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Old 08-06-2006, 02:16 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default the charm of species orchids

OrchidKitty wrote:
This morning, I proudly held up my Phrag. ecudorenses for DH to admire.
It is blooming for the first time, and in S/H. Spouse glanced at it and
said, "Homely little thing, isn't it?" Then he looked at me as if he
wondered why I had it.

Hum. Well, it's true that there are splashier plants out there, but
ecudorenses has a modest, sincere charm that its dazzling hybird
cousins lack. Also, there is something special about having an orchid
that a person could find in the wild.

Most of my orchids are hybrids, but some growers are drawn nearly
exclusively to species orchids. Why? Is it because species can be more
difficult to grow? Or because species do have a pure, modest beauty? Or
is the grower hoping to conserve them? If you grow mostly species
orchids, do you know why you prefer them?

I grow a lot of species but I'm not at all averse to hybrids.
Admittedly a lot of the genera I grow have not been extensively
hybridised so for those orchids, species are generally what's
available. As for the other, more readily hybridised orchids in my
collection, I probably choose species because I want a collection of
different plants. In theory hybrids are supposed to extend the colour
and morphology beyond what is available in species alone. In reality,
there are base species used in the hybridisation of a lot of genera
which limits the variability somewhat. The trends in judging tastes
also impose a fairly restricted view of what makes and outstanding
orchid. The end result seems to be pink Phal, white Phal, any colour
Catt so long as it's floofy, "I can't decide between this pink
Cymbidium and this not-as-pink Cymbidium... Wow, look at that
a-bit-more pink Cymbidium with darker spots on the labellum" etc.
Species might not be competitive with hybrids in terms of awards but
they have far more individuality.

Of course, I also have different forms/varieties/line bred species in
my collection, which goes against wanting destinctly different plants,
so maybe I'm just a closet species snob :-)


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Old 08-06-2006, 04:12 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default the charm of species orchids

I like growing different kinds of plants, more than whether it's a
species or hybrid. I like the form as well as flower. One of my
favorite plants has flowers too small for me to easily see. It is a
species (Pths. 'grobyii'). Christieara - a ladder with flowers. Den.
biggibum - a forest with flowers. Leptotes bicolor - a hedgehog with
flowers. Soph. cernua - a rug with flowers. I like the forms of the
plants too.

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