLY who told him!
So...SHHHH! Keep it on the Q.T. - okay?
Did you read what I wrote, just above this? Well, to help you remember, the book below will come in handy.
Do you see the title - "The Orchid Whisperer"? Well, that's what I'd like you to do about my husband's orchids - share the fact that they are here, in whispers.
He wouldn't want to think the whole world could see them here, online. Next thing you'd know, he will think I am giving orchid tours.
What do YOU think about these Weird Orchids? - Just asking...
Don't you think they are weird?
My husband does not grow these for "show", but I'm "showing" them. He grows them "in the rough", but don't you think his blooms are gorgeous?
© 2010 Emily Tack