More crazy orchids!

No wonder moth orchids are one of the most popular orchids in the trade! Sturdy and cheerful and covered with blooms! Some botanical genius put these two moth orchids in the same pot! My son gave them to me many years ago and their blooming periods still overlap annually. They started blooming when my last crazy orchids were about to finish their season. We’ve had orchids for months!

flower orchid 37 backsides

In case you missed all my earlier orchid blog posts this year, here are the truly crazy phaius tankervilles that brightened our lives for months! Can’t wait for next year!

Crayola Moment

Flower orchid sideview

Crayola moments are among my favorites! This is another view of my chocolate, vanilla and raspberry orchid. My drawings are done directly in ink on the page. No pencil or eraser involved. It’s scary and exciting to watch a line cut across a white field, wondering if my mind will wander or when my body will flinch.

37 backsides, an anatomy lesson & a Crayola Moment!!

flower orchid 37 backsides

37 backsides of Phaius Tankervilleae orchids viewed from the top. Wouldn’t you know, best lighting is from the back. Petals are like parasols!  Anatomy lesson: actually what I think of as petals are 3 sepals, remains of the original flower bud, and 2 petals. The “cup” part of the orchid is the lower (3rd) petal. It is used by the flower to provide a landing platform for its pollinator.

Flower orchid sketch

Here’s another Crayola Moment! I think there are 12 blooms on this stem. If I can’t count them, how can I possibly draw them?!

“Much of the reason orchids are so widespread is thanks in part to humans’ affinity for and desire to grow them. Mirenda thinks that the symmetry of the flower could have a lot to do with why people are so fond of orchids. An orchid has bilateral symmetry — like a human face — so if a line is drawn vertically down the middle of the flower, the two halves are mirror images of each other.

“When someone looks at an orchid, it looks back at you,” said Mirenda.”

“Chin up!”

Thank you for helping count orchids!


As a way of saying thank you to all of you volunteers who helped with the very difficult task of counting orchids, and for those who missed the prior publication of this sketch, here’s a Crayola Moment for you!

Flower phaius sketch

Color suggestion: vanilla, chocolate and raspberry!

Orchid with 21 blooms & 25 buds!

Flower phaius sketch

Here’s a coloring project for you! Photo below provided as a guide or just do your own thing! Please let me know if  you come up with something yummier than this chocolate, vanilla and raspberry orchid?

Flower orchid phaius 2

Have you ever had 21 orchids in bloom in your bedroom- or anywhere else in your life? It was such a crazy realization that I had to count them twice. Then my husband started counting the buds that hadn’t opened yet. More photos to follow in a future blog!

Meet my crazy orchid


Phaius Tankervilleae, Nun Orchid, Nun’s Cap

This genus is composed of 40-50 species widespread through Africa to the Philippines and the Pacific Islands. It is a wide spread genus that for the most part has a pleasing vegetative appearance even out of bloom They are mostly shade loving and terrestrial with a few epiphytes and generally like even watering [see individual species listing]. When in their growth phase weekly fertilizer is recommended year round. Phaius are sympodial and most often terrestrial, with highly variable plant size. The pseudo bulbs are small with new growths arising from the base of the pseudo bulb or from the rhizome. They have large plicate leaves that can be ruffled as well and generally have a pretty out of bloom appearance. The inflorescence arises from the base of the old pseudo bulb or from the rhizome and has its flowers racemose at the end of the spike. Phaius in general has large showy flowers with a pleasant fragrance.

New plants can be obtained from the old spikes, just lay the spike out in a plastic flat filled with sand and half cover them. Keep in a shady moist area and in 1-2 months the new plants will appear from the nodes of the spike.

I may actually try this. Meanwhile you will see more of my orchid as its buds continue to open.