Monday, March 15, 2010

Pretty picture: Odontocidium Tiger Crow

I'm realizing that a really insane percentage of the non-Phalaenopsis orchids we sold at work are1 from the Oncidium alliance.2 This is kind of surprising to me. I mean, it's not that they're not nice flowers, and I understand Oncidium itself, at least, is supposed to be easy to grow, so it makes sense. It's more just, I think, that the forms and colors are so varied, it's strange to realize that the flowers we had were only ever a narrow fraction of the diversity in the family.

As far as this particular photo goes, the flowers are more interesting in the close-up view where you can see all the detail. But I don't think the picture itself (or any of the other photos, for that matter) came out that well -- the colors seem a bit dark and dull, given the subject. So I guess it was a wash. I do like this flower, though, better than a lot of the other orchids I've seen recently.


1 "Were?" They still sell the same types of orchids, but I'm not one of the people doing it anymore. So is it present tense, because they're selling them now, or is it past tense, because I used to be selling them?
2 Although orchids from one genus will interbreed considerably with other genera, not all of the possible combinations will produce viable offspring. Instead, genera cluster in different groups, called "alliances." Orchids within the same alliance can interbreed freely, but they may or may not cross with orchids from other alliances. The Oncidium alliance is one of these groups, and includes the genera Brassia, Miltonia, Odontoglossum, Oncidium, and Cochlioda, which can be crossed and recrossed to make several multigeneric hybrids we've seen here, including Beallara (my personal favorite, I think), Wilsonara, Colmanara, Degarmoara, and Goodaleara.
Phalaenopsis, the orchid most familiar to people in the U.S. (maybe elsewhere too -- I don't know), is part of the Vanda alliance.
Not all orchid genera are necessarily in an alliance.


Liza said...

Hmmm, that is a tough one. I think you're right to use "are" but there's a part of me that likes "were." What can I say, I must be more comfortable with the past than the present.

Ivynettle said...

I have the same problem of still saying "we" about the ex-job. Not so much any more now that I have a new job, but I still have to remind myself occasionally that it's "them" now.

Plantman said...

Mr. Sub, are you working in plants anymore? If not, do you plan on it again? The plant biz needs peeps like you!
Move to Yellow Springs, Ohio and you can work at my shop!