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Six Reasons Why Orchids Are Cool

Think you can tell the difference between an orchid and a praying mantis? Or an orchid and a sugar flower? Here are six fun facts on Orchidaceae—one of the largest, most diverse, and most beloved of all plant families.

Orchids are Cool
A beautiful, edible orchid in an ice sphere adorns this cocktail from chef Daniel Boulud, via marthastewart.com

Why, yes, that's an orchid in my cocktail
Noted French chef Daniel Boulud paired with a mixologist to come up with a white cosmopolitan recipe that calls for elderflower liqueur and a frozen orchid sphere.

Orchids are Cool
The “aromatic” Platanthera obtusata. Photo by Jason Hollinger [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

File this under “orchids are clever”
Researchers have discovered that a bog orchid (Platanthera obtusata) lures its pollinator—tiger mosquitoes—by giving off a smell similar to human body odor.

Orchids are Cool
Sugar Cymbidium orchid by Robert Haynes. Photo ©Tony Harris

Have your orchid and eat it, too
London-based sugar artist Robert Haynes specializes in creating, and teaching others how to make, “botanically correct sugar flowers.”

 

Orchids are Cool
The remarkably floral orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) fools pollinators, via Frupus [CC 2.0]

Bee careful…
Entomologists are studying the evolution of a praying mantis that looks like an orchid. The female Malaysian orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) attracts orchid pollinators such as bees—and then eats them.

Orchids are Cool
Get a really special orchid for a loved one…

(Your name here) orchid
A Virginia orchid grower will register a new orchid hybrid in your name with the Royal Horticultural Society (the official international register) for $1,500.

Orchids are Cool
Out-of-sight, out-of-mind until bloom time

Orchid boarding school
Some nurseries will care for your orchids if you’re busy or on vacation, or simply prefer to have experts raise them until the plants are ready to bloom. “As your orchid begins to send up a bloom spike, it is tenderly staked and tied, ready to return to you as it comes into bloom,” says Hamilton Orchids & Plantscapes in Sonoma, California.

Orchid

The Orchid Show

See for yourself why orchids are cool. Be surrounded by 10,000 orchids in bloom at the Orchid Show.

 

Author: 
Renee T.
Title: 
Editor
Published: 
January 31, 2017

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