Last week I went to an annual orchid show and sale put on by the Tucson Orchid Society. It was hosted at one of the nurseries in town, and members offered orchids at outstanding prices. From the exterior it looked quite unimpressive, just an enclosed white tent. As I walked in, I was immersed in an exotic display of truly unbelievable orchids. Each and every plant was exquisite and deserved the recognition they received, ribbons given out by the judges. I'm not sure what the basis for the judging was, but I assume that it was done based on species with the best of each species receiving a first place ribbon.
One of the best examples of the fascinating out-of-the- ordinary orchids is the Dendrobium Pierardii. With few (if any leaves) it has it's stems hang down like vines. In this case the plant is anchored on a rock and the stems dangle at least five feet! The flowers are pink and white and they come out directly from the stems. This was one of the most unusual orchids I have seen and probably one of my favorites at the show.
There was a table set up displaying a large variety of orchids decorated with mosses and ferns, it really made you feel like you were in a jungle. I found some Tolumnias hidden in the midst of all these big orchids. Tolumnias are generally very small, and these specimens were just that, maybe two inches wide with flowers that were just ¼th of an inch in diameter.
Flowers of all sizes, colors and shapes were lurking around every corner with many orchid society members walking around socializing with the guests. A display and diagrams explaining the uses of different orchid growing mediums was useful for newbies like me. They had a lot of informational guides to growing and caring for orchids in addition to a lot of friendly people willing to describe (in length) everything from orchid care to orchid propagation. If you have never been to an orchid show, keep your eyes out and try to go to any that are in your area.