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Vol. 7(8), pp. 1The McAllen International Orchid Society JournalAugust 2006

Orchid Baskets and Orchid Names

R J Ferry

Considering the last issue's offerings on shade house and greenhouse building, and problems attendant to individuals handicapped physically or by age, thoughts of what orchids such individuals might grow occurred and reoccurred to your editor. The question of plant size came to mind almost immediately, and--thinking on it--that factor affects alike both the individual with the smaller greenhouse and the one physically handicapped.

Then, despite last month's issue's discussion of the construction and use of lattice baskets, the question of size and weight kept reoccurring. Finally, the idea of an optimum sized lattice basket for the smaller plants took hold and construction of a smaller-sized container was undertaken.

Fig. 1. Masdevallia lilacina, forma alba. Dig. photo DSC_0377a.jpg, 01 December, 2005

When one begins to think about smaller pots and baskets, one also begins to consider a whole new array of smaller orchids,...or perhaps it ought to be the other way around. Your editor's still culturing some that could be very good hernia creating candidates, but other parts of the orchid world have their unique own beauty, and small plants (Fig. 1) have been touched on only lightly in the last several issues. However, work is underway to remedy this in future issues.

This issue begins with some recent work on wooden lattice baskets, and it was hoped to continue the remainder of this month's publication with in-depth information about smaller-sized orchids, but--despite personal desires--your editor has had to take a different tack this month.

Increasingly, your editor has had to change names on plants, and explain again and again why the name on the plant tag needed to be changed. Hence, this issue details information that should have been made available to readers months ago. To be sure, several pages of this month's publication may seem like only so much dry reading. Indeed, much of the information may find its best use as a reference work to review as one is wondering whether this name or that should apply to a plant in one's collection or to an orchid under consideration for being purchased. The good news is that there is much helpful information contained in the pages of this issue. The bad news is that in future issues, a few pages will also have to be devoted to the synonyms and currently accepted names for other genera.

The pages 4 through 18 hold some very detailed reading. To the extent the information on pages 4 and 5 are comprehended, the usefulness of the remaining pages may be appreciated. A grasp of why the names of these species are the way they are is necessary if one is to understand the orchid family.

Copyright © 2006 R J Ferry