Thursday, March 1, 2012

Aphrodite Moon Orchids

Aphrodite Moon Orchids, originally uploaded by maxful.
Progeny of Phalaenopsis amabilis are commonly called the Moth Orchids but I use the lesser known title Moon Orchid. (Indonesian: anggrek bulan meaning "moon orchid"). It is one of the three national flowers in Indonesia and enjoys shade not direct sunlight. A variation called ‘Aphrodite’ grows in North Queensland but these in the illustration are crosses grown commercially. Seemed appropriate to arrange them in an outdoor setting. The little birds added to the mix are Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (Lonchura castaneothorax). Some seasons flocks of as many as 500 fly to the giant Jacaranda that flowers around October (Spring). The Moon Orchids stand in pots around the base of the old tree.

Stanhopea nigroviolacea

Stanhopea nigroviolacea, originally uploaded by maxful.
My brain almost exploded when I saw my first Stanhopea pop. An upside down orchid that flowers through its nether regions. Those crazy Latins! The collection grew to nigh on a dozen different species but the old nigroviolacea (tigrina?) – never really knew the difference – was divided time and again to provide new plants for half of the Noosa hinterland. The collection was recently sold but one specimen waits in a friend's garden in Sydney for the next instalment – a courtyard garden in Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. Stay tuned.

Laelia gouldiana

Laelia gouldiana, originally uploaded by maxful.
For years this guy has bloomed in the greenhouse. Thought it was out of Africa. Wrong! It's from The Americas. A beauty from Mexico.