Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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Angraecum Longiscott 'Lea'
An interesting passage I found from arcticle
... "Rare is Beautiful" ... ... here's an excerpt ...
A simple demonstration of the relationship between forest plants and animals comes from the night-blooming Angrecum orchid. The yellow-flowered beauty has a nectary at least 8 inches long -- meaning that its pollinator needs a snake-like tongue to reach the delicious, high-sugar nectar inside.
No less a naturalist than Charles Darwin, who saw the Angrecum in Madagascar in the 1860s, correctly predicted that a moth with a 22-centimeter tongue must exist in the forest. Fifty years later, the moth was found -- with a rolled-up tongue that snoots out like a Hong-Kong New Year's party favor. Without that unique pollinator, the orchid would be doomed.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
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Of all the orchids, the vanilla family is the only one that produces an agriculturally valuable crop.
The Vanilla Orchid [Vanilla planifolia] grows wild on the edges of tropical forests. The species name "planifolia" comes from Latin meaning "flat-leaved". It has thick, fleshy stems and small, greenish flowers which open early in the morning ready to be pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. The flowers have only a slight scent, with no element of the vanilla flavour or aroma.
There are usually about 20 flowers on a Vanilla Orchid plant's raceme and usually only one flower in a raceme opens in a day, with the entire flowering period of the raceme lasting an average of 24 days. The flower opens in the morning and closes in the afternoon, never to reopen. If it is not pollinated, it will shed the next day.
The optimum time for pollination is midmorning. Once pollinated, the ovaries swell and develop into fruits called ‘pods’ similar to long, thin runner beans. They contain thousands of tiny black seeds. The pods develop over 4 weeks; they are then harvested, dried and cured to produce the distinctive flavour we know and love.
Vanilla is one of the most popular flavours in the world. It was first used by the Aztec people, in its native Central America, to flavour cocoa.
Reference: Vanilla Orchid, click here ...
Shot taken on July 21, 2007.