International Orchid World Dresden, European Orchid Conference 2024 (EOC 2024), Dresden Easter, 21. – 24.03.2024; review, history, outlook
Since 1998 the “International Orchid World” has developed into a great annual event drawing orchid growers and enthusiasts from many parts of Europe and overseas. In 2024 Dresden will also host the European Orchid Conference and Show (EOC) as part of the Dresden Easter fair from 21 to 24 March. Join us in Dresden in March 2024 and dive into a world full of beauty, exoticism and surprise!
Membership of orchid societies is declining in many European countries. In larger countries, even a small proportion of enthusiasts can sustain a society. However, in smaller nations, we have older societies that are nearing or have already surpassed the point where the core functions are jeopardised. While the root causes are evident, reversing such trends, especially when driven by powerful forces, is challenging.
Most orchids have appropriate names, for example in the epiphytic genera Dendrobium and Epidendrum – both names come from the ancient Greek word dendron and mean ‘growing on trees’. But some orchids bear a name that seems very wrong, even insulting. In past centuries, epiphytic orchids were often called ‘parasites’. Are they? No! But are there parasitic orchids? Yes!
When I acquired Lankesterella ceracifolia for my collection, all my orchid friends laughed. They thought that I had been scammed and someone had sold me a butterwort instead. But when it finally flowered, after a year, it really turned out to be an orchid, with alien-like blooms. What a gem!
The book ‘Demystifying Orchid Pollination’ by Adam Karremans was published in Spring 2023 by Kew Gardens. Well-written and well-illustrated, the book is a treasure trove of how orchids and their pollinators interact. The book is based on scientific findings of the last two centuries, but written for a broad public. Unique feature of the book: QR Codes that give access to videos of orchids being pollinated.
If you really want to find something precious that nobody else has ever seen before, or at least not scientifically documented as a new orchid species, it can pay off to study maps of remote areas in faraway countries. Peru has still a lot to offer in that regard. This country has been searched through for a couple of centuries by professional plant hunters, looking for just that unique plant that would bring a lot of fame and fortune for their employers.