Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Orchid Show 2017

Each year in mid-January, we have the Fort Lauderdale Orchid Show and Sale
in the large War Memorial Auditorium.  This year there were 22 orchid growers,
each with a booth and hundreds of orchids for sale, and each also responsible
for a display in the center of the room, usually 10x15 feet.  So there were thousands
of orchids of every size, shape, variety, and color to look at and buy perhaps.

"Pale Green Angraecum."  Grand Prize Winner.
These star-shaped flowers were popular in displays, because the theme this year
was "Galaxy of Orchids."  There is a different theme each year.  There were prizes
for best display in various categories, as well as best individual flowers.

Orchids are the most diverse and populous flowers on earth, found on every continent
except Antarctica.  There are over 1,000 genus, and hundreds of varieties
in each genus.  So there is a great variety in orchids.  These are pale blue.

Prize winner.  Growers frequently breed new varieties, so you will find some popular
varieties in several sale booths, while others are unique to a particular greenhouse,

Prize winner for small white flowers.  Many visitors come with grocery or luggage carts,
specially fitted with plastic crates, so they can purchase 4-6 new orchids in bloom each year.
In our climate in South Florida, you can simply tie a plant to the trunk of a tree, and it
will grow and bloom in your yard, or you can grow them in pots inside.

Part of one display.  All of the flowers are orchids, and there are trucks lined up
in back with lots more plants.

"Cattleya tiriana."  Cattleya is one of the most popular genus, so it is often cross-pollinated with
 other varieties.  Orchid aficionados know them by abbreviations like "Bc" or "Blc" in front
 of their names.  This tells who their parents were.  The simple "C" is for cattleya.

Copper and orange.

White and Purple Phalaenopsis with Fangs.  These were very popular with many
subvarieties.  There were also booths which offered free hand-outs on how to grow and
keep orchids, orchid magazines, pots, and other equipment.

There were a number of orchids in a variety which stood about 10-12 inches tall.
They came in every color and seemed to bloom profusely.

A prize winner in yellow with red accents.

Peach and Yellow.  I overheard collectors talking, and they would often discuss how they
wanted a particular new color or a new variety this year.  Prices varied for blooming
plants, from $8.00 to $85.00.  Most large, blooming plants were in the $20 - $40 range.

Pale green orchids were available in a number of varieties.  You could also buy
younger, smaller, not-yet-blooming plants for $5 - $65.  The more expensive
plants were exotic, rare, or brand new varieties which they had just begun

Yellow and Wine

Bright Orange

"Heavenly Hawaii" were part of a large display, where all of the orchids had
Hawaiian names.

A spray of white Phalaenopsis.

"Paphiopedilum" is the family name.  These are the "Lady Slipper" orchids,
so-called because they resemble the Lady Slipper wild flower

Yellow and and Red branch.

Pale Pink and Yellow.

"Pink Speckled."  Photographing the orchids in the crowded conditions and hot spotlight
atmosphere was a challenge, but this orchid, back-lit, is very nice and shows it off
very well.

"Purple-Speckled" with modified fangs.  I think this is probably not the proper
terminology, but I shall use it for the time being.

Counters would be filled with 30 of each color or variety, all in perfect bloom.

Striped Chartreuse

A branch of "Hawaiian Paradise."

Pink, White, and Yellow Orchids

This is the booth, both sides, back, and up above, for "Greenhouse Orchids."
Most of their orchids were in the $8, $10, $12, $15, and $18 range.  They were all
healthy and blooming profusely, and the owners were very friendly and helpful.

Orchids not only look beautiful, but many of them have beautiful aromas.  Dealers
would have special signs saying "smell this flower" and they would identify particular aromas,
like chocolate or vanilla or rose or many others.  One of the Thai restaurants here in town
always puts one of these flowers on top of a curry dish when served, and you are invited
to eat it, which I do.

A corner of one display.

This was a new variety and color at one booth and causing much excitement.

These are the traditional catteyas used for corsages in the U.S.

Beautiful branches like these were often hung from the side of a rack or placed on top
of the booth, because they were so common.

Veined Lavender Phalaenopsis

Yellow and Magenta Cattleyas

Yellow and Red Mask-like Orchid

Very Pale Green Angraecum in a prize-winning display.  They were following the
theme of "Galaxy of Orchids."

Orange orchids with a dash of red.

A splendid example of Paphiopedilum - Lady Slipper Orchid.

Spotted orange and copper.

Splendid pure white Angraecum

There were a number of orchids in darker colors, although I prefer the lighter.
Wine and Peach

Bold new cross-breed.

Dendrobium Dubiosa, a very pale, delicate pink with cream

Two Peach and Magenta Orchids.

I took several hundred more shots, but I think you get the picture and can plan
your visit to the show next year.  It lasts three days and is well worth a visit.