October 4th, 2006

orchids

Orchid alert!

For bff2112: Hey, did you see the SF Chronicle article today about the swan orchid?
Cycnoches chlorochilon is an unusual orchid from South America characterized by large green and white, highly fragrant and waxy flowers on pendulous flower spikes. Cycnoches are unique among most orchids in that they produce separate male and female flowers, usually on different inflorescences. The genus gets its name from the elongated column on the male flowers, which resembles the arched neck of a swan; some sources attribute the name to the shape of the flower, which resembles a swan when viewed from a certain angle...

Cycnoches chlorochilon has the largest flowers (more than 5 inches across) of the genus. The spicy vanilla fragrance alone makes this orchid worth growing. Don't let the cultural requirements (not watering the plant for three months) scare you. This is one orchid with a flower both beautiful and bizarre and a fragrance you'll never forget.
Not a plant for me (I prefer houseplants with descriptions like "thrives on neglect!") but wow, sounds beautiful.