South America is home to tens of thousands of orchid species including every major Cattleya. Both Colombia and Venezuela have Cattleyas as their National Flower. So it was no surprise that Ecuador was considering making a Cattleya its National Flower.
Tutti Fruiti, Coral Orange, and Fire Engine Red are just some of the words used to describe the intriguing flowers of Epidendrums – a fascinating genus of orchids with over 1000 known species. Hobbyists love these plants because they are easy to cultivate – thriving in a wide range of conditions as well as readily making baby plantlets. Once thought of as having tall, somewhat unruly, foliage, today’s hybrids are compact and quite manageable.
In the late 1700’s, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson had four 3,800 gallon cisterns built at his Monticello home to catch rainwater that flowed off the many roofs and terraces. This water was used for the crops, gardens, and residents of the Charlottesville estate.
Novelist Susan Orlean made the Ghost Orchid a household name in her 2000 best-selling book, The Orchid Thief, now in its 13th edition. The story became the subject of a highly acclaimed film, Adaptation, in 2002, starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep. The orchid world has been abuzz ever since.