Did You Know?
Interesting Orchid Fact #1
Some 450 years ago, Spanish conquistadors found the Aztecs of Mexico
adding bits of an orchid's fragrant seed pod to their cocoa. Vanilla
planifolia traveled to Europe and thence to Madagascar. Today, that
island supplies half the world's vanilla needs. The vanilla flower
lasts only one day and must be pollinated by hand, since no Madagascan
insect performs the task.
Interesting Orchid Fact #2
In 1731, an English botanist received a dried herbarium species
from New Providence in the Bahamas. "The tuber appearing to
have life in it," he potted and carefully nurtured the plant.
It revived, and the next year brought forth handsome pink- and rose-colored
flowers. This was Bletia purpurea.The name and date are worth noting,
for this was the first tropical orchid to flower in England, foreshadowing
a mania for orchids that nearly rivaled the tulip madness that swept
the Netherlands during the 17th century.