IT'S ORCHID FLOWERING SEASON

I love old DIY books for their brutal honesty. How's this comment from Australian wildflower aficionado Charles Barrett on the kind of p...

I love old DIY books for their brutal honesty. How's this comment from Australian wildflower aficionado Charles Barrett on the kind of person who buys orchid sprays?

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au || An Australian Wild Flower Book by Charles Barrett

"Many of the blooms [florists] sell, of course, are hyrbids which appeal to society women because they are large, strikingly coloured - and costly".

Do you get the feeling Mr Barrett wasn't much fussed with "society women"?

I can tell you, he wouldn't be much fussed if he knew no florist today would be able to get near an Australian orchid because generations of flower fanciers near killed off the showy varieties. They're much harder to find in the wild than they once were.

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au || tongue orchid about to flower in Brisbane Water National Park

Back in Barrett's day rock orchids were plucked from sandstone outcrops in Sydney's northern and southern suburbs and sold for "two to three shillings" in town markets. They're now cultivated and sold in specialist nurseries.

Rock Orchids have a season from July to October so I was hoping to spy them while walking in Brisbane Water National Park a couple of weekends ago. There's a thrill to being in the right spot at the right time to see them in the wild, but I lucked out with only the promise of buds on tongue orchids (above) and a lone spray of what I think is Bulbophyllum gadgarrense - my guess based on a Densey Clyne's colour reference book.

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au || a small epiphyatic orchid flowering in Brisbane Water National Park

I am compensating for a lack of actual orchids by reading about them. Charles Barrett's personal orchid conquests and colourful turn of phrase will have to suffice until I get back out there.

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au || a chapter on orchids in An Australian Wildflower Book by Charles Barrett

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1 comments

  1. Aren't these old books special Kate? Happy orchid hunting or foraging perhaps?

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