Orchids at the Butterfly Conservatory Christmas display 2009
Orchids maintained by OrchidsAmore - Pelican Coast Farms, Inc.
The Butterfly Estates is starting its second year as one of the top attractions in Fort Myers, Florida.
At 1815 Fowler Street, Fort Myers, it features a fully functioning conservatory which breeds and displays its own butterflies. It is an exquisitely landscaped glass house. There are finches breeding along side the butterflies.
We have just added a collection of orchids to complement the landscape.
Turn to the left and three Phalaenopsis hang in a Palm tree. Phalaenopsis in nature grow down from tree branches. Flowers on these can last 3-4 months.
When you enter almost directly overhead is a large Vanda. These flowers can last up to 2 months. They are some of the largest and showiest of orchids. They take very bright light almost full sun they should be watered every day and lots of fertilizer.
Turn to the left and three Phalaenopsis hang in a Palm tree.
Phalaenopsis in nature grow down from tree branches. Flowers on these can last 3-4 months. When mounted naturally they can take medium to high light and light to stay slightly moist all the time.
As you walk across the bridge separating two water fountains you will see other less common orchids. To your right at the top of the fountain is a Dendrobium spectabile. These are seldom seen in bloom as they can easily take 9 or more years to flower for the first time. They will bloom annually after that.
Down the right side of this fountain are some Cattleya (corsage orchids) and an Oncidium Intergeneric. Cattleya flowers last around 4-8 weeks while Oncidium flowers last 10-12. B. Little Stars, the Lady of the Night, is fragrant only after dark. It is fertilized by a night moth and does not waste its scent when the insect is not around.
Dendrobium spectabile likes high light and regular water and fertilizer when growing. Fertilizer is eliminated when it is flowering time.
Bllra Tahoma Glacier is an Oncidium Intergeneric. It is a hybrid of several orchid families. It takes medium to low light and likes to dry out between waterings.
Slc India Rose Sherwood is a standard Cattleya hybrid that is well suited for a corsage and looks equally well in a flower pot. It is fragrant and blooms twice a year lasting about 6 weeks each time.
Bassovola Little Stars is known as The Lady of the Night. It is fertilized by a night moth and like all women does not wear its perfume when the men are not around.
Monach on purple Spathoglottis plicata
Down on the left side is the Butterfly Orchid, which dances on the end of a long flower spike. The spike will keep getting longer as the plant continuously forms a new flower after the first one dies. Each flower stem can produce flowers for 5-10 years. The brown and tan coloration is the common variety and the yellow form is a rarer coloration. Both types are in the display. They will have either a flower open or a new bud growing. The original species was named Psychopsis papilio, papilio is Latin for butterfly. The first hybrid was Psychopsis Butterfly since hybrids are named in English. The hybrid here transgresses from the standard of naming hybrids in English and is Psychopsis Mariposa, Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly. The yellow form is Psychopsis papilio, the original species in a rare color form.
Orchids peak out from the sides of the stream bed. From the bottom is our Christmas red Cattleya. We especially like Blc Chia Lin a stunning 6 inch flower that is very fragrant. We also use Slc India Rose Sherwood a smaller 3-4 inch flower that usually has 3-5 flowers per stem.
Turn around and look at the fountain on the North side of the house. Looking up toward the top of the fountain are more Cattleya and Oncidium and the more common Dendrobium. Phalaenopsis are grouped together near the top with Lady slippers completing this grouping.Spathoglottis Penang Beauty is a hybrid terrestrial orchid. Here in Florida it can be grown year round in a perennial garden and will have flowers most of the year. It can take full sunlight.
Phalaenopsis, moth orchids, are common throughout the world. They come in many colors and sizes. They naturally grow down from tree branches but are most often seen growing in pots. When grown upside down in pots they require very low light levels. For a million years they have evolved to live with only bounced light from the forest floor.
Lady Slippers are found everywhere in the world in dark forest areas near stream beds similar to where they are placed, although usually a little darker. Here they are Paphiopedilum from Southeast Asia. Also in this group are Cypripedium and Phragmipedium.
Common Dendrobium like these white ones are long lasting and produce multiple stems of flowers, that are very popular as cut flowers.
The Oncidium Intergenerics on this side are red. They can come in many colors and shapes. The grow easily and flowers last 10-12 weeks.
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