Edward Sprague Rand.

Orchids; a description of the species and varieties grown at Glen Ridge, near Boston, with lists and descriptions of other desirable kinds : preface by chapters on the culture, propagation, collection, and hybridization of orchids; the online

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Online LibraryEdward Sprague RandOrchids; a description of the species and varieties grown at Glen Ridge, near Boston, with lists and descriptions of other desirable kinds : preface by chapters on the culture, propagation, collection, and hybridization of orchids; the → online text (page 1 of 25)
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REESE LIBRARY

OF THK

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.

Received
Accessions No.. -Ste-J-^/.y Shelf No. __



-SO



ORCHIDS.



A DESCRIPTION OF



THE SPECIES AND VARIETIES GROWN AT
GLEN RIDGE, NEAR BOSTON,



WITH LISTS AND DESCRIPTIONS OF



OTHER DESIRABLE KINDS.



PREFACED BY CHAPTERS ON THE CULTURE, PROPAGATION

COLLECTION, AND HYBRIDIZATION OF ORCHIDS; THE

CONSTRUCTION AND MANAGEMENT OF ORCHID

HOUSES; A GLOSSARY OF BOTANICAL TERMS

AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THEIR NAMES;

THE WHOLE FORMING A

COMPLETE MANUAL OF ORCHID CULTURE.



BY

EDWARD SPRAGUE RAND, JR.

MJTHOR OF " FLOWFRS FOR THE PARLOR AND GARDEN," " GARDEN FLOWERS,"
" BULBS," ' RHODODENDRONS," " THE WINDOW GARDENER," ETC.

UNIVERSITY



BOSTON AND NEW YORK:
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY.
SUbrrffre )9rr* v

1888.



COPYRIGHT, J8/6.
Bv EDWARD SPRAGUE RAND, JR.



RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE:

STEREOTYPED AND PRINTHD
H. O. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.



SDcfcicatiom



To
THE HORTICULTURAL CLUB.

H. HOLLIS HUNNEWELL.
HENRY WINTHROP SARGENT.
FRANCIS PARKMAN.
WILLIAM GRAY, JR.
CHARLES G. LORING.
CHARLES S. SARGENT.
FRANCIS L. LEE.

IN MEMORY OF MANY PLEASANT MEETINGS.



CONTENTS.



PAGB

INTRODUCTION . vii.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATED BOTANICAL WORKS REFERRED TO xviii.



CHAPTER

I. NATURE AND HABITS OF ORCHIDS .... 23

II. BEGINNING AND PROGRESS OF ORCHID CULTURE 31

III. CLASSIFICATION 36

IV. COLLECTION AND TRANSPORTATION ... 42
V. TREATMENT OF NEWLY IMPORTED ORCHIDS . . 47

VI. THE ORCHID HOUSE 51

VII. SEASONS OF REST AND GROWTH .... 62

VIII. SHADING AND WATERING ..... 66

IX. POTTING 72

X. CULTURE OF TERRESTRIAL ORCHIDS ... 77

XL CULTURE OF EPIPHYTAL ORCHIDS .... 83

XII. DISEASES AND INSECTS 89

XIII. PROPAGATION AND IMPREGNATION .... 94

XIV. FLOWERING 98

XV. COOL TREATMENT OF ORCHIDS .... 102

XVI. ORCHIDS FOR PARLOR CULTURE . . . . no

XVII. HYBRIDIZATION OF ORCHIDS 115

XVIII. ORCHIDS FOR HOUSE DECORATION AND FOR THE

MARKET .123

XIX. HISTORY OF ORCHID CULTURE IN THE UNITED

STATES 130

XX. DESCRIPTIVE LIST 141



ALPHABETICAL TABLE OF THE GENERA, WITH THE TRIBE

TO WHICH THEY BELONG 414



VI



CONTENTS.



PAGE

LIST OF PRINCIPAL ORCHIDS GROWN AT GLEN RIDGE . . 419

LIST OF THIRTY CHEAP ORCHIDS FOR GENERAL CULTIVA-
TION 423

LIST OF TROPICAL ORCHIDS WITH CURIOUS FLOWERS, OR RE-
SEMBLING INSECTS, ETC 423

LIST OF THE CHOICEST ORCHIDS, COMBINING BEAUTY OF

FLOWER, ELEGANCE OF GROWTH, AND FRAGRANCE . 424

SIGNIFICATION OF THE NAMES APPLIED TO ORCHIDS . . 428



GLOSSARY



433




GAUEANDRA DEVONIANA.



