Winter Orchids

The Peter Black Conservatory in Palmerston North’s The Esplanade is always worth a visit – beautifully maintained by orchid fancier Brian Adam, which means there are all sorts of interesting bits and pieces to see. Here are some photos from a visit in June 2017.

Dracula orchid - Copy

A Dracula orchid. These plants are native to Central America and northern South America. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Some of the Dracula orchids are also known as monkey-face orchids. If you look at some of these photos on the American Orchid Society website, you’ll see why.

Den subclausum var subclausum - Copy

Dendrobium subclausum var subclausum hails from Papua New Guinea. Photo: Sandra Simpson

One online source says: “Found in northern Papua and New Guinea and the Molucca Islands occuring at many elevations but mostly above 2000m, both epiphyticly and lithophyticly. This species is found in many habitats and in many sizes. It can basically bloom at any time of the year but mid-winter is the most possible on a cluster that surrounds the previous years cane arising from below the leaves.”

Den anceps - Copy

Dendrobium anceps has curious ‘flat’ foliage that looks more like that of a succulent. Photo: Sandra Simpson

The AOS notes that this family of ‘flat-leafed’ orchids was originally named Amporum but was then reclassified as Dendrobiums – and now DNA seems to indicate that the first classification was right! Read more here. From Southeast Asia.

Brassia longissima - Copy

Brassia longissima – the Brassias are commonly known as spider orchids. Photo: Sandra Simpson

The genus was named in 1813 in honor of William Brass, a botanical illustrator who collected plants for Sir Joseph Banks in Guinea and South Africa. Read more here.

Angraceum alabaster x nasutum - Copy

Angraceum alabaster x nasutum. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Angraceums are one of the first African family of orchids ‘described’ by science. Read more about them here.

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