Saturday, July 3, 2010
My first orchid child is blooming this week! A few years ago I pollinated the flowers of my mature Phalaenopsis parishii plant, grew the resulting seedlings from flask, and now the first one is all grown up and blooming itself. I’m happy to report that it has a strong and beautiful fragrance.
Phal parishii is a miniature species, much more graceful and cute than the ungainly mass-produced hybrids that are sold in places like garden centers, box stores, and Trader Joe’s, virtually none of which have any fragrance. The flowers of parishii are mostly white, and huge for the size of the plant. One of the unusual features of Phal parishii is its wide, heart-shaped, purplish lip, which is somewhat mobile so that it jiggles around in the breeze. It has a strong fragrance that’s very much like lily-of-the-valley. I don’t think it’s original enough to merit a perfume, but it certainly is nice to smell when the plant’s in bloom. It’s fragrant throughout most of the day, but shuts down at night.
This plant is definitely a keeper, the pick of the litter. Next year I’ll probably find it a suitable mate and pollinate it, but for now I'll just let it live a carefree life, have fun, and grow some more.