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Maui on my Mind, Part 14

Continuing my photo safari at the Orchid Show at the Maui County Fair, I spotted this incredible cascade of white and yellow flowers that was taller than me. A bit of online research suggests that they are classified as Coelogyne rochussenii. The common name is Rouchussen's Coelogyne and is named for the Dutch governor-general of the Dutch East Indies in the mid-19th century. It is interesting that the common name is not that much easier to use than the scientific name. Regardless, this orchid is native to Malaysia, Borneo, Java and Sumatra and east to the Philippines. The flowers are supposedly wonderfully sweet-smelling but I could not get close enough to confirm that for myself.

Next up was this spectacular orchid which online research suggests in a Miniature Cattleya. The larger grouping (Cattleya) is found naturally from Costa Rica to Argentina. It is so well known that in trade journals it is referred to as "C".

I recognized this next orchid because we have a decorative spray of artificial blossoms at home that looks just like this. A quick search identifies the orchid as Oncidium, native to central and South America as well as the Caribbean islands. It turns out that there are many species in this genus but I believe this example is the famous Wydler's Dancing-Lady Orchid AKA Oncidium altissimum. If you look closely at the blossoms, some do appear to be a dancing lady, spinning so her dress flares out.

This photo shows two Lady Slipper Orchids, a member of the subfamily Cypripedioideae. According to Wikipedia, "They are characterized by the slipper-shaped pouches (modified labella) of the flowers – the pouch traps insects so they are forced to climb up past the staminode, behind which they collect or deposit pollinia, thus fertilizing the flower. There are approximately 165 species in the subfamily."

Another Lady Slipper stood out to me since it made me think of a caricature of a female opera singer with outstretched arms and long artificial eyelashes.

Here we see an orchid from the Vanda genus, a grouping that includes some 80 species from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea. These orchids are prized for their showy, fragrant, long-lasting and colorful flowers.

WOW! I do not recall ever seeing an orchid that looks like this. It took quite a bit of research online to identify it as a White Feather Duster whose scientific name is Habenaria medusa. It is found naturally in Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Borneo.

Apparently, mine is not the only jaw to drop upon seeing this orchid. Smithsonian Gardens writes, "But there is one plant that invariably causes jaws to drop when viewed in full bloom. Most onlookers agree it is among our most spectacular and prized orchid species in the collection."

Here is another Vanda orchid, although the coloration is completely different than the photo two shots back. Quite striking in my humble opinion.

Another WOW! This is a Green Fringed Orchid, although there appears to be more than one orchid with the same (or similar) name. I could not find much online information about this variety so I guess we'll just have to enjoy looking at its photo.

We finish our tour of the Orchid Show with this beautiful Dendrobium orchid. Wikipedia reports "It is a very large genus containing more than 1,800 species that are found in diverse habitats throughout much of south, east and southeast Asia, including China, Japan, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Guinea, Vietnam and many of the islands of the Pacific. Orchids in this genus have roots that creep over the surface of trees or rocks, rarely having their roots in soil. Up to six leaves develop in a tuft at the tip of a shoot and from one to a large number of flowers are arranged along an unbranched flowering stem."

As always, I may have mid-identified some of these orchids so I welcome corrections from any knowledgeable source. Thanks for keeping me honest.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com