Monday, March 28, 2011

Phalaenopsitrocity

From the store that brought you the spray-painted, glittered, green poinsettias:


Yes, they really looked like that. I haven't changed the colors.

I'd heard of this before, from Ivynettle, but this is so much worse than anything she described.

I emphasize that they really looked like this. April Fool's Day is still a few days away. This is a real thing, that exists in the world.

The husband had to draw my attention to them. ("Hey, did you see the blue orchids?") I had gone through the floral department (it's a grocery store), and had looked right at them, but apparently failed to recognize them as plants.

I didn't examine the stalks for punctures, but I assume that's how they made these: dye injected into the flowering stalks.

It makes the spray-painted points seem not so bad, right?

Somewhere, somebody is working on creating something even worse than this, and we're going to long for the halcyon days when people were injecting dye into Phalaenopsis flowers. What do you think it will be?


27 comments:

Derek said...

Was the soil blue, too? What about the leaves? I'm wondering if you could do this by just spiking the water.

mr_subjunctive said...

Derek:

I didn't look at the soil, but I'd be surprised if you could water with dye and get this. Dyes are usually bigger molecules than I thought roots generally took up. Also you'd waste a lot of dye, when it ran back out whatever potting medium you were using, and I suspect customers would reject an orchid planted in blue bark.

Of course, I would have thought that customers would reject spray-painted poinsettias, too, so maybe I'm not the best judge.

Pat said...

They left the sequins off?

I have seen this done with cut daffodils placed in water and ink. I would have thought the roots would keep out the big molecules, as you say mr_s. It is possible that a colourless dye precursor could be absorbed then change in the plant. Let us hope they haven't got real scientists working on this.

I still think my idea of a colour-changing Lithops optica with LEDs under the soil would sell like hot-cakes.

ellieT said...

Wow. And I thought gluing straw flowers onto cacti was bad.
but in some ways should we be all that surprised? they're making glow-in-the-dark cats. CATS!
there's nothing out there that people will alter to appease modern whims

Plowing Through Life said...

You're kidding... I haven't seen these orchids here, but I figure it's just a matter of time. Yes, this is worse than the Poinsettias. I think the next 'victims' will be the cacti... Maybe in orange. Or red.

MRBROWNTHUMB said...

Damn, these things are everywhere. I've been seeing pics of them in Europe on Facebook all winter long. The other day one of the local bloggers went to the orchid show and sale and spotted one, but it was not as blue as these. These aren't even as blue as the ones I saw pics of earlier in the year.

I'm not really sure how I feel about these.

allandrewsplants said...

I saw a bunch of these at Canada Blooms this year - I'd successfully blocked them out of my memory until now.

Mike said...

This is the source of that fugly ass fake:
http://www.silvervase.com/blue-mystique-main.php

Plants Have Feelings said...

Dear Mr. Subjunctive,

I just wanted to stop by and say that you have inspired me to start my own blog, which you can find here: http://plantshavefeelings.blogspot.com/

While I am a novice indoor gardener, and my blog is a youngin', I can at least semi-boast about my 26 plants (30 plants if I include my sad, leggy herbs).

Keep up the wonderful writing and information that you post.

You truly are an inspiration for indoor gardeners and whenever I am looking for more detailed information, I always trot over to your blog.

P.S. I am jealous that you worked at a greenhouse.

mr_subjunctive said...

Mike:

Thanks. I notice they don't say how they do it, only that it's not paint, it's not a hybrid, and "it is the result of a patented process that infuses white orchids with a special medium." Which is consistent with injection of dye, but also consistent with watering plants with dye. So we still don't know, and since it's patented, they're not going to want to tell us.

I still think injection is most likely.

Ivynettle said...

Oh my god. They have arrived!

They've been getting progressively worse here since I first saw them - more strongly coloured (like in your pictures), and they are everywhere.
The puncture marks are usually easy to see - I just never had my camera with me when I saw them, or I would have taken a picture.

idalingi said...

FYI, Check out the below link taken from Silver Vase Nursery's facebook fan's picture and the comments from "happy" customer -

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150116300252834&set=o.193438544002756&ref=nf

James Stapley said...

I saw some of these back in Dec/January in South Africa at an orchid nursery; even the roots were slightly bluish.

They're simultaneously quite striking and quite horrific.

There have been a couple of posts over at Orchid Board about these - some company has actually patented this process...
http://www.orchidboard.com/community/beginner-discussion/41071-artificially-blue-orchids.html

http://www.orchidboard.com/community/beginner-discussion/42904-blue-phaelenopsis-am-i-sucker.html

http://www.orchidboard.com/community/hybrids/43677-blue-mystique-phals.html?highlight=blue+mystique

Here's the US vendor's page about them: http://www.silvervase.com/blue-mystique-main.php

Han Keat Lim said...

I saw such plants in Germany two years ago, but they weren't as blue as this. I did check their flower stalks and found out the colour was injected.

Last year I saw blue Anthurium andreanums too. I didn't check the flower stalks, because their tags said the next flowers would be returned to white.

Tony said...

I saw one of these abominations at of all places the local conservatory's retired orchid show...I was NOT amused...
Haven't seen them for sale around here yet though...YET.

Hort Log said...

They do this to tropical fishes too - which I think is bad taste. I am neutral for plants though - but if I have a choice it would be jet black.

Nate said...

If you're talking about the so called "Glofish" those are actualy geneticly modified, not dyed. which while it does have it's own morality isssues for some is at least better than injecting them with dye.

Nate said...

Oh, oh my, never mind. They really do dye some fish, that's Barbaric.

molly said...

Otter Pop blue, or maybe birthday-cake-icing blue; totally consistent with the grocery-store aesthetic. Looks like Longwood Gardens was asking for feedback on them during this year's Orchid Extravaganza.

Lorrie said...

Ghastly.
Nero Wolfe would be rolling in his grave.

Laurie said...

Hi,

I've seen some at a local nursery chain here in GR, Michigan. I noticed the roots had dark blue stains. I almost posted my cell phone pics of them on my (fairly new) plant blog for today.

Ivynettle said...

Aaaaaand it gets worse!

Paul said...

*shudder* I actually am already familiar with this atrocity. It doesn't get easier with repeated exposure. Please excuse me while I self administer some electroshock therapy in hopes of deleting this from my memory.........

ZAP!

Tom said...

Longwood Gardens actually used these in their displays this year. It upset me.

Tom said...

Also, I forgot to mention it but I love the title of this post. LOVE IT. I hope I'm not coming off as creepy and obsessed...

Anonymous said...

They are injected. I saved a blue one and a lavender one from HyVee and the lady was nice enough to tell me that they wouldn't grow back those colors. Both of my plants have wounds on the spikes where they injected the dye. Not so secret and patented... Otherwise they seem healthy, hopefully they come back nicely in their next bloom cycle..

mr_subjunctive said...

Anonymous:

Yeah, I found one with a visible injection site about a week after I posted this; that post is here, and there's a bunch more stuff on the dyed-orchid craze under the label dye-infused plants.