Tuesday, October 09, 2007

2007 Trip: Conservatory - Orchid Room

The Conservatory had a room just for orchids. It was cooler than other parts of the Conservatory and was wet and drippy like a cool forest. Orchids were everywhere. On the ground, on the trees branches above my head, along a wet wall and hanging in various places.

Many of the orchids were big and showy like this one.

I like this one's spidery shape.

Getting close up pictures of these flowers was difficult. My new camera does not have a real manual focus so many of my photos from this day came out blurry. It's difficult to take a good picture of an orchid without getting as close as possible since the shapes and details of these flowers are so striking.

This is not a vanilla orchid, by the way.

While I lingered in the the room, a docent with a group came in. I listened to her talk about the orchids. She pointed out the vanilla planifolia orchid, a small unassuming climbing vine orchid in the trees above us. She explained how we get vanilla beans for our vanilla flavoring from this plant. I had no idea. I knew vanilla beans came from a plant, but did not know it was an orchid. Very interesting. I couldn't get a picture of it because I couldn't see where she was pointing.

You can see in these pictures how shady and drippy it is in this room. They have the misters going on pretty regularly in here.

Some orchids are otherworldy, like this one. I love the strips and spots.

I've been told that certain orchids like it here in SF due to the cool, foggy climate. I may yet get a couple to see how I do with them here.

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