INTRODUCTION.



THE present volume has been in preparation many
years. As long ago as 1868, some of its chapters,
in somewhat different form, however, appeared in the
pages of the "American Journal of Horticulture."
Since then, the times have not been propitious for
the issue of a volume on a specialty, but at the
present time, the increasing interest in Orchid cul-
ture seems to warrant the publication.

The want has long been felt of a trustworthy
manual of culture adapted to the United States.
English publications on this subject are not to be
relied on, as the climate is so different from our own
that the rules they give are not applicable to us ; they
make no provision for the brightness of our sun, the
heat of our summer, the dry ness of our atmosphere,
and the cold of our winter.

To supply this want, is the object of this volume.
It has been the intention to give every department of
culture due consideration, and while every informa-
tion necessary to the beginner is given, the writer
trusts the volume may not be without value to the
experienced culturist. Although the work is mostly



Vlll INTRODUCTION.

a record of personal experience, many hundred spe-
cies are described which we have never grown at
Glen Ridge. The object has been to render the
book one of ready reference, both for cultural direc-
tions and for descriptions of species. To accomplish
this, it has been necessary to draw largely from all
sources of information, such as the volumes of Eng-
lish and French writers and numerous articles in
foreign horticultural journals. Chief among these,
have been the " Orchid Grower's Manual," by Benja-
min S. Williams, and " Culture des Orchidees, par
Ch. Morel."

The greater portion of the cultural directions, and
most of the descriptions, are original, drawn from the
experience of the writer, now extending over many
years. As it is often very desirable for a beginner
to see what the flower of his plant looks like, a list of
illustrated books, in which Orchids are figured, is
given, and reference is made to the figures of each
species under the respective descriptions.

The list of species and varieties will be found very
full ; it is often most desirable to know what not to
grow, and no plant is recommended for general cul-
ture unless it possesses beauty of flower, fragrance,
or marked singularity of form. A good Orchid re-
quires no more room and calls for no more care than
a poor one, but as long as cultivators fill their houses
with the mass of trash kindly sent to them by friends
in the tropics, we shall find those who are disgusted
with Orchid culture. We call to mind a certain large



INTRODUCTION. ix

house, not a hundred miles from New York, filled
with Orchids sent to the owner by friends in South
America ; ten dollars would have been a high price
for the whole collection of thousands of plants. A
friend once sent us from Mexico an immense case of
" Orchids," which on being unpacked was full of a
species of gray Tillandsia much resembling withered
pineapple crowns, of which the flower was a small
spike of inconspicuous red blossoms. The steamer
freight on this precious consignment would have
bought half a dozen fine specimen Cattleyas. We
must remember that Orchids are the weeds of the
tropics, and that by sending to a friend for Orchids
we run about as much chance of getting something
desirable as a foreigner would, who should send^ to a
New England farmer, and request a consignment of
the wild plants of New England.

Let it also be borne in mind there is no economy
in buying small plants at low prices. Orchids grow
slowly, and when weak do not bloom.

If a dealer wishes to disgust a beginner with Or-
chid culture, let him send him a dozen plants for
twenty-five dollars. Put the same money into two or
three good plants, and the result will be a virulent
attack of Orchid fever ; in the former case the pa-
tient is inoculated forever.

There is a vast field for Orchid culture in this
country. Orchids are the elite of the floral kingdom ;
they combine more of beauty, fragrance, and singu-
larity of structure, than any other family of plants,



X INTRODUCTION.

and certain rules being observed, are generally as
easily grown as roses, pinks, and violets.

The recommendations of Orchids are so fully set
forth in the preface to a little volume on the sub-
ject, issued by James Brook & Co. of Manchester,
that we cannot refrain from a quotation. " The flow-
ers of Orchids are, without exception, the most cu-
rious and beautiful in nature. Their qualities taken
separately, would give eminence to a race of plants ;
the singularity of their shapes, their delicate and aro-
matic odors, and the richness and variety of their col-
ors, all being different from everything we meet with
elsewhere. In Orchid flowers these charming qual-
ities form a trio of recommendations ; and when, sat-
isfied with contemplating their hues and sweetness,
we turn to the plants themselves, we find among
them some of the most remarkable in the world as
regards structure, habitations, and the general phe-
nomena of life and renewal.

