Orchids in Miniature
|Frame for my mounted orchids|
I have many orchids, but most of them fit on 4 frames like the one above. I have so many houseplants that when it came to orchids, I decided to collect the miniature varieties.
I made the frames when I started ruining the cupboards with water damage. The frames keep the orchids from touching the woodwork, and I thought they were a cute idea. My daughter keeps her earrings on hers. Most are mounted on cork bark which comes from the cork oak tree, Quercus suber. The tree does not have to be cut down to harvest the cork, nor does it hurt the tree. It will grow back and can be harvested again, usually up to 9 times in the life of the tree. Some are also mounted on tree fern stem pieces. They come from the tree fern Dicksonia fibrosa, native to New Zealand.
Blooming today, I have a Leptotes (Lep-TOH-teez) pohlitinocoi. It hails from the rainforests of Bahia, Brazil. It needs medium to bright light with cool to warm temperatures. It is best mounted, which mine is. It is mounted on cork bark and its roots are surrounded with sphagnum moss. While reading about it, I learned a new work. It has terete leaves, which means cylindrical, which you can see in the pictures.
|Closeup of the flower|
All 0f my mounted orchids are hanging on the sides of the cupboards in my west kitchen window. I haven’t had all of them bloom, or re-bloom, but I also buy some of them for their interesting foliage, so I’m not too bummed. They are just so small and cute!
I do soak them once a week in the sink and then hang them back up. They probably would like to be soaked more often, but they are right above the sink, so they get quite a bit of extra humidity.
|Baptistonia echinata flowers|
A reliable bloomer for me is the orchid above. It is Baptistonia echinata and is also known as the bumble bee orchid because of the flowers’ resemblance to that insect. It hasn’t bloomed this year because I took it out of the pot and mounted it on a piece of cork. It also hails from Brazil.
This is by far my most reliable bloomer. It has bloomed every year since I bought it. It reminds me of a pansy flower. It’s name odorata lets you know the flowers have a scent, but as small as it is, I’ve not noticed it. This comes from Taiwan.
The Dendrobium lichenastrum was blooming when I purchased it, but hasn’t bloomed since. I think it is such a cute little plant, I don’t care. It would be nice, but its fine without flowers. This orchid is native to Australia and its common name there is the button orchid.
These diminutive orchids certainly aren’t going to give you the wow you get from the Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, and other large flowered orchids, but they do have a place in my home. I love those big flowered orchids as well, but there is just something special about these little plants. Next time you are at an orchid show, don’t ignore these small bloomers. Remember, “Good things come in small packages!”