Paphiopedilum delenatii

Q) I saw a pink lady slipper recently at an orchid nursery that was nothing like anything I’d ever seen before. The plant tag reads P delenatii. What is this? Cameron B.

A) True species, or naturally occurring orchids, are some of the most recognizable flowers in nature. The blossom and sometimes foliar traits are unlike any other plant. A plant tag is not necessarily required in order to identify such an orchid, although it may be helpful in ascertaining nuances in the breeding.

"Pouch" on a Lady Slipper?

Q) What is the purpose of the ‘pouch’ on a lady slipper? Allison R.

A) Botanists classify flowers as orchids by their structure. Typical blooms have 3 petals and 3 sepals that alternate around a central column. The lower petal is called the ‘lip’ or throat and is usually a different color. The purpose of the throat is to attract pollinators as both the male and female parts are found within. Additionally, the throat often emits a fragrance to lure potential suitors. Common flowers such as roses, daffodils, and petunias have entirely different configurations.

Orchid Arrangments

Twice a year, 75,000 visitors descend upon a small town in North Carolina for the High Point Furniture Market to see the latest in home furnishing from around the world. Solid Cherry dining room tables with walnut inlays, classic crystal chandeliers, teak bonded leather sofas, and sleek lined swivel chairs from Belgium are among the dazzling arrays of offerings in the 11 million square feet of exhibit halls. One design piece that is consistently displayed throughout the show is the “Orchid Arrangement.”

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