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Re: Orchids

In a message dated 12/21/02 7:21:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, jsinger@igc.org 

> i'm somewhat embarrassed to admit it, mariana, but i don't know what most 
> of the orchids around here are--except the ground orchids [spathoglottis 
> and phaius] and the vanilla vine. to make it worse, i've never tried to 
> figure out what they were--most, if not all, are hybrids and i would go 
> crazy trying to keep all that straight.

I, too, have a few orchids in the mountains of New York.  I don't know the 
names of any except the phals and then I don't know which hybrid each might 

If they live in a greenhouse, they stay and if not, well compost.  Unless you 
specialize in orchids, I cannot fathom how a general gardener could know 
species and crosses and hybrids.  Trying may even take away the pleasure of 
growing the orchid.  Tens of thousands exist.

Both books, "Orchid Fever" and "The Orchid Thief" are good reading.  The 
second offers a good look at the Florida orchid market.  Knowing very little 
of orchid culture, we have a half dozen that are lovely in bloom, last a long 
time (months) on the desk and are not difficult.  If instructions are wanted, 
the softcover by Henry Jaworski, "Orchids Simplified" is good for someone in 
the freezing zones.  

Just now we have two in spike, a term used for orchids that I had to learn, 
in December.  Also, another mention is that eBay may be the orchid center of 
the universe these days.  Everything in every size is eventually offered.  I 
have often thought that if I wanted to grow a collection, here would be a 
place to begin.

Claire Peplowski
NYS z4

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