Flower Friday – Pink Speckled Phalaenopsis

Pink Speckled Phal - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Pink Speckled Phal – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Actually the proper name for this orchid is Doritaenopsis Ackers Sweetie ‘Dragon Tree Maple.’ It is one of my favorite hybrids to grow at home, mostly because the flowers were so big (the size of my palm) and so interesting to look at. Every time I look into the pink speckles of this flower it looks like a huge colony of bats flying away from the cave in the center and getting further and further into the distance as they fly away. Maybe I just have a vivid imagination, but either way the pattern on this flower really does come alive! Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

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Flower Friday – Doritaenopsis Taisuco Micky

Doritaenopsis Taisuco Micky - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Doritaenopsis Taisuco Micky – Photograph by Laura Lecce

These cute and happy flowers belong to a beautiful little orchid that is a cross between Phalaenopsis Golden Peoker and Doritis Pulcherrima, thus the amalgamated name Doritaenopsis. Each cross will have flowers that are slightly different (more or less dark/light pink, more or less ruffling of the petals), and is an easy and welcome addition to any home orchid collection. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Flower Friday – Paphiopedilum Orchid

Paphiopedilum - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Paphiopedilum – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I’m not sure if any of my followers are orchid fanatics, nevertheless I will tread lightly. This photograph is of a paphiopedilum orchid, and I “think” it is Paph. Lowii but I cant be sure as it was unlabeled. This very cute family of orchids has a pouch-like labellum, and are quite easy to grow, making them one of the most widely cultivated and hybridized of orchids. They come in such a huge variety of colors, and some even have very beautifully mottled leaves (although P. Lowii does not). Paphs will usually only flower from a shoot once. After using a lot of its energy to flower, the remaining energy is put towards making new shoots to replace the parent once it dies. It becomes a cycle of making a new plant, flowering and then dying, and  thus it is often possible to see multiple generations of plants in the same pot at once. Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

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