" Over and above their intrinsic loveliness Orchid
flowers possess rare and engaging qualities, which at
the moment we may not recognize, but which win
upon us daily. There is always a sound and hearty
reality about them. An Orchid flower means what
it says. It does not fall to pieces like a lily ; there
is no shedding of petals ; no dropping away from the
peduncle ; no self-decapitation like that of a fuchsia ;
no collapsing and dissolving like a spider-wort ; no,
there is never any of this ; the Orchid flower is neither
superficial or fugitive nor insincere ; it may be worn



INTRODUCTION. xi

even for a long evening and be as fresh at the close,
as when newly gathered. If we mistake not, Orchid
flowers have a grand future before them, not simply
as shapes of beauty for the conservatory, to be ad-
mired and be left untouched, but as an absolute ne-
cessity even in completing in-door "dress. Some of
these Orchids, when they do change, actually grow
larger and more beautiful. Witness those extraordi-
nary species of the Venus' Slipper, the petals of which
are only an inch in length, when the flowers expand,
but which in four days' time grow to be a foot and a
half long, and endure for three weeks.

"Orchids not only fulfill the excellent use of foster-
ing good taste. The collection and culture of these
plants opens up new fields for the legitimate employ-
ment of wealth. While their flowers supply new and
exquisite materials for modest and becoming per-
sonal adornment, they greatly contribute, likewise, to
advance the knowledge of physiological science.
Therefore, we must not be hard upon them because
they supply so little of economic worth. Vanilla is
the only product of the race, that in England, at all
events, is ever utilized. Never mind. As the forest-
tree, that is green for a thousand years, can leave it
to the summer poppy to be gaudy, so the Orchids,
filling the soul with an ever new delight, may well
leave the food and clothing question to more homely
things.

" The special homes of epiphytal orchids are moist
woods upon the slopes of hills, chiefly in equinoctial



Xll INTRODUCTION.

climates, where they suspend their graceful clusters
above the head of the admiring traveller ; some
mantle the trunks of prostrate trees, while a few trail
over mossy rocks, and a few others venture even to
crags close to the shore. The height above the sea
at which some of them occur is almost incredible ;
Oncidium nubigenum, for instance, is found in Peru at
an altitude of 14,000 feet, and Epidendrwn frigidum
where trees are unknown, and where snow is familiar.

" No single country is Orchidaceous par excellence.
Wherever heat and moisture are abundant, whether
it be in Asia, Africa, or America, there they exist in
profusion ; the principal stations being the forests of
Peru and Brazil, the lower mountains of Mexico, the
West Indies, Madagascar and the adjacent islands,
the damp jungles of Nepaul and Burmah, and the
whole of the Indian Archipelago, especially New
Guinea and Java. In Java alone, there have already
been found not less than three hundred species.

" Sierra Leone and the torrid countries watered by
the Niger, likewise teem with these brilliant epi-
phytes, showing how vast is the wealth yet to be
gathered. ' Such is their number and variety,'
Humboldt tells us, ' in the valleys of the Peruvian
Andes, that the entire life of a painter would be too
short to delineate all the magnificent forms which
adorn those deep recesses/ Contrariwise, in regions
where the heat is accompanied by great permanent
dryness, such as the sandy wastes of Arabia and
Africa, Orchids are nearly absent. Orchids, in a



INTRODUCTION. xiii

word, of one kind or another, grow in all latitudes'
except the very coldest and the very driest, having
their maximum in the neighborhood of the equator
and their minimum in the extreme north, ceasing
only upon the threshold of the frozen zone. Let the
atmosphere be warm and pure and gently and plenti-
fully moistened, and they flourish ; damp without
warmth, foul air and stagnant water, they abhor ;
they never grow in pestiferous places, and in these
facts we find our first hints as to wise culture.
Every part of the world possesses its characteristic
species, and we might map it out into Orchid
provinces. Very curious features would arrest us
during the survey. How comes it, that those lovely
Asiatic Dendrobes, the peerless Phalaenopsids, and
many more of the orientals, so often have pendulous
stems, while in the Orchids of America we so gener-
ally find an erect habit of growth ? Why, again, is
there so much larger a variety of grotesque configura-
tion of flower in the Orchids of the Western conti-
nent than exists in those of the Eastern ? Why, yet
again, do the Cypripedes of cold and temperate coun-
tries often have leafy stems, while those of hot coun-
tries prefer leafless ones ? And, why in the whole
breadth of the world is there scarcely one absolutely
^///^-flowered Orchid ? Many Orchids have a fine
blue spot, or wear an apron of blue silk, but an Or-
chid purely blue in every portion of the flower is said
to be found only in the HerscJiellia and the Thely-
mitra. One or two are named cceruleus and coeru-



xiv INTRODUCTION.

lescens; but their color is only a delicate lilac-laven-
der. This almost total want of blue Orchids becomes
the more remarkable from the frequency of the color
in all the large nearly related families, unless in the
Amaryllids, which show much less than the Liliaceae
and Iridaceae. Every other hue is possessed by the
Orchids in abundance, and the richest variety, spot-
less pearl and the intensest crimson-violet forming
the poles, with everything there is in spring and sun-
set lying between.

