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Lc Drumbeat ‘Triumph’ x Blc Sylvia Fry ‘Supreme’
(Orchidaceae – the orchid family)
no common name
To be a genuine orchid fancier, a passing interest is not enough. There has to be absolute dedication, if not obsession. The name of this orchid should be sufficient to give an idea of how complex these plants are botanically. The ‘Lc’ in front of the first plant in the hybridization is orchid-speak for Laeliocattleya, which means an intergeneric hybrid between the genera Laelia and Cattleya. From this hybrid (Drumbeat), the cultivar ‘Triumph’ has been produced. The ‘Blc’ in front of the second plant is for Brassolaeliocattleya, which means that a species from the genus Brassavola has been added to the hybridization mix we find in the first plant to produce the hybrid (Sylvia Fry), and another cultivar ‘Supreme’ produced from this new hybrid. Finally, the two cultivars have been hybridized to produce the beautiful flower in the photograph. Is your head reeling by now? Mine is! Of course, you don’t have to have all of that botanical knowledge and dedication to grow a few orchids and love them!
The Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew list 880 genera and nearly 22,000 accepted species, but the exact number is unknown (perhaps as many as 25,000) because of taxonomic disputes. There are about four times as many orchid species as there are species of mammals, and more than twice as many orchid species as there are species of birds. AND, there are about 800 new orchid species added each year! Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species to the mix in the 19th century, horticulturalists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.
Members of the Orchidaceae family are cosmopolitan, occurring in almost every habitat except deserts and glaciers. The great majority are to be found in the tropics, mostly in Asia and South and Central America, but they are also found above the Arctic Circle, in southern Patagonia and even on Macquarie Island, which is close to Antarctica. A majority of orchids are perennial epiphytes that grow anchored to trees and shrubs in the tropics and subtropics. Other species are lithophytes, growing on rocks or on very rocky soil, and others are terrestrial. The Vanilla plant is an orchid.
Photographs taken 2009, Picnic Bay
Page last updated 22nd December 2016