Saturday, January 16, 2016

Orchid Show

The Orchid Show in Fort Lauderdale opened this morning, and I went to see it.  In the center
of the large auditorium hall were 24 large displays of thousands of orchids in exotic
arrangements.    Then around the outside walls were display booths for hundreds of
orchid growers from Florida and many other places, including Hawaii, to sell thousands of
gorgeous flowers.  Prizes were awarded for "best" in a number of categories.  Great fun!
Here are some of my favorites.

There are thousands of varieties of orchids, and horticulturalists are constantly developing
new "cultivars."  So you will see flowers in every size from very tiny to very large, 
and in every color and color combination imaginable.

Some orchids have no odor, but many have beautiful and distinctive aromas.
Some of the orchid nurseries specialized in aromatic orchids and invited you to
smell their many beautiful flowers.

Poeple come to orchid shows prepared - with special carts to carry away the new specimens
they purchase.  They know their varieties and are often looking for a particular flower
shape or color.  Each nursery specializes and they seem to be very cooperative in
sending you to another dealer who has your special kind of flower.

This is one of the 24 displays.  Orchids are the only flowers included.  Each year
there is a theme, and this year it is "An Orchid Masquerade."

Some of the orchids look like space ships or aliens.

A large cluster of cranberry orchids was a prize winner.

Orchids are the largest group of flowering plants in the world and are found on every
continent except Antarctica.  There are currently 29,800 recognized varieties.


A delicate pink frilled variety.


A large display with many varieties of white orchids.

A delicate white and yellow variety.

I first met this bearded variety at Longwood Gardens; it comes only in green.

This was a prize winner for clusters of yellow.

Many orchids do not grow in soil but hang from trees, and their roots are able to absorb
moisture from the air.  Booths were filled with gorgeous plants just hanging from hooks.
There were also booth selling pots and other equipment.

This was one of the grand prize winners.  All dealers tell you that orchids are very easy
to grow; they bloom several times epr year; and they hold their blooms for months at a time.

A display emphasizing yellow orchids.


A large prize winning display jam-packed with hundreds of orchids.


A new cherry and lemon variety.

One of the booths offering orchids for sale.  Most plants sold for $15 - $45 dollars,
although there were a few very special and unusual varieties which sold for more.

a display emphasizing blue and lavender orchids.

A star-burst variety.


All of these photos were taken with my little automatic Nikon Coolpix camera,
hand-held and using only natural light, no flash.  They show what you can achieve
with little digital cameras these days.

When shooting indoors like this, I try to shoot against a solid dark color background;
it makes the photo clearer and more dramatic.

Those are roots of orchids hanging behind; they are the ones which can absorb moisture
from the air - no soil needed.

A beautiful cherry-and-lemon orchid.

If you watch the SOTU speech on Monday night, you are aware of the dramatic dress
Mrs. Obama wore - in this color = "marigold."

Raspberries-and-cream is another popular color combination.

Spotted orchids came in many colors.


This was a new cultivar in marigold, which only one dealer had since they had developed it.
It is slightly edged in red.

Some of the displays used dramatic lighting on their flowers.




The show continues tomorrow and Sunday.  If you are anywhere in South Florida,
I recommend it highly.


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