Friday, September 01, 2006

Orchids at Canaote

Canaote Botanic garden is home to many rare species of fruit and palms. For many years, we have collected the rare and exotic from our friends around the world by seed and plant exchange.. This is a useful scientific endeavor. We want to identify the plants that will grow well in this xerophytic environment. We have included many vegetables in our plan but this was not the main purpose.

Some things grow here naturally because this is their original home. The orchid Cycnoches chlorochilon sometimes commonly called the Swan Orchid is one of them. Its shape resembles a swan. Some folk think the photograph is upside-down because most orchids are oriented the other way up but the photograph shown here is correct. It was originally discovered near Maracaibo, Venezuela by a certain Herr Moritz, a German living there. Curiously the R.H.S in London do not accredit this orchid as being of Venezuelan origin, they are mistaken. One feature of Cycnoches species was the extraordinary number of seeds in each seed capsule. Numbering 3,770,000 per pod, with each plant producing six to eight pods. If each seed survived, the earth would be buried under these flowers in fifteen years. Luckily, only a few survive in each generation. There are only sixteen species that we know of. The one in our picture appeared here at Canaote in that location naturally. It is mildly perfumed. We are thrilled to have it here.

No comments: