ORCHIDS: At Last, the Weird!

It seems like this is what people have been waiting for, the orchids that struck me as more weird than either exotic or beautiful. There could be lots of argument about this: beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and what I find weird, you may find lovely. But there it is, there’s no arguing with taste, so on with the show! (The Amherst Orchid Show, lately held in Northampton, that is.)

This is a tangle of cymbidium orchids. If I hadn’t known from the label that they were in fact orchids, you could have fooled me.  And these are prizewinners, too!

What high school senior would look forward to receiving this piebald and mottled Cattleya as her traditional prom corsage?

Even the beauty of my beloved phalaenopsis is marred for me by these carefully inbred variegations. (Have you figured out I don’t like variegated anything? Which causes some dissension come summer when the Hub and I are buying foliage plants, I can tell you that!)

So far you may quibble with me about taste, and feel that I’m too quick to label something weird that’s just different. But let’s look at a whole tableful of Paphiopedilum orchids, so-called Slipper Orchids (or Paphs, for short). From a distance you don’t get the full effect. Here’s a close-up of a Lady’s-Slipper Orchid:

True orchid fanciers find these waxy-faced orchids beautiful as well. To me it’s a face only a mamma orchid could love. Interestingly, as if they sense instinctively they have to offer something to prospective growers beyond their looks, Paphs are known for being easy to cultivate, neither fussy nor demanding. They are, in fact, a kind of Miss Congeniality among their more temperamental sisters. I might nickname them Cinderella orchids! Although they’d better be discovered by a near-sighted Prince —

I hope you’ve enjoyed the show. If you’re in Northampton next year, you’re all invited to visit.

This entry was posted in Etcetera, Flowers, Photography, Pioneer Valley and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to ORCHIDS: At Last, the Weird!

  1. I’ve really enjoyed your orchid show series. I must admit, the more bizarre the blossom the better. It’s fun to see something that is terrestrial, looking like something extraterrestrial. 🙂


  2. magsx2 says:

    I agree the first one and the last couple does look very weird, not something I would like to have at all. But the others I like. I love variegated varieties, they always look prettier to me than the plain colours. 🙂


    • Touch2Touch says:

      You and my husband! He loves the coleus foliage plants that are variegated red and green. Me, I think they’re messy looking!
      Isn’t it amazing how human eyes (the same type of mechanism really) can see things so differently!!!!!


      • magsx2 says:

        It would be a very boring world if we all liked the same thing. Just imagine only one type of flower to look at, or we were all wearing the same clothes because that is what we all liked. 😆


        • Touch2Touch says:

          I guess we agree —-
          We both like variegation in people!!!!

          (Hey, your little smiley face can wiggle its lips, mine can’t, even variations in little teeney smiley faces!)


  3. Rebekah says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this Orchids show! The white one in previous post is still standing … as the most beautiful 😆

    …and to make smilies wiggle you type colon, the letters lol and then colon again, without spaces..


  4. Thanks for sharing! My dad always had a thing for orchids, especially the weird ones, so I like to think that I’ve seen a lot of the strangest ones out there. You’re right, the cymbidiums don’t even resemble orchids!



    • Touch2Touch says:

      Thanks so much for coming by with your reassuring message.
      Stop N Shop is having a sale on the “ice cube orchids,” the phalaenopsis, and I am so tempted! Even though I have a black thumb —-


  5. I am still liking your idea of buying a new pot of orchids every time the flowers (and inevitably the plant) die. The weird would be quite a fun conversation piece. And like you said, cheaper than weekly bouquets. Ah, if only I had too much $$.

    You have brought me many different varieties I have never before seen. Thanks for allowing your pictures to be a window to a new world of fun, exotic flowers. 🙂


  6. Northern Narratives says:

    I really enjoyed your orchid show. I love seeing all the different colors and shapes.


  7. I think what I find most fascinating about flowers is how – when you get so up-close-and-personal – they are amazingly unique and different and special AND weird. Kinda like humans, no?


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