WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/107826

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gardening in bloom greenhouse flower beds the green scene flora The Romance of Orchids R U T H F U R M A N writer horticulture shrubbery orchid. The word evokes mystery, sumptuous beauty, and the exotic. The orchid has captivated mankind throughout history. With over 30,000 species found worldwide, botanists consider it to be the most highly evolved plant group. Most grow only in tropical regions, but there are 150 species native to North America. There are two general categories of orchids: the terrestrials and the epiphytes. The terrestrials grow in cooler, temperate zones, living on the ground like our native lady slippers the Cypripedium which is quite a beauty but, like orchids around the world, threatened from loss of habitat and ERNEST FISHER removal. The second type found in tropical and sub-tropical regions grows high up on trees or rocky outcrops and is called an epiphyte. It is the orchids from the warmer climates that provide ethereal splendor to our houseplant collections. The diversity of orchids may make choosing any particular one for the indoor garden quite daunting but there are tried-and-true hybrids available which are well-suited to the typical home environment. The easiest to grow is the moth orchid, Phalaenopsis, which requires average home temperatures and moderate light. An east facing window is ideal but a south or west facing window works with shading. The flat faced flowers are about two inches across in a We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 3 range of colors and the numerous blooms are held aloft along arching stalks. Flowers last two to three months and if it is well grown it can bloom for most of the year. Another good starter orchid with a low light requirement is the tropical lady slipper orchid, Paphiopedilum, with shorter flower spikes. The flower itself has a distinctively pouched lip which makes it look like a slipper, hence its name. As a terrestrial type it needs a constantly moist soil and will also reward with long lasting flowering. 18 Lady Slipper

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