Flower Friday – Aerangis Punctata

Aerangis Punctata - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Aerangis Punctata – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This teeny little beauty is an orchid originally found in Madagascar, and suitably named Aerangis Punctata. The plant size is usually about an inch big, and the flower it makes is bigger than the plant itself. I would watch the bud forming for months before it opens. It forms with a curled nectar filled spur which it unfurls just before the flower opens. Definitely builds an orchid lovers anticipation! Most Aerangis orchids make perfume at night to attract particular moths which have a long proboscis to pollinate the flower. Interestingly, the nectar in the spurs of some of these orchids have a concentration gradient which gets sweeter the deeper into the spur. This encourages the moth to penetrate the spur all the way and thus successfully pollinate the flower, and not waste sugar on moths with a short proboscis. Have a great weekend!

Aerangis Punctata Bud - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Aerangis Punctata Bud – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Flower Friday – Oncidium Sharry Baby

Oncidium Sharry Baby - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Oncidium Sharry Baby – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This Friday I have chosen one of my favorite orchids to show you… which was terribly hard to choose because I have so many favorites for so many different reasons! This one is Oncidium Sharry Baby. Far from being the biggest or flashiest of orchids, I have chosen it because it smells amazing. Fittingly it is nicknamed the Chocolate Orchid, because that’s exactly what it smells like, and quite powerfully so. It flowered reliably for me every year at Christmas time (summer in Australia), and used to make a Christmas tree like explosion of flowers along a very tall stem. Every day on my balcony it smelled like someone was baking desserts and would make me crave chocolate! A wonderful orchid indeed… Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Oncidium Sharry Baby Spike - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Oncidium Sharry Baby Spike – Photograph by Laura Lecce