Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dancing Lady Orchids

The Oncidium/Odontoglossum alliance is becoming very popular mostly due to their long lasting sprays of beautiful flowers. All combinations of Oncidium and Odontoglossum and related types have been produced through hybridizing and offer a wide range of color patterns.

The Oncidium was first described by Olof Swartz in 1800 with the orchid Oncidium Altissimum, which has become the type species. Its name is derived from the Greek word "onkos", meaning "swelling". This refers to the callus at the lower lip. The Odontoglossum, first named in 1816 by Karl Sigismund Kunth, is a genus of about 100 orchids. The scientific name is derived from the Greek words odon (tooth) and glossa (tongue), referring to the two tooth-like calluses on the base of the lip.

I used to grow both, but not too successful with most Oncidium and especially with the Odontoglossum. I am surprised to see Home Depot selling these beautiful orchids, because I know they do not grow well in Miami, at least for me.

Dancing Lady Orchids


alaya said...

i read a book called 'the orchid thief'. the set of the book is in florida.

TOG said...

I knew most of the people in the book except the bogus ones. The ghost orchid (talked about in the book) is blooming now and one of the orchid clubs are going out to see them. I'm not sure of the time.

Philip Estenson said...

Great article/post. Those are some beautiful pictures of Colmanara, Miltassia and Oncidium Sharry Baby. I don't mean to correct you because this is a great post but I don't see an actual Dancing Lady orchid which includes both Onc. Gower Ramsey and Onc. Golden Shower. Either way, the picture is awesome and the post is too.

Lan Nghiem-Phu said...

Philip, thank you for your comments. Actually, the name "dancing lady orchids" for me is more generously attributed to all oncidium. A distinctive feature of oncidium that gives them this popular name is the large labellum that look like dancing skirts. If you would agree with that, my photo has some beautiful oncidium with white large skirts at the center and to the right. Many of the oncidium have yellow "skirts" but they don't have to be yellow.