Things are quiet at the USBG. Several sections are closed off for renovation and even the orchids appear to be in short supply as the USBG gets ready for its upcoming orchid show. Nevertheless, here are a few gems that caught my eye in the late afternoon sunshine. These are all generally orchids that like temperatures slightly on the cooler side.
Here are two maudiae-type slipper orchidsthat I bought at the recent orchid show held in Washington D.C. Most of these hybrids are being bred in Taiwan (slipper orchids are from south-east Asia) and the quality is outstanding. Growers usually have a batch of identical seedlings in bloom, and its fun to go through and pick out the best ones. ‘Best’, is of course, subjective but most slipper orchid enthusiasts will agree that if you look for flowers that are symmetrical, show clear color and boast a good flat dorsal sepal(that’s the striped one at the top of the flower that ends in a point) you can’t go wrong.
Then, of course, you have to like the flower, so that you’ll enjoy it once its home and blooming on your windowsill (the flowers can last six weeks or more). The orchid to the top is 50% sukhakulii, a species from Thailand that impart wide spotted petals to its progeny. Below is what is known as a vini-color hybrid–the goal with this kind of breedingis to get wine colored flowers–sin fact, some of these can be an extremely dark wine-red, or practically black. The vini colored slipper orchids are best admired while sipping a glass of claret red.
Maudiae-type slipper orchids also have beautiful foliage . They are relatively low-light plants and with a little care can be grown as houseplants. Learn how to grow slipper orchids