No Roots? No Problem.

Conventional wisdom says that plants need roots to survive. Yet, we regularly receive healthy looking orchids from clients which have few, if any, roots. Apparently, general horticulture rules do not apply to orchids.

Back in the 1920’s when corsages were the fashion in America, cut flower nurseries imported cattleya plants by the tens of thousands from the jungles of South America. Each orchid was removed from its host tree with a machete and nearly all the roots were lost in the scuffle. The hapless epiphytes were then slung into burlap bags for a weeks-long voyage at sea. 

Large-Flowered Cattleya Species

The Queen of the Orchid World Spreads Her Wings to Cover the Whole Year


C. trianaei

When a vagabond plant collector named William Swainson sent a bundle of strange lavender-flowered plants thought to be parasitic to the Glasgow Botanic Garden in 1817, he opened the door to a flood of excitement that would engulf the horticultural world for the rest of the century.

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