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Identifying Orchids

This is a discussion on Identifying Orchids within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I know, I'm asking too much but I have to know what are you doing ...

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  1. #1
    Firochromis's Avatar
    Firochromis is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Question Identifying Orchids

    I know, I'm asking too much but I have to know what are you doing to identify NOIDs? I have some books already and find some good website but still feeling weaponless in front of a powerful enemy. Unlike cactus & succulents, orchids have many many (and many) hybrids and all seem same. What are the nuances?

  2. #2
    catfan is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005


    If you buy a NIOD or get one from a raffle table, friend, etc., you're going to have a very hard time trying to ID it. If you lost a tag or the tag has faded, then you can hopefully wait till it blooms, and go back to your purchase lists or vendors and see if you can figure it out. Keeping your own orchid plant list is highly recommended, but at least keep all your purchase receipts with names. Many orchid hybrids are so similar that they are almost impossible to tell apart, and as you grow into a serious collector, you tend to avoid NIODS, and they are the first to get disposed of if they are not doing well or you're running out of room. You can always post a pic on this or other forums, and sometimes you'll get lucky with an ID...but you shouldn't enter a plant for judging if your not certain of its name.

  3. #3
    Gin's Avatar
    Gin is offline Senior Member
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    Sep 2004
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    There are some that are easy to ID. usually they are species , most of the hybrids are next to impossible . If not showing or breeding orchids and the plant is pretty then I don't worry about it . Once in awhile you might run across the right name for one you have( Pure Luck ) I have sat for hours going through sites with pictures and not found what I needed .
    I lost a lot of tags during a move since them I give each plant a tag with a number on it and cross reference it to a list on the computer and on a disk and a notebook . lol . Sorry I am not more help . Gin

  4. #4
    hcubed's Avatar
    hcubed is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2007
    Hamburg, Germany


    I'm not a shower or breeder, so I'm not really worried about having noids (I pick what I like - plus I sort of like the challenge of finding its name). The lack of reliability can be really frustrating sometimes. Plus, the variation in photos posted is a huge factor.... how old the flower is, how reliable the site is, how fine the nuances are all make it hard (read: damn near impossible) to make a definitive call.

    Is it for example true that the Miltonia 'Red Tide' is unscented, as I read on one website. Mine looks like the pictures, but is definitely scented and the 'Red Knight King' pictures also seem very accurate.

    Or with a Paph - how to tell the difference between 'Salvador Dali', 'Pinnocchio', 'Amelia Hart Alexander' - they all look so close to one another that is is really hard to tell which characteristics are defining and which are due to the vicisissitudes of the photographer or other factors.

    In sum, though it doesn't REALLY bother me not to know, I am wondering whether anyone out there has a site with lots of pictures of various hybrids that they consider to be reliable in its naming. Or in general any other tips for keying out a noid as best as possible, though I realize that it is pretty daunting!


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