Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Trip Report: Orchid Show in Wichita, Exceptional Exhibits

Over the weekend, we traveled to Wichita, Kansas for the Kansas Orchid Society's annual show, which was in conjunction with the spring meeting of the American Orchid Society.  Whenever the AOS meeting coincides with a regional show, it is a big affair, with more plants on exhibit and more vendors present.  Some of my good plant friends from neighboring states converged on Wichita, so I got to spend time with plants and friends, which made for a really fun weekend.

Some of my good plant friends.
We're all members of the International Aroid Society, as well as local orchid societies.
Since I have so many pictures and so much to talk about, I am going to split this post into a several different posts, the first concentrating on the exhibit highlights.

Me with my two award winners, Polystachya paniculata (in hand) and Dendrobium Little Green Apples (on upper right)
For the first time, I sent a couple of my blooming orchids for inclusion in the Oklahoma Orchid Society's exhibit.  Both of my orchids (Dendrobium Little Green Apples and Polystachya paniculata) were given 3rd place ribbons, so that was encouraging.

My Polystachya paniculata plant
I have heard about Andy's Orchids for a while.  It is probably one of the five most popular orchid vendors online.  They have a lot of species available and generally have pretty reasonable prices.  Most of their plants are mounted on sticks, which is nice, too.

Exhibit by Andy's Orchids
Andy's Orchids had a really nice "exhibit by a commercial grower."  My friend Steve told me it was put together at their business and shipped in a box filled with packing peanuts.  When they got to the show, they just opened the box, pulled out the structure and let the peanuts fall away.

Cochlioda rosea
The exhibit consisted mostly of intermediate to cool growing orchids, including Masdevallias down near the bottom and at the top a couple of orchids from the genus Cochlioda, a new genus to me.

Spectacular exhibit by Max C. Thompson and Bryon K. Rinke
Two gentlemen that must have huge orchid collections put together this single amazing display that was gigantic.  Can you believe how many blooming orchids are in the photo above?  That is a lot of really nice orchids.  It took several visits by this exhibit to really take it all in.  Actually, scratch that, I doubt I took it all in, even after several visits.

Ancistrochilus rothschildianus
Epidendrum Panama Ruby
These couple of photos are not really the highlights of their exhibit.  They are just plants that I was really interested in.  The above Epidendrum was just an oddball and that's why it was interesting to me.  Do you see the blooms?  They are kind of discrete.

Epidendrum magnoliae 'Bryon'
The Epidendrum above is native to the southeastern United States, found as far north as North Carolina.  It can withstand a light freeze and prefers to live in Magnolia trees, hence the name Epidendrum magnoliae.  I would like to try growing this orchid someday.

Cattleya that won a first place ribbon
If you grow Cattleya orchids well, they will reward you with a lot of blooms.  If you grow them really well, they will build an army of flowers determined to march to the nearest orchid show and demand a first place ribbon.

Ida locusta
The most highly awarded plant had a totally green flower, with a little bit of yellow on the column.  The plant is Ida locusta and it was given the HCC award (Highly Commendable Certificate), which you can see in the lower part of the picture.

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