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Orchids: Just...why?

This is a discussion on Orchids: Just...why? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I thought the same thing, and I'm straight, but not a guy. And some orchids, ...

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  1. #11
    Dazed's Avatar
    Dazed is offline Senior Member
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    I thought the same thing, and I'm straight, but not a guy. And some orchids, IMO are more 'boy' than I like seeing ...but then my perception of things have been known to be a bit...well, warped.

  2. #12
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    orchidsal is offline Senior Member
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    Interesting thread you started here sand tiger86. Some of what you said I definitely agree with and there are other things you mentioned that you could make a good, strong argument for your point of view. I do believe you have suceeded in taking a mundane, potentally negative post and made it interesting and even funny. AL

  3. #13
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    Strange how one's taste in orchids changes with time. Like most people, I was introduced to the weird and wonderful world of orchids when I saw my first phalaenopsis . I found the flowers amazing, particularly the long appendages at the tip of the lip, and the fact that they would sort of ... "glue" themselves to tree trunks was simply fascinating (I was 18 and easily impressed back then ). I wouldn't have looked twice at a masdevallia or a miltonia (the flowers looked too normal to me) or anything with green flowers (I thought that surely the point of flowers was to have colour so as to make ME happy to look at them?!!! ). I liked flashy, brash, big flowers ... the kind that you'd expect to shout "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! ... LOOK AT ME NOW!!!! ".

    Then I started collecting all the flashy orchids I could find and soon run out of space, so I got into miniature orchids. There I encountered a lot of species that have small, but intricate and interesting flowers. Over time I started to appreciate the weird and wonderful more and more. Now I prefer anything "spidery and different" to anything "round and normal", hence my predilection for species over hybrids. I have quite a number of catasetums, stanhopeas and their relatives and I don't mind that the flowers only last 3-7 days in most cases. They definitely have the wow factor for me, their flowers are generally HUGE, their smell is extraordinary and completely different from one species to the next and they need special care and are difficult to grow as normal houseplants (I like a challenge ... otherwise I might as well sit back and grow petunias).

    Back to the original question: the one orchid I don't like the look of is Spiranthes. I really don't get why anybody would want to grow them. There's nothing wrong with them ... but I guess for me there is simply nothing right with them either. I don't hate them, they just leave me cold. Looking at them is as exiting as watching paint dry.

  4. #14
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    I'm not a huge fan of the frilly Cattleyas, but there are a few types that I like if only for their color - and even then they're usually hybrids. I've also gotten rather bored of most Phals. There are certainly some beautiful ones out there but I guess because they're so common now I just look at them and go "meh".
    I LOVE the weird ones like bulbos and catasetums, but I don't grow stinky bulbos because of where I grow my orchids. I don't have any catasetums yet since I'm not sure they'd fare well in my conditions.

  5. #15
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    I am enjoying this thread immensely. haha...

    cheers,
    BD

  6. #16
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    I'm not big on vandas...as someone else mentioned recently, not a fan of their rounded petals. And their growth habit seems a bit ungainly to me. And, to be honest, they don't seem to like me that well either.

    I am not a huge floofy fan, though I like catts in general. I love interesting shapes--masdies, zygos, stanhopeas are all great-looking to me.

    Of all the 'chids I own, my least favorite is eulophia andamanensis...I like the flowers & think they are cool-looking, but they seem disproportionally small compared to the spike and bulbs--I like a plant to be pleasing when viewed as a whole.

  7. #17
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    Kathi, I'm not making fun if your point of view, but for some reason my brain matter is conjuring up this picture of the orchids you don't like and I'm getting a cartoon orchid wid a big ol' butt. Must be the afore mentioned warp-ness, guess it's trying to personify the orchids. Does anyone else do that?

  8. #18
    Daethen is offline Senior Member
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    When I first got into orchids, I like big and flashy! Masdies seemed too small to bother with. Then I took a closer look at them and fell in love. I bought some and found out that they do not love me back. I will still try with them though. I thought that paphs were just weird. Of course so am I, so I ended up really loving the paphs. I still don't quite appreciate the ones with the huge pouches though. Bulbos were something else I came to slowly. I think it was medusae that won me over. Now I am a bulbo nut. There are still some species that do not do it for me, but that is what is so cool about orchids. There are so many that there is something for everyone!

  9. #19
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    I do think experience, or perhaps "familiarity" makes a difference as well. Most people, when first getting into the hobby are all gaga over phals. Not surprising as they are commonly available, relatively "easy" for most people, and remain in bloom for a long time. The majority then seem to graduate to catts, dens, oncs and slippers. At some point, a portion of hobbists -- perhaps due to a certain amount of ennui -- find themselves craving something different, more exotic. They thus find their tastes changing as they are drawn to the less common/more unusual (though not necessarily attractive) species. An appreciation of that "other beauty" develops.

    For my own part, while I still enjoy many of the hybrid catts and the occasional hybrid phal, my tastes are now heavily biased toward species -- be they beautiful in the more common, plebian sense or in a more esoteric manner. I personally do not care for the big floofy catts, nor for the majority of slippers, or hybrid phals.

  10. #20
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    ^ If only I had the luck with my phals that I do with my other orchids! I can't get those buggers to bloom for anything!

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