The orchid – a symbol of refinement & innocence

The orchid flower
It was a blustery snowy day, but that did not stop my sister and I – along with hundreds of others from visiting the Southern Ontario Orchid Society‘s 33rd Annual Orchid Show at the Toronto Botanical Garden this past weekend.
 
Whether you are an experienced orchid grower, a novice collector / simply someone like me who admires the amazing beauty of these flowers, orchids will always make us smile,  make us look & remind us of the pure awesomeness of nature. Because they make me happy & I love their architecture I have an orchid in every room of my home but the kitchen.

I thought I would brighten up your dreary winter day by showing you just a few of the hundreds of orchids on display & for sale that captured my eye & I like the sweet face of this paphiopedilum beauty below – smiled back at me. Organize to be amazed! 

Six fun facts regarding orchids


1. Orchids grow on every continent except Antarctica. There are almost ninety species of orchid native to Canada, but it is the tropics & semi-tropics that produce the most spectacular species.

2. The plants & especially the flowers  come in myriad shapes & sizes. Some flowers are as large as dinner plates, though others will hardly cover the head of a pin. Most are anywhere in between. When it comes to shape the deviation is infinite.

The purple orchid flowerIt is no mystery why artists & photographers are fascinated by the intricate details and ethereal colours of orchids. 

3. Orchids can be the purest white & almost solid black (as seen below). Brilliant sky-blue is a uncommon colour for flowers, but it’s found in some terrestrial species & Vandas. Every hue of the rainbow is represented by an orchid flower.

4. Orchids are becoming the most important flower in the global multi-billion dollar horticultural trade. The growth of world trade of these captivating flowers is due to improved cultivation techniques that have led to the mass production of hybrids developed for special characteristics. Orchids are now available in most grocery stores, nurseries & home improvement stores. 

5.  Orchids teach us several things, but the most essential are the two Ps: patience & perseverance. It takes patience to wait the eighteen years, it takes to produce some of those amazing flowers from kernel. There are thirty thousand species produced by nature & hundreds of thousands of hybrids added by man.

Above and below: Stunning displays of award-winning orchids demonstrate the flower’s myriad colours, shapes & sizes. Patience & perseverance indeed!
 
6. Research into the history of & the relationship among orchid genus is ongoing. Did you know that orchids are used as curative herbs in Chinese culture & that their scents, which range from sweet & savory to spicy and pungent, are significant in the perfume industry? Vanilla flavour comes from the Vanilla species of orchids found in the Americas. The Aztecs assorted orchid through chocolate, which they drank for strength.

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