Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Milwaukee Orchid Show, Part 2

After making several rounds of the sales area, and seeing something new to tempt us each time, we made it to the actual show. This dome is called the Exhibit Dome, and is used for shows like this.


An excellent red Phragmipedium hybrid. I was so struck by the flowers I forgot to look at the label! The color of the bud at the top matches the Pennisetum in the background.

Some of the displays went for a more "natural" look, with foliage plants mixed in with the orchids.

Other exhibitors chose to display their orchids against black cloth. This display was especially full.

Another floriferous example of a Phragmipedium. I enjoy the alien appearance of these strangely beautiful flowers.


This cute little slipper orchid is Paphiopedilum henryi, one of my favorite species. The spotted dorsal is almost golden, even with a bit of metallic sheen. Many clones of this species are reportedly difficult to bloom, though a few more vigorous selections are available. I didn't look closely enough to see if this was one such.

I love the dark-colored Paphiopedilum hybrids, known as vinicolors. This is not the darkest I've seen, but the brilliant red-violet dorsal simply glows.

Here we have a a multifloral (multiple flowers per stem) hybrid Paphiopedilum. Love those spots!

One of the cutest species, Paphiopedilum helenae is only about 5 inches tall in bloom, but the flower is a rich yellow and the pouch can be yellow, pink, or mahogany. It's on my wishlist, despite the plain green leaves. The flowers are just too beautiful and it can be quite floriferous.

A cheery yellow complex hybrid Paphiopedilum. It's called a complex hybrid because it's so far from the original parent species that it's developed a complex. Har har.


I absolutely love all of the slipper orchids in this photo! Particularly the one at the top left and the Paph. henryi hybrid in the center.

It's worth knowing that not all orchids have boring leaves. Habaneria carnea has spectacular, star-strewn leaves. Now if only it didn't have pastel, almost fleshy-pink flowers, but maybe that isn't a problem for most people.

Maybe it was the placement. Here you can see the flesh-colored flowers of the orchid above with bright yellows in the background. Not a good combo, to my eye.

Now here are colors I like! Hot reds and oranges!

But don't forget pristine, cool white. These flowers, belonging to Angraecum Cloud's Christmas Candle, were probably 5-6" across and most likely fragrant, though I couldn't get close enough to give them a sniff.


Cleisocentron merillianum is one of the few orchids whose flowers can reasonably be called blue. The otherworldly color may range from a pale sky blue, to teal, to nearly cerulean. Unfortunately, this diva requires high humidity and constant moisture along with good air circulation. Only suitable for a large orchid terrarium or greenhouse. Maybe someday when I have my dream house complete with enclosed courtyard conservatory, eh?

This Dendrobium species was a delightful bundle of narrow green leaves and pristine white flowers with steel-blue columns in the center.

While I congratulate this exhibitor on their many ribbons, I would have liked to appreciate the many tiny orchids without the distraction of the relatively large awards.

That concludes the orchid-centric portion of our visit to The Domes. Next time we'll focus on the many other wonderful plants growing in these amazing conservatories.

Have I mentioned how happy I am to be blogging again? Now I just need to find something to really sink my teeth into and do some serious writing. Pictures are fun to look at, but I want to do a bit more. I have a few ideas for topics, but nothing has quite solidified just yet.

8 comments:

  1. Agreed, that last image is just too TOO much. Are there actually flowers in there somewhere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, blogspot doesn't seem to want to post my replies. Here we go again, then. Yes, there were lots of cool, amazing little flowers in that mass of ribbons, which were much easier to examine in person than to relate via photos, unfortunately.

      Delete
  2. Those ribbons looks huge amongst those delicate plants. It looks like a fun event in a fab venue too which reminds me of the temperate biome of the Eden project in Cornwall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh! I've always wanted to see the Eden Project in person. My undergrad advisor has been there and she showed me pictures.

      Delete
  3. The natural look gets my vote. The orchids are all strangely wonderful, but to my eye they benefit from being isolated from one another.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always prefer the natural look, too. It means more plants!

      Delete
  4. I'm in love with the first Paphiopedilum you showed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paphiopedilum henryi? You have good taste, my friend. One of my favorites, as well.

      Delete

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love hearing what readers think and answering questions. I also welcome suggestions for improvement!