Since 1984, I’ve had an orchid, a Cattleya Pleiades, that blooms every year at Thanksgiving. It’s a primary hybrid, which means both of its parents are naturally occuring in nature. It’s one parent is the c. bowrigiana, which is the national orchid of Costa Rica. I’m not sure what its other parent is….but the reference guide to find that info costs a bundle, and it really doesn’t matter.
I’ve had this orchid for more than 25 years, and it’s only ever bloomed really early once (like two/three weeks), last year, and we had a really cold winter!! I’ve divided it a couple of times, once to give a piece back to the grower, Mickey Carmichael, of Fort Lauderdale. Mickey’s Orchids is one of the best growers in Florida (user friendly with fabulous, well priced plants), and this was the very first “flask” she ever bought when she decided to raise orchids commercially, but had mistakenly sold her last one.
I divided this orchid again a few years ago, and gave a piece to my friend Don. He was expecting a small division, I shocked him with a huge plant, as I gave him an eight bulb division, which had three bloom spikes on it. As you can see from the pic, this is a HUGE orchid…it stands 35″ tall at the top of these blooms. This year, it has seven flower spikes, which have between a dozen and twenty blooms each. I have to tie up the spikes, as they are so full of flowers that I usually get breakage due to the weight of the blooms on each spike.
Here is a close up from last year, which I took using my (alas, now deceased) Panasonic. This is one of my favorite photos, taken late in the day with gorgeous afternoon light….notice the little bug on the bloom.
We’re currently discussing the other South Florida Thanksgiving Day tradition….Stone Crabs, Crab Stuffed Portobellos, Champagne, and Key Lime Pie. Although the natives are thinking maybe a more traditional feast….it’s up to them, I don’t shop for it, I merely cook it.
Happy Thanksgiving, all!
~ Blonde Gator