" Orchids beset us with questions such as those
indicated, and ask more riddles than ever the Sphynx
proposed to travellers. Grotesqueness of flower-
shape, let us remember, so remarkable in the new
world forms, is one of the very special characteristics
of the entire family ; and probably a part of the in-
terest which Orchids excite in our minds comes from
their weird outlines and expression, so totally dis-
tinct are these from the physiognomy of all other
flowers in nature. It is now an old story that Or-
chid flowers present the simulacra of beasts, birds,
and fishes, reptiles and insects, yea, even of the
human figure, as in the droll Aceras anthropophora,
which dressed like an acrobat, in skin-tunic of green,
swings as if gibbetted in company with some fifty
other little felons.

" The Espiritu Sancto seems a white dove with ex-
panded wings. As for horns, antennae, antlers, tails,
ears, and other adjuncts, of shape the most eccentric,
there are enough to give a zoologist the agonies ;



INTRODUCTION. XV

and when we have done with these, there are de-
vices and tintings enough for the fabrication of a new
heraldry. Looking at the comparative novelty of the
knowledge of Orchids, of course we have to re-
member that our forefathers had not opportunities
like our own, and that the countries producing these
plants were seldom visited. Orchids need not have
remained unknown, because they are diminutive and
short-lived. That some are pigmies is shown in the
little Drymoda ; but Oncidium altissitmtm has golden
panicles nine or ten feet in length ; many Dendrobes
and some of the Laelias measure as much from root
to apex, and the reed-like Sobralias in their native
countries are thrice the height of a man. So with
their duration. Excepting as to their flower stems,
no Orchids are either annual or biennial, while many
are absolutely longeval. Colonel Benson tells us
of a Saccolabium giganteum in Burmah, which he es-
timated by trustworthy marks to be above one hun-
dred years old.

" Living so long, Orchids, well managed, thus offer
not only beauty, but a thoroughly sound investment
for capital, their money value increasing every day,
and when of good quality they bring prices compar-
able with those of pictures.

"At a sale this last summer (1875), the following
prices were obtained :

"Cypripcdium Lowii, 220 shillings. Oncidium splen-
didum, eight bulbs, two young growths, 630 s. Sacco-
labium Russellianum, fourteen leaves, 588 s. Sacco-



XVi INTRODUCTION.

labium guttatum, 1,305 s. Aerides margariticcum y
thirty-two inches high, 525 s. Vanda tricolor Rus-
selliana, 546 s. Aerides VeitcJtii, 725 s. Angrceciim
Ellisii, 200 s. Cattleya lobata, 300 s. Cypripedium
caudatum y 320 s. Cattleya Warneri, 562 s. Cat-
tleya Russeliiana, 882 s. Cattleya labiata Warneri,
609 s. Zygopetalum maxillare, 378 s. Cattleya
Dowiana, 550 s. Colax jugosus, 294 s. The whole
sale realized .2,211 14 s.

" These enormous figures of course imply excep-
tionally fine specimens, and need cause no alarm to
the intending cultivator. Orchids, as a rule, are not
more costly than other select plants ; their culture is
very simple, and there is no reason why every man
who has a conservatory, and who will lay out a little
money judiciously, and treat his plants tenderly and
lovingly, may not have it gay with these Orchid
treasures. Plants are marvelously docile. When
they die prematurely it is not of ' treatment ' but of
7;ztf/treatment, and with Orchids especially, as with
women and chameleons, their life is the reflection of
what is around them."

It is often urged that floral names are difficult and
meaningless. A little study and investigation will
show upon how slight a foundation this statement
rests. To aid in this, a copious glossary of botanical
terms and of the signification of Orchid names is ap-
pended.

In the second portion of the book there are many
Orchids described, in the growth of which the writer



INTRODUCTION. xvii

has had no personal experience ; for cultural direc-
tions and descriptions of these, he is indebted to
those of other writers, among whom he may mention
Mr. B. S. Williams, author of the " Orchid Grower's
Manual." The many illustrated magazines have been
carefully studied, and it is hoped the directions may
be sufficiently explicit.

The chapter on History of Orchid Culture in the
United States, will be valuable as putting on record
facts which, now within the memory of the living,
might before many years have been forever lost.

For information and kind assistance, he would ex-
press his obligations to John A. Lowell, Esq., of Bos-
ton, Gen. John F. Rathbone, and Mr. Louis Menand,
of Albany ; George Such, of South Amboy, and Mr.
John Fleming, L. A. Lienau, and Isaac Buchanan,
of New York.

That there are errors both of commission and
of omission, in a volume embracing so great a range
is more than probable.

Experience will bring knowledge, and not only
develop new modes of culture, but demonstrate their
superiority, and it is to lead to the experiment of Or-
chid culture those by whom it is as yet untried, as
well as to aid the present Ochiologist, that the vol-
ume is given to the public.

GLEN RIDGE, Jamtary, 1876.



LIST OF

ILLUSTRATED BOTANICAL WORKS REFERRED TO.



Abbreviations.

Bos. ATH^E . . . Library of Boston Athenaeum.

Bos. PUB. LIB. . . Library of City of Boston.

Bos. NAT. His. Soc. Library of Boston Society of Natural History.

E. S. R., JR. . . . Library of Edward S. Rand, Jr.

MASS. HORT. Soc. . Library of Massachusetts Horticultural So-
ciety.

HARV. COL. . . . Library of Harvard College.



AND. REP. . . . ANDREWS, The Botanist's Repository.

London, 1797-1811. lovols., 4to. Colored

Plates 1-664.

Lib. E. S. R., Jr. ; Mass. Hort. Soc.
BAT BATEMAN, The Orchidaceae of Mexico and

Guatemala. London, 1837-1843. Folio.

Map. Col. PI. 1-40.

Lib. Mass. Hort. Soc.

BAT. ist CEN. . JAMES BATEMAN, A Century of Orchid-
aceous Plants. London, 1849. I vol.,

4to. Col. PI. i-ioo.

Lib. E. S. R., Jr.
BAT. 2d CEN. . . BATEMAN, JAMES, A Second Century of

Orchidaceous Plants. London, 1867. I

vol., 4to. Col. PI. i-ioo.

Lib. E. S. R., Jr. ; Mass. Hort. Soc.



ILLUSTRATED BOTANICAL WORKS. XIX

BAT. ODON. . . BATEMAN, JAMES, A Monograph of Odon-

toglossum. London, 1864-74. Folio.

Col. PI. 1-30.

Lib. E. S. R., Jr. ; Mass. Hort. Soc.
BLUME, ORCH. . BLUME, Flora Javae Orchideae Luga Bat.,

1858. Folio. Col. PI. 1-66.

Lib. E. S. R., Jr. ; Mass. Hort. Soc.
B. M CURTIS, Botanical Magazine. London,

1783-1876. 100 vols., 8vo.

Series I, vols. 1-53.

Series 2, vols. 53-70.

Series 3, vols. 71-100, and con.

Col. PI. 1-6205.

Lib. Mass. Hort. Soc. ; E. S. R., Jr. ;

Bos. Nat. His. Soc. ; Bos. Athae. ; Bos.

Pub. Lib. ; Harv. Col.

B. R EDWARDS, The Botanical Register. Lon-

don, 1815-47. 33 vols., royal 8vo.

Vols. 1-23. Col. PI. 1-2014.

Vol. 24, 1838. Col. PI. 1-68.

Vol. 25, 1839. Col. PI. 1-69.

Vol. 26, 1840. Col. PI. 1-71.

Vol. 27, 1841. Col. PI. 1-70.

Vol. 28, 1842. Col. PI. 1-69.

Vol. 29, 1843. Co1 - pl - I-6&

Vol. 30, 1844. Col. PI. 1-67.

Vol. 31, 1845. Col. PI. 1-69.

Vol. 32, 1846. Col. PI. 1-69.

Vol. 33, 1847. Col. PI. 1-70.

In all, 2702 Plates.

Lib. Mass. Hort. Soc. ; E. S. R., Jr. ; Bos.

Nat. His. Soc. ; Bos. Pub. Lib.

C. B Lindley. Botanical Collections, London,

1821. Folio. Col. PI. 1-41.
FL. CAB. . . . KNOWLES AND WESCOTT, The Floral Cab-



XX11 ILLUSTRATED BOTANICAL WORKS.

zig, 1858-74. 2 vols., 4to. Col. PI. I-

200.

Lib. E. S. R. Jr.
REV. HORT. . . . Revue Horticole. Paris, 1855-76, and

continued, 20 vols. 1855-65, 24 Col. PI.

in each vol. 1865-76, 52 Col. PI. (ex-
cept during Franco-German War) in

each vol.

Lib. Mass. Hort. Soc. ; E. S. R., Jr.
Rox. CORM. . . . ROX^URG, Plants of Coast of Coroman-

del. London, 1795-1819. Col. PI. 1-300.

3 vols.
SERT. EOT. . . . Sertum Botanicum. Bruxelles, 1828-

1835. 7vols.,4to. ManyhundredCol.Pl.

Lib. E. S. R., Jr.

SERT. O. . . . . Sertum Orchidacaeum, Lindley. Lon-
don, 1837-42. Folio.
THOUARS, OR. AFRI. AUBERT DU PETIT THOUARS, Histoire

des Orchiddes des trois des Afrique.

Paris, 1822.

Histoire des Vegetaux des lies Aus-

trales d' Afrique. Paris, 1806. Col. PI.

1-24.
WAR. ORCH. . . . WARNER, Select Orchidaceous Plants.

London, 1862-75. 2 vols., 4to. 1862-

65, 1868-74. Col. PI. 1-40, and 1-40.

Lib. Mass. Hort. Soc. ; E. S. R., Jr.
WIGHT, Ic. ... WIGHT, I cones Plantarum India? Orien-

tales. Madras, 1838-53. 6 vols., 4to.

PL 1-2101.

Lib. Mass. Hort. Soc. ; E. S. R., Jr.
WIGHT, ILL. . . . WIGHT, Illustrations of Indian Botany.

Madras, 1838-48. 2 vols., 4to. Col. PI.

1-182.

Lib. E. S. R., Jr.



XJNIVE 7 BSIT^ };



ORCHIDS.

CHAPTER I.

NATURE AND HABITS OF ORCHIDS.

THE primary division of Orchids is into two general
classes, those growing upon trees, and those growing
upon the ground, in other words epiphytal and terrestrial.
In hot countries the species are generally epiphytes ; in
temperate regions we find only the terrestrial classes.
These rules are not, however, without some exceptions ;
epiphytes often grow upon rocks or in earth (though in
both cases, the position is rather for support than one
of nourishment), and terrestrial Orchids abound in hot
countries.

The peculiar characteristics of Orchidaceous plants
will be fully described in a future chapter ; suffice it at
present to say that there is no order of plants the struc-
ture of whose flowers is so anomalous as regards the re-
lation borne to each other by the parts of reproduction,
or so singular in respect to the form of the floral envel-
opes. Orchidaceous plants inhabit all parts of the
world except those which are excessively dry or exces-
sively cold, both of which extremes of temperature appear
uncongenial to their nature.

They abound chiefly in regions with a mild climate,
moist and warm during the greater part of the year.



24 ORCHIDS.

The flora of the temperate regions abounds in terres-
trial Orchids, which are, however, with some exceptions,
distinguished by flowers more remarkable for peculiarity
of form than for size and brilliancy of color. It is, how-
ever, in the tropical forests, that we meet with these plants
in full luxuriance ; here the species are mostly epiphytal ;
establishing themselves upon the branches of the trees,
they either vegetate amid masses of decaying vegetable
matter or cling by long succulent grasping roots to the
naked branches of trees, from which and the moist at-
mosphere they derive their nourishment.

They are also found abundantly on the banks of
streams near falls of water, where they are constantly
bathed in the rising spray. Some few species indeed
seem of a different nature, growing mostly on rocks ex-
posed to a broiling sun, their roots alone absorbing the
moisture of the dew.

In general, a certain degree of shade seems to be es-
sential to Orchids. In Brazil, they are found abundantly
in damp woods and rock valleys, embowered among foli-
age of the most luxuriant description.

In Nepaul, as stated by Dr. Wallich, the epiphytal



Online LibraryEdward Sprague RandOrchids; a description of the species and varieties grown at Glen Ridge, near Boston, with lists and descriptions of other desirable kinds : preface by chapters on the culture, propagation, collection, and hybridization of orchids; the → online text (page 1 of 25)