Monday, April 28, 2014

Pretty picture: Vanda Blaupunkt

The tag said "Vandofinetia Blaupunkt," but the International Orchid Register says both parents are Vandas (Vanda coerulescens x Vanda falcata).


"Blaupunkt" means "blue dot" in German, and is also the name of a German electronics equipment manufacturer. I'd argue that these flowers are not blue, dot-like, or electronic equipment, but I gave up long ago on expecting orchid names to make any sense.


5 comments:

Paul said...

Unfortunately, "blue" in the orchid world ... as with roses and many other flowers typically means some sort of lavender or "periwinkle blue" as opposed to truly being blue. (There are a few species of orchids that are actually blue, but they are very uncommon in the trade.

On a related note, it is not just flowers for which the term "blue" is misused. It is also the case with some color forms in cat and dog breeds. For example, there is a color form of Doberman that is referred to as "blue" but it most certainly is not.

"Vandofinetia Blaupunkt," but the International Orchid Register says both parents are Vandas (Vanda coerulescens x Vanda falcata)"

That is because recently Neofinetia -- which had been considered a genus in its own right for "ages" -- was disbanded and the three species making up that genus were moved to the genus Vanda. So Neofinetia falcata became Vanda falcata. And since both parents of the cross you posted are now Vanda, the newest name for the cross is Vanda Blaupunkt.

The whiplash changes (sometimes three or more times in rapid succession -- including some going back to their original name) occurring in the orchid world has many hobbyists and vendors essentially saying "screw it" and simply sticking with the old name(s) that everyone is already familiar with. Btw, just an FYI, the cacti world is just as screwed up.

Personally, my feeling is that all the taxonomists should be rounded up, put in the same room, and each given a baseball bat. Whichever one emerges alive at the end gets to make the final determination as to taxonomic nomenclature.

mr_subjunctive said...

Paul:

I assume the flexible understanding of "blue" mostly serves marketers, as 1) most things that involve misrepresentation either work to help marketers or politicians (and flower color is not yet a political issue as far as I know), and 2) true blues are relatively uncommon in the plant world, so there's money to be made in asserting that something is a true blue even if it isn't.

Also 3) Marketers are evil and most bad things can be blamed on them in one way or another.

I don't blame orchid hobbyists for wanting to just stick to the old, outdated names if that's what they're accustomed to. I use unfamiliar but more technically correct names for orchids when there's a conflict because I'm usually not already familiar with the old name, and I figure if I'm going to be learning a new name anyway, I may as well learn the one that's got taxonomic support. I'm less flexible with houseplants where I was already very familiar with the old name, though, like Dracaena marginata.

College Gardener said...

As a native German-speaker, I find that to be an oddly undignified name for something like an orchid variety. It really does sound techy more than anything else.

Anonymous said...

" I'm less flexible with houseplants where I was already very familiar with the old name, though, like Dracaena marginata."

Dracaena marginata isnt the current name? Is it back to D.reflexa?!

mr_subjunctive said...

Anonymous:

Last I knew, yeah.