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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

This is a discussion on Marie Selby Botanical Gardens within the Orchid Shows and Society Meetings forums, part of the TalkTalk category; I visited the gardens at MSBG today, and it was quite a mess People from ...

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  1. #1
    Mahon's Avatar
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    Default Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

    I visited the gardens at MSBG today, and it was quite a mess People from all over came primarily to see the 'Comet Orchid', Angraecum sesquipedale (news article: HERE), in full bloom (referred to as "Darwin's Last Laugh", as Darwin's predicted moth pollinator with an eight inch proboscis was discovered about 40 years after his death). Angraecum sesquipedale is very common, and often seen in cultivation. So I had to question; "why is this plant bringing so much publicity?". I talked with a few people and asked what they had heard. Many were told that the plant, Angraecum sesquipedale, is very rare, impossible to grow and bloom, and may costs thousands of dollars per plant. I was stunned, primarily because most of the stories matched up near exact! Is this a stab at increasing prices of this common orchid and increasing vast interest in the species, creating an actual market upon them?

    Well, enough said... here are some of the orchids in bloom at MSBG right now... after the flower pictures, I have included some pics of the gardens. Sorry for the poor photo quality; not only do I suck at taking pictures, but the lighting sucked too...

    The "main show" at MSBG: Angraecum sesquipedale


    The label for the "main show"


    Cattleya trianae


    Cattleya lueddemanniana


    Rhyncholaelia glauca


    Epidendrum chogoncolonchense (one of the many species of the Epidendrum difforme complex.)


    Encyclia asperula


    Schomburgkia moyobambae (Plant shot)


    (Schomburgkia moyobambae flower shot)


    Bulbophyllum hashimotoi 'Interlaken' CHM/AOS


    Chysis sp. (Plant shot)


    (Chysis sp. flower shot)


    Stelis argentata


    Catasetum barbartum (Plant shot)


    (Catasetum barbatum inflorescence shot)


    Calanthe rosea (top right) and two plants of Calanthe vestita


    Ascocentrum aurantiacum


    Paphiopedilum venustum


    NEW VARIETY: Paphiopedilum wardii var. teestaensis (Plant shot)


    (Paphiopedilum wardii var. teestaensis flower shot)


    Paphiopedilum insigne f. sanderae


    Paphiopedilum appletonianum (center) and Paph. Dr. Toot (lower right)



    Then here are some pictures of the gardens... (did warn about the crap load of pics! )

    The entrance of MSBG


    AHHH! Lost! (j/k) outside the Plant Shop door


    A hidden Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum, outside the Plant Shop door


    Down the walk from Admissions and Plant Shop


    Same area; walk that leads to mansion and bay


    Koi Pond; walk to the Selby House and Banyan Courtyard


    In the trees near the Koi Pond


    The Banyan Courtyard


    One of the Banyan trees that Marie Selby planted


    The Selby house


    -Pat
    Last edited by Mahon; January 20th, 2007 at 11:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    What a wonderous place; somehow I must go there! You are a wonderful tour guide Pat! I love your pictures. What a breath of spring for those of us living with snow and ice. Thank you so much!

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    Thanks Pat for the pictures and they aren't poor quaity! Wow Selby gardens is a beautiful place! I have to visit when I have money.

    Thanks for the story too! I've seen Angraecum sesquipedale for sale on the internet for around $15. Funny that they are thousands of bucks

    It's amazing how the majority of the general public still think they are rare. And amazing how news reporters love writing juicy stories about good people charged for smuggling of really rare plants (but in reality good people trying only to cut some extra costs and saving time on importing really common south american weedy orchids into the states for example and good people getting punished!) ....reporters just make orchids seem even more rare and make good people look delirious to the ignorant public. I'm thinking the orchid portion of CITES will never come down at this rate. We should all dress up in Phrag kovachii costumes and march up to CNN to show how delirious we are lol I'll shut up now sorry im getting off topic

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    Great pics, Pat. Thanks for sharing. I love the banyan tree and the koi pond. You could go every day and see something new or something you overlooked the day before. It's a wonderful, first rate place.

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    Gorgeous! It looks like you had a wonderful trip! Not to mention being lucky enough to be in the same room as such a "rare" plant! It looks heavenly--thank you for sharing.

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    Thanks for the tour. It goes on my list of places to visit when I get in the area.

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    Thanks for the tour, Pat! It warmed me right up!

    I think Angraecum sesquipedale featured in The Orchid Thief, if I'm remembering correctly. Not as hyped as Polyrrhiza lindenii, but I think a big deal was still made about it. That book has provided the background material for more orchid press. Reporters don't do a whole lot of research typically, and if they can steal a sound byte from a popular book, they don't look much farther.

    If MSBG is pumping the Angraecum, then they're marketing to the masses. And you can't blame them. The general public would be far less interested in coming to see the sorts of plants that would get us excited.

    McJulie

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    Thanks all! Selby is the only garden I have been to where I need to make two or more rounds in the display house, just to make sure I see everything... you always find something new or interesting each time. Most of the people that come in there have tunnion, so they went right to the "comet orchid". The whole placement of the "comet orchid" in the display house was so that people would walk through the display house taking their time (possibly "looking" for it). It's in plain sight at the end near the exit, but people managed to skip everything else to go see it. It was stunning.

    It's amazing that I have been there almost every weekend, but hardly get to go into the gardens, or even take pictures. That reminds me, I need to find the film of my pics of Amorphophallus titanum in bloom there

    -Pat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper View Post
    Thanks for the tour, Pat! It warmed me right up!

    I think Angraecum sesquipedale featured in The Orchid Thief, if I'm remembering correctly. Not as hyped as Polyrrhiza lindenii, but I think a big deal was still made about it. That book has provided the background material for more orchid press. Reporters don't do a whole lot of research typically, and if they can steal a sound byte from a popular book, they don't look much farther.

    If MSBG is pumping the Angraecum, then they're marketing to the masses. And you can't blame them. The general public would be far less interested in coming to see the sorts of plants that would get us excited.
    Thanks! The media will take anything they can find, and make something unsignificant into something of importance. This Ang. sesquipedale was made into a huge deal... I used to have a plant of this species just a tad smaller than their's, and maybe got 3 blooms (theirs had 5). There are others who have plants EVEN larger...

    Selby can also display Henry Azadhedel's confiscated orchids, and promote Eric Hansen's 'Orchid Fever' book. I saw two of his plants on display yesterday, and MSBG has quite a few of his the plants from the book.

    I do agree, the public will be more interested in Ang. sesquipedale in bloom, rather than seeing some really great Stelis and other Pleurothallids in bloom... but in order to promote admissions and attendance, do lies and phony stories have to be distributed? If MSBG was realy thinking, they would have already lined up an order of seedlings and near blooming sized plants for sale, which would probably sell out in no time... they already over-price their plants, so why not ask $20 for a nice seedling, and maybe $75 for a near blooming size plant? (evil thoughts)

    -Pat

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    Great tour in any case, Pat! Thanks!

    Cheers,
    BD

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