Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 St. Paul Winter Carnival Orchid Show

Braving a winter blizzard thousands attended the St. Paul Winter Carnival Orchid Show. The event ‘Escape to the Tropics’ hosted at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Zoo was sponsored by the Orchid Society of Minnesota. White-out conditions did not deter growers, exhibitors, and orchid lovers from enjoying the beauty and diversity of the family Orchidaceae. Once considered rare and exotic this large exhibit displayed their continuing burgeoning popularity.

In the 70’s I collected a number of Laelia species; anceps, flava, sincorana, perrenii, tenebrosa and purpurata. Either originating from Mexico or Brazil they have been taxonomically reclassified as part of the Cattleya Alliance. I preferred to grow what are now called rupicolous laelia from Brasil, these species are rock lovers. They bloomed profusely under lights in my basement or on a windowsill.

I also drafted construction drawings (in one of my work lives I did architectural design and drafting) for a bermed cool orchid greenhouse to house a Laelia and Cymbidium collection.

The show performed magic and I daydream of recollecting rupicolous Laelia and building Wardian cases for their display. Are there any laelia lovers willing to trade for rare dwarf Siberian Iris?  
Well so much for dreams, here is some eye candy for those with cabin fever!  These species and cultivars pictured are from the Cattleya Alliance group of orchids.

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