Seventeen years after volume 1, but only two years after volume 2, there is now the concluding volume 3. Together, this series makes Costa Rican orchids the best studied in the neotropics, thanks to the scientists at Lankester Botanical Garden, University of Costa Rica, where the lead author served as the director of research for twenty years. Twelve co-authors contributed to the various articles in the book.
Resupination, rings a bell? In orchids, the lip (labellum) is always at the top of the flower when in bud. But before the flower opens, it turns 180 degrees in most orchids so that the lip comes at the bottom. Thus, the lip forms a landing strip for pollinating insects.
Not all orchids resupinate their flowers, it depends on their pollinator. Species with a hanging inflorescence may even resupinate 360 degrees to get the lip downwards.
Orchids are often perceived as rare, vulnerable, even ‘weak’ plants. They need pampering or they will die. In reality, orchids are tough plants that often grow in habitats where other plants can’t. Some orchids have even become invasive weeds outside their native habitat. How do they do that?
A black tulip, a true-blue Cattleya, a poppy-red Phalaenopsis – those are the usual dreams of flower breeders. But a fragrant Phalaenopsis?
“In flower breeding, fragrance is underestimated,” says Marc Eijsackers, marketing manager of Floricultura.
“Colour, shape, longevity, size and number of flowers, such properties of a new hybrid are easily presented in a catalogue. But how to present fragrance to our customers?” Yet, Floricultura took the challenge to breed for fragrance in Phalaenopsis with its AromorA series. Why and how did they do this?
Say Vanda and you say Martin Motes. He is the breeder and grower of vandas in the western hemisphere. A breeder has to know his ‘breeding material’ and, yes, this breeder knows and shows it in this beautiful book! In his breeding program, Martin Motes introduced Vanda species beyond the ‘usual suspects’ with often astonishing results.
Israel will probably not ring a bell for many as being an orchid country. A simple comparison: the island of Cyprus, not far from Israel’s coast, is half of Israel’s size and has twice the number of orchid species. But then, the difference in climate is vast. Moreover, in Israel you will find orchids that naturally grow as far east as the Caucasus or Iran, even Oman. The four authors of this beautiful book, two from the Netherlands (who both did fieldwork in Israel several times), two from Israel, make clear that Israel is really an orchid country.