Eye Of The Beholder
Paphiopedilum (Gloriosum 'Hallelujah' X Black Currants 'Dazzler')
The orchid pictured above belongs to the genus paphiopedilum. They are commonly referred to as "ladyslipper orchids" or just "slipper orchids" for their distinctive pouch-like structure. They are similar to our native Ohio cypripediums and you may consider the paphiopedilums to be the tropical cousins to the cypripediums.
The paphiopedilum is my favorite genus to cultivate (or at times, attempt to cultivate). I am fascinated by the structural details of this particular genus. They seduce a visiting insect and have a deep pocket (the pouch) which traps the visiting insect. The insect may only escape through one passage in the orchid (located behind its column) because that is the only place the insect can get a grip on the surface in order to escape. In the process of escaping, the insect will dislodge the sticky pollinia (pollen sac) and it will adhere to the poor escaping insect. The insect will now get duped again when it lands on another paphiopedilum thereby pollinating it with the pollinia sticking to it.
Some consider orchids to be masters in the art of seduction in the plant kingdom.
Some consider orchids to be sinister, beguiling, and even sensual.
I simply consider them beautiful.
The orchid pictured above is one from my own collection. I was extremely fortunate to have it awarded first place at the orchid show this past weekend. This award is extremely meaningful to me and I think it is going to take some time for me to float back down to planet earth. Please click on the top photo to see an exquisite detailed closeup.
Thanks Thomas, for your photographic excellence. Thanks to the judges who felt my plant to be worthy of such an esteemed award.
"It's almost like a new universe and when you fall into it, you get ensnared. They're big and they're gaudy and gorgeous."
"To desire orchids is to have a desire that can never be fully requited."