I saw something yesterday that not many people have seen in the horticultural world!
On Saturday, I read in the local paper that a Tiger Orchid was blooming at nearby Garfield Park Conservatory. (No, not the conservatory in Chicago, the one in Indianapolis).
Yes, a “large, rare tiger orchid”, Grammatophyllum speciosum, blooming in Indianapolis in the middle of winter. According to the newspaper article, written by the paper’s resident garden writer, this is only the 4th time this plant has bloomed since being imported 40 years ago. She also wrote that “the last public bloom of this species in the U.S. was in 2003 at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, where it received a lot of attention from national and international media”
I had to go see it for myself. So off to the conservatory I went on a cold, but sunny Sunday afternoon.
I didn’t know what to expect. Lines of people? Media? All kinds of orchid aficionados waiting to see a glimpse? Maybe there would be so many people I wouldn’t be able to get a good picture?
Guess what? So far, this orchid isn’t attracting much attention, at least on a Sunday afternoon. There were just a handful of people there when I went. I guess I beat the crowds.
But it is a big plant, for an orchid, and I thought it was impressive. I also appreciated that the owners at the Hoosier Orchid Company were very nice and brave to risk moving this large orchid to the conservatory so others could view it. I’m sure moving it was not easy to do, because the branches look like they could snap off from their own weight if they hadn’t been tied up with string.
Above is the orchid in bloom. Below is the entire plant.
And below is the vanilla orchid seedling that I did not buy. They had some orchids for sale there, but I resisted temptation, even though I thought it would be fun to own a vanilla orchid. I just didn't know enough about it, how to care for it, and there didn't seem to be anyone there to ask more about it. Maybe next time.