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Lifespan of monopodial orchids.

This is a discussion on Lifespan of monopodial orchids. within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by PrismaColorz I was thinking that the oldest orchids must be from the ...

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  1. #21
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrismaColorz View Post
    I was thinking that the oldest orchids must be from the Victorian era. I bet there are some good specimens at Kew. Kew is on my list of places to go in my life! Its so cool you have some plants with such am awesome history. Thanks for the info! very interesting....
    I visited Kew a few years ago and the orchid house was not in good shape. Many plants that were not being cared for very well and lots of generic orchids (not specimen sized at all) without tags. I inquired why the orchids were looking so rough and was told that the person who maintains the orchids has not worked there for several years. They have hired a new person who was just starting (three years ago) when I visited. Unless things have changed pretty significantly, the Kew Gardens are best seen for their other plant collections and the huge collection of Henry Moore sculptures (incredible) that populate the entire area of the Gardens.

    Cheers,
    BD

  2. #22
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    I am sorry to hear in what sad shape the Kew Gardens (orchid wise) are in Bruce. I have read that from early Victorian times on until World War One, the English Upper Classes Were very much into the tropical, the exotic, and the novel in nature. This was especially true when it came to all kinds of greenhouse gardening and they had the cheap labor to tend those plants that required more care and or replacement. Its to bad that some of the large and more ancient orchids no longer exist there. I wonder where they can be found? Al

  3. #23
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    Whether monopodial or sympodial, no orchid liv es 'forever', and Halloamey's post is just one reason why. No plant of any kind lives forever, nothing does, though the oldest know plant is estimated to be 43,000 years old and in good health. It is better to say such plants live 'indefinitely', even if it takes the eventual death of the sun to be the final cause.

    There is no reason to believe that some orchids, both monopodial and sympodial, can't live for thousands of years too. Others are naturally very short lived of course, just a few years. There are clones of old hybrids that are known to be over 100 years old, with no expectation they will die out in the next 100 years or more, already beyond 'forever' in terms of one human life.

    And by the way, if a degree means anything I can legitimately call myself a biologist too, even a botanist. We aren't all that rare...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    The oldest known orchids are the ones in cultivation from the Victorian era making them well over 200 years old.
    Not quite. The Victorian era started in 1837. We are still a few years short of 200.

    The first truly tropical orchid genus (Cattleya) to bloom in Europe was in 1818, still not quite 200 years ago.

    On the other hand, there are native orchids everywhere, and some have been in cultivation for far longer than 200 years.

  5. #25
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    I have truly enjoyed this post it answers a lot of questions

  6. #26
    drew33998 is offline Member
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    yes i have always heard that given the "perfect" circumstances I.E-light, atmosphere, water, ecosystem, etc, that a plant or tree could live forever once it hits the "Mobius Loop". forever being contingent upon the point of reference of course. (Ex-ginkgo biloba, black pine)

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    Not quite. The Victorian era started in 1837. We are still a few years short of 200.

    The first truly tropical orchid genus (Cattleya) to bloom in Europe was in 1818, still not quite 200 years ago.

    On the other hand, there are native orchids everywhere, and some have been in cultivation for far longer than 200 years.
    Kirk it was just an approximation, even though the Victorian era started in late 1830s the plants must have been atleast a decade old to flower in the ictorian era. Here is a link to the Kew botanical gardens orchid history, which states that the exotic orchid collection exists from the 1770s.

    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Science & Horticulture: Orchidaceae

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