Orchids with Crystalline Flowers

I find that a little sparkle is especially welcome at this time of year.  With this in mind, I’ve produced animations of some of the orchids I’ve grown that produce crystalline flowers, to hopefully bring some sparkle and plant related joy to your Christmas!

These absolutely fabulous orchids, produce flowers that naturally have a little hint of a sparkle within their petals – their flowers glisten in the light. 

I love looking at this orchid; I so admire Angraecum distichum‘s shape and form, this plant’s simple, leafy stems are a thing of beauty.  I love to see young and old Angraecum distichum specimens, whatever the plant’s size, I find Angraecum distichum utterly mesmerising!

Angraecum distichum is a miniature to small sized epiphytic orchid species.  Angraecum distichum plants can be found growing upon a range of tall trees in a variety of different environments including: rainforests, humid forests, deciduous forests, and plantations. 

The Temperate House is the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse!  This substantial glasshouse is sited at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, which itself is a National Treasure and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Temperate House is a Grade I Listed Building.  When this glasshouse’s refurbishment programme commenced work in 2013, the Temperate House was in a dilapidated condition, at this time the Temperate House was on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register.

I visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in August 2013, just before the planned Temperate House refurbishment programme began and this Victorian glasshouse, with its shabby chic but regal splendour was closed to the public.  I watched nervously as Kew staff wheeled containers and decorative, heavy looking display items out of the glasshouse.  Back in 2013, the planned reopening date seemed so far into the future, 2018 sounded somewhat space age then, but now, here I am delivered safely to this date, with the good fortune to be here at Kew to see the Temperate House on the day of its reopening! 

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta is a beautiful miniature, epiphytic orchid species, from Kenya and Africa, which produces long, arching or pendulous flower spikes, that feature large, white, crystalline flowers with orange-red columns or centres.  Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta flowers are borne in double rows along each flower spike.  As each of the flowers open, their petals open and the flowers adjust themselves to be held horizontally on the plant, with their nectaries held directly below each bloom.