Points of Interest

 What is the world’s biggest orchid?

The largest orchid is generally agreed to be Grammatophyllum speciosum. It can weigh up to 2,000 pounds… and is reputed to produce up to 10,000 flowers on a mature plant in nature. The pseudobulbs reach 10 feet or 3 meters in height with leaves along the full length.

Grammatophyllum speciosum

The species is found in Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, Sumatra, the Philippines, Papua and New Guinea. [Information from www.bellaonline.com. Photograph from Singapore Botanical Gardens.]

 

What’s the name of the first hybrid orchid and who was the hybridizer?

“…[T]he possibility of crossing two orchids to create a hybrid intrigued John Dominy, who worked for James Vietch & Sons, a prestigious English orchid nursery. Ignoring a warning the he ‘would drive botanists mad,’ he crossed two species of Calanthe and produced Calanthe Dominii (furcata x masuca) in 1854 and then saw it flower in 1856 as the first orchid hybrid. Flushed by this success he experimented with hybridizing cattleyas and other orchids, eventually making more than 20 crosses.” [from The Complete Guide to Orchids,  Published by Meredith Books. Des Moines, Iowa, 2005. pg.e 8.]

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