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 8 of 25)
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days. Sobralia macrantha, one of the most glorious flow-
ers the world produces, lasts only two days, a defect how-
ever somewhat compensated for by the successive pro-
duction of several flowers from the same sheath. While
some of the large family of Dendrobiums are very persis-
tent in blossom, others have flowers of very transient

Oncidium Papilio, the well known Butterfly Plant of
the West Indies, and the allied but far more beautiful O.
Kramerianum, last only three or four days in bloom,
while the lovely Phalcenopscs, the East Indian Butterfly
Plants, are almost imperishable in bloom.

We have in a former chapter indicated the duration of
many Orchid flowers ; suffice it here to say, that, with a
good selection of Cattleyas, Ontidiums, Lcelias, Cypripe.
diums, Calanthes, Aerides, Phalcenopses, Saccolabiums, and
Dendrobiums, there need not be a day in the year when
half a dozen plants cannot be found in bloom.

Perhaps, however, the best way to give an idea of what
plants may be needed for such decoration will be to give
a list of the flowering Orchids we have had in a large bay


window in our hall during the last year, premising that
of most of these plants we have only two specimens in
the Orchid house, most being plants with flowers of long

JANUARY. Cypripedium insigne, C. Harrisianum, C. biflo-
rum, C. vemistum, Angr&cum eburneum, A. ses-
quipedale, Calanthe vestita in variety, C. Veitchii,
Cattleya Triancz in variety, C. pumila, Lcelia
anceps, Ansettia africana, Brasavola venosa, On-
cidium ornithorhyncum, Phalcenopsis amabilis,
Dendrobium Linwinianum, Ccelogyne cristata,
Saccolabium grandiflorum.

FEBRUARY. Cypripedium Hookeri, C. biftorum, C. villosum,
C. hirsutissimum, Phajus grandifolius, P. macu-
latus, Lcelia peduncularis, Phalcenopsis Schilleri-
ana, Dendrvbium macrophyllum, Vanda tricolor,
Cattleya Triance, Cirrhopetalum Medusa, Epi-
dendrum prismatocarpum, Zygopetalum Gauteri,
Dendrobium nobile, Odontoglossum pulchellum.

MARCH. Dendrochilum glumaceum, Cattleya amethysti-
glossa, Onddium flexuosum (in bloom every
month in the year), O. luridum guttatum, Phal-
cenopsis grandiflora aurea, Epidendrum Stam-
fordianum, Lycaste Skinneri, Dendrobium chry-
sotoxum superbum, Brasavola glauca.

APRIL. Dendrobium chrysanthum; Epidendrum macrochi-
lum in variety, Cattleya Skinneri, Vanda sua-
vis, Cypripedium barbatum in variety, Phajus
Wallichii, Chysis bractescens, Cypripedium pur-
puratum, Dendrobium Pierardii, D. albosangui-
neum, D. anosmum, D. Cambridgianum, Tricho-
pilia suavis-.


MAY. Aerides affine, A. Fieldingii, Cattleya Mossice (many
varieties, forty flowers at a time), Cypripedium
Lowii, Brassia verrucosa, Dendrobium Parishii,
D. transparens, Oncidium divaricatum, Lcelia
cinnabarina, L. flava, L- purpurata, Odentoglos-
sum citrosmum.

JUNE. Aerides odor at um, A. Lobbii, Cattleya labiata,

C. amethystina, C&logyne spetiosa, Cypripedium
superbiens, Dendrobium calceolare, D. JBensonitf,

D. Devonianun, Huntleya cerina, Oncidium obry-
zatum, l^richopilia tortilis, Vanda cczrulescens,
Zygopetalum maxillare.

JULY. Aerides testaceum, Cattleya Loddigesii, C. Harri-
somana, Dendrobium primulinum, D. Dalhousi-
anum, D. Wardianum, Oncidium incurvum, So-
bralia macrantha, Trichopilia Turialