Chicken Foot Orchid

Who’s in charge of common names for plants? No one? Good, then we can do as we please with common names.

I thereby and hereby give this orchid the common name of Chicken Foot Orchid because its bloom looks like what I think a chicken’s foot looks like.

However, I’m not quite sure, because I don’t have any chickens and my close encounters with chickens have mostly been at the state fair. At the fair, when I go in to the poultry and rabbit barn, it is so noisy between all the chickens cackling and crowing and the rabbits… check that, rabbits don’t make any noise. They are stealthy little beasts. Anyway, it is so noisy in there and the air is so thick with chicken feathers and rabbit fur that I don’t stay long enough to actually check out the feet of the chickens.

But these blooms still remind me of what I think a chicken’s foot looks like.

If you want to be botanically proper, you can call this orchid Stenosarcos ‘Vanguard’, a hybrid variegated leaf orchid resulting from the cross Sarcoglottis speciosus X Stenorrhynchos speciosum. (A cross between two different plant genera, not two different species of the same genus.)

Chickens are becoming more popular these days, just like vegetable gardening. I guess a lot of people want to have a few chickens in their backyards, presumably for the eggs and not for a Sunday dinner of fried chicken.

I won’t have any chickens in my yard anytime soon, it isn’t allowed in the HOA covenants. However, I think you can have them in the city because I often drive by a place where they have some chickens. They let them roam around in good weather. It’s funny that those chickens are right out by the road, but they never seem to be in the road, or even tempted to cross the road. Why don’t the chickens cross the road?

My grandfather was in the chicken and egg business, I think. I’m not sure in what capacity, but I think he sold eggs. And I have a vague recollection that he might have sold chicks, too.

Anyway, if my grandpa were alive today, I wonder what he would think of my Chicken Foot Orchid, which sits atop a plant stand made, I think, by my great-grandfather. And what would he think of me, all citified and not knowing hardly anything about chickens or what their feet look like?

Does anyone with chickens think these blooms look like chicken feet?


  1. It does conjure up foul images, doesn't it? Very delicate, sweet little flower. Oh, I'm one of those that dearly would love a couple chickens.

  2. Hi Carol, my daughter Chickenpoet raises chickens and I have seen their feet. You are correct in your common name, for they do remind one of chicken feet and some of them are red so it is a perfect match! Too bad you can't have chickens at your house. I think we can have them, I hear a rooster crowing sometimes, but not recently. They can be very noisy, those roosters. I would love to have a few hens for fresh eggs. They also eat snails slugs and ticks, a good thing.

  3. Gross alert warning - Do Not Read if at all squeamish.
    My mom has told me that when she was a kid, her mother, after butchering a chicken, would give my mom the feet to play with. (It was during the Depression after all.) I'm sure she could tell you whether the flowers look like chicken feet. I was born in a more prosperous era, thank goodness.

  4. I want to be one of those chicken people, but until that day happens, I have answers for your other question: Why didn't the chickens cross the road?

    Because every time they did someone made a joke about it.

    They were changing a light bulb.

    There was no one there to egg them on.

    They couldn't break out of their shell.

    Because they didn't want to lay it on the line.

    Or maybe because they were marching to the beat of a different drumstick.

    Cluck, cluck, cluck. :)

  5. I'm not really into the whole chickens as pets thing and I am pretty sure they are not OK for the city. Neither one of us eats that many eggs, either.

    But I do love that orchid, which I think looks like a pretty flower. I will see if I can get one of those when I go to the orchid show nest week.

  6. Well Carol, while your lovely orchid may somewhat resemble the shape of a chicken's foot, it's considerably prettier. Chickens' feet, on the whole, are not at all pretty (poor things).
    But, as you say, You're in charge and can call it whatever you like. :)
    I think it's a very suitable name.
    I'm chuckling at Chris's jokes :)

  7. Some chickens say, "Road? What road?" just before they get hit. Some chickens are smart enough to look both ways before crossing the road--especially if they were watching the other chickens. Some chickens are smarter than others. I speak from personal observation.

  8. Nice orchid and such an appropriate name. I so would love to have chickens. I eat eggs everyday. I have a garden with too many slugs. Surely chickens are a great match.

    I've seen chickens a lot running around free in the Caribbean. They don't actually cross the road there. They just stay happily in the middle. I mean it is the Caribbean, it would be too much effort to actually cross.

  9. Don't have chickens myself, this flower does resemble the foot though. Beautiful bloom. Your grandfather would probably try to straighten his citified girl out!

  10. Poor orchid, he doesn't deserve such a name. No chickens here although I'd love some. HOA rules and the foxes. If I lament over an animal nibbling at my plants imagine what I would do with dead chickens.

  11. It DOES look like a chicken foot. Prettier, though. My DH's family raised 50,000 chickens at one point -- yes, you read that right. So, he's not a big chicken fan...imagine that!

  12. Haha, I had to laugh at your comparison. I have feral chickens around but I don't even get eggs from them-they lay somewhere in the thorny bushes. They are at least good for one thing-eating snails.

  13. Carol, I've been trying to catch up, making my way to the "M"'s on my blogroll and for a funny reason, I was already smiling before I clicked on "May Dreams." You are so funny!

    I don't have a clue about chicken feet and would never have chickens in my yard laying eggs and feathers all over the place. Chloe and Bella might like a chicken. Yuk.

    That's a pretty plant but, are chicken feet pink?


  14. Being "botanically proper" is way overrated. They look like chicken's feet to me. ;)

  15. Beautiful flower.

  16. Chickens are so fun--- I just love em. they look a bit like chicken feet to me. :)

  17. Carol, I had chickens for years, and yes, this beautiful orchid looks a lot like chicken feet. Chickens are fun and rewarding, but I travel too much in the summer to have them right now. :) ~~Dee

  18. Whatever the name, I think it is a lovely orchid.

    Always Growing

  19. Yes, I guess it does look like a chicken foot--three 'toes' and it is red.
    You are right, your granpa did sell chicks and chicken feed,but he bought the eggs. This is how farmwives made money. They raised the chicks and sold the eggs. Your grandmother 'candled' the eggs and sold the fertilized eggs back to the hatchery so they could hatch the eggs and then sell the chick back to them who would, in turn, sell them to the farmwives to start the cycle over.


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!