FUCK YEAH, ORCHID SPECIES!

May 16

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Glossodia major, also known as the waxlip orchid or parson-in-the-pulpit, native to Australia, where it can be found growing in the states of Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania. Photographed in situ by Eric Hunt in the Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve, Victoria, Australia.

Glossodia major, also known as the waxlip orchid or parson-in-the-pulpit, native to Australia, where it can be found growing in the states of Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania. Photographed in situ by Eric Hunt in the Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve, Victoria, Australia.

Cymbidium tracyanum, native to China, Thailand and Myanmar, where it can be found growing as an epiphyte or lithophyte from 1200 to 1900 meters in elevation. Photograph by Eric Hunt.

Cymbidium tracyanum, native to China, Thailand and Myanmar, where it can be found growing as an epiphyte or lithophyte from 1200 to 1900 meters in elevation. Photograph by Eric Hunt.

May 14

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Restrepia mohrii, native to Ecuador and northern Peru, where it can be found growing at elevations around 1400 to 1750 meters. Photograph by Rogier van Vugt.

Restrepia mohrii, native to Ecuador and northern Peru, where it can be found growing at elevations around 1400 to 1750 meters. Photograph by Rogier van Vugt.

May 09

Coelogyne multiflora, native to Sulawesi, where it grows around 1200 meters in elevation. Its flowers are fragrant and are said to smell of freshly cut ginger. Photograph by Eric Hunt.

Coelogyne multiflora, native to Sulawesi, where it grows around 1200 meters in elevation. Its flowers are fragrant and are said to smell of freshly cut ginger. Photograph by Eric Hunt.

May 08

Dendrobium parvulum, native to Sulawesi, Celebes and Papua New Guinea, where it grows from 900 to 1200 meters in elevation. The specific epithet translates to “very small” or “tiny” which, as you can tell from the photograph, is quite accurate! Photograph by Steve Beckendorf.

Dendrobium parvulum, native to Sulawesi, Celebes and Papua New Guinea, where it grows from 900 to 1200 meters in elevation. The specific epithet translates to “very small” or “tiny” which, as you can tell from the photograph, is quite accurate! Photograph by Steve Beckendorf.

May 03

Finals…

Posts will resume on the 8th!

May 01

Dendrobium amethystoglossum, native to the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it can be found growing on mossy limestone cliffs around 1400 meters in elevation. Inflorescences generally arise on leafless canes and bear fragrant flowers. Photograph by Ron Parsons.

Dendrobium amethystoglossum, native to the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it can be found growing on mossy limestone cliffs around 1400 meters in elevation. Inflorescences generally arise on leafless canes and bear fragrant flowers. Photograph by Ron Parsons.

orbiculator said: Do you have any idea why many orchids seem to have reddish/yellow/orange petals with brown speckles? Is that some sort of convergent evolution? On the request side, do you have a nice photo of Dendrobium amethystoglossum?

I am not sure what animals pollinate these orchids with the color combination you describe. However, if they’re all pollinated by the same animal (my guess is that they could be pollinated by bees), then convergent evolution is plausible. They could be exploiting a sensory bias of the animal to lure them to the flower and get them to pick up/deposit the pollinia. And your request is on its way!

Apr 30

Phalaenopsis fasciata, native to the Philippines. The flowers produced by this species are long-lasting, waxy and fragrant; inflorescences are able produce flowers for years. Photograph by epicphals.

Phalaenopsis fasciata, native to the Philippines. The flowers produced by this species are long-lasting, waxy and fragrant; inflorescences are able produce flowers for years. Photograph by epicphals.

Apr 28

 To celebrate the 100th post, I chose to post about the moth which Charles Darwin predicted after observing the flower of the Madagascan orchid Angraecum sesquipedale in 1862. The specific epithet translates from Latin to “one and a half feet”, referring to the “astonishing length” of the spur of the flower. He believed that a flower with a spur so long would have a pollinator with an equally long proboscis. It was not until 1903 that the pollinator, Xanthopan morgani,was described, some 41 years later. Photograph by kqedquest.

 To celebrate the 100th post, I chose to post about the moth which Charles Darwin predicted after observing the flower of the Madagascan orchid Angraecum sesquipedale in 1862. The specific epithet translates from Latin to “one and a half feet”, referring to the “astonishing length” of the spur of the flower. He believed that a flower with a spur so long would have a pollinator with an equally long proboscis. It was not until 1903 that the pollinator, Xanthopan morgani,was described, some 41 years later. Photograph by kqedquest.

Apr 27

Rhynchostylis gigantea, native throughout southeast Asia; it grows in decidous, seasonally dry forests from sea level to around 700 meters in elevation. Photograph by Luiz Filipe Varella.

Rhynchostylis gigantea, native throughout southeast Asia; it grows in decidous, seasonally dry forests from sea level to around 700 meters in elevation. Photograph by Luiz Filipe Varella.

Apr 25

Masdevallia racemosa, classified as Spectaculum racemosum by Dr. Carlyle Luer, is native to southern Colombia. It is found there in paramo and sub-paramo conditions, that is, in cold conditions at very high elevations. Photograph by Sebastián Vieira.

Masdevallia racemosa, classified as Spectaculum racemosum by Dr. Carlyle Luer, is native to southern Colombia. It is found there in paramo and sub-paramo conditions, that is, in cold conditions at very high elevations. Photograph by Sebastián Vieira.

Anonymous said: I am a science teacher in Honduras and found some orchids that I don't recognize. Can I email them to you if you think you might be able to help me id them?

I am by no means an expert, but I would love to help you out! My email address is zrescoe@gmail.com