About Orchids eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 193 pages of information about About Orchids.
its golden-brown spotted flowers, on stout spikes two yards long.”  It is not to be hoped that we shall ever see monsters like these in Europe.  The genus, indeed, is unruly. G. speciosum has been grown to six feet high, I believe, which is big enough to satisfy the modest amateur, especially when it develops leaves two feet long.  The flowers are—­that is, they ought to be—­six inches in diameter, rich yellow, blotched with reddish purple.  They have some giants at Kew now, of which fine things are expected. G.  Measureseanum, named after Mr. Measures, a leading amateur, is pale buff, speckled with chocolate, the ends of the sepals and petals charmingly tipped with the same hue.  Within the last few months Mr. Sander has obtained G. multiflorum from the Philippines, which seems to be not only the most beautiful, but the easiest to cultivate of those yet introduced.  Its flowers droop in a garland of pale green and yellow, splashed with brown, not loosely set, as is the rule, but scarcely half an inch apart.  The effect is said to be lovely beyond description.  We may hope to judge for ourselves in no long time, for Mr. Sander has presented a wondrous specimen to the Royal Gardens, Kew.  This is assuredly the biggest orchid ever brought to Europe.  Its snakey pseudo-bulbs measure nine feet, and the old flower spikes stood eighteen feet high.  It will be found in the Victoria Regia house, growing strongly.


[Footnote 6:  Vanda Lowii is properly called Renanthera Lowii.]

[Footnote 7:  Vide page 100.]


Not a few orchids are “lost”—­have been described that is, and named, even linger in some great collection, but, bearing no history, cannot now be found.  Such, for instance, are Cattleya Jongheana, Cymbidium Hookerianum, Cypripedium Fairianum.  But there is one to which the definite article might have been applied a very few days ago.  This is Cattleya labiata vera.  It was the first to bear the name of Cattleya, though not absolutely the first of that genus discovered. C.  Loddigesii preceded it by a few years, but was called an Epidendrum.  Curious it is to note how science has returned in this latter day to the views of a pre-scientific era.  Professor Reichenbach was only restrained from abolishing the genus Cattleya, and merging all its species into Epidendrum, by regard for the weakness of human nature. Cattleya labiata vera was sent from Brazil to Dr. Lindley by Mr. W. Swainson, and reached Liverpool in 1818.  So much is certain, for Lindley makes the statement in his Collectanea Botanica.  But legends and myths encircle that great event.  It is commonly told in books that Sir W. Jackson Hooker, Regius Professor of Botany at Glasgow, begged Mr. Swainson—­who was collecting specimens in natural history—­to

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About Orchids from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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