Friday, January 29, 2010


I have never owned an orchid: I feel it would be somehow disrespectful to own something so beautiful that you were destined to kill. I know my limits. Outdoor plants I can keep going, and some less-finicky indoor plants may survive my care, but an orchid would be headed for an early grave if it had to rely upon my ministrations.

That does not mean that I do not appreciate them. There are more than 23,000 species of orchids out there, and they find hundreds more every year. There are exotic orchids in lush rain forests, but there are also beautiful ones native to Virginia as well. Men have died attempting to find and posses the rarest orchids, and there is a thriving trade in orchid poaching. While there are many different orchids and some are plentiful there are others that are extremely endangered, and countless others have disappeared even before we had a chance to study them due to habitat loss.

Thankfully if I want to enjoy orchids I can always take a quick trip to Ginter Botanical and wander around their collection and enjoy the beauty of the exotic tropical flora, along with the talent and hard work of people who know what they are doing. I appreciate the plant-nerds out there!

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