Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Still in winter's grip - more orchids

Here's a rather common reddish purple phalaenopsis orchid. Still a sight to behold when all the flowers are open on the spray, especially on a cold and dreary day of Winter. I guess these have no names because they are cast offs or not good enough to be named. So the question is why would the propagators, well... propagate these rather common orchids? Why not only the very best if they're going to spend the time and effort to grow these plants? My guess would be that rarity brings a high price, like DeBeers trying to tell us that diamonds are rare when they're not.

I once talked to a guy who was connected to a lab doing meri-stem cloning. They would take the growing part of an orchid and somehow separate it into tiny bits and grew this slurry in a sterile medium with nutrients producing hundreds of little plants. This would kill the mother plant but you would get many plants with the identical traits and colors of the cloned plant. Essentially these plants were one and the same. This was faster and more reliable than growing plants from seed and you would get plants true to the characteristics of the parent. With seed there was too much variability. Of course to develop a new variety you have to do it by cross breeding from seed but maybe they've advanced the science to where they can pick what characteristics they want and just clone them.


Blogger Gotta Garden said...

Common or not, it's still beautiful to see!

6:36 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks gotta garden. We are enjoying all the sale orchids we bought last year. Makes a rather beautiful table arrangement as some out of town visitors were quite taken with the color and number of flowers on each stalk.

10:55 AM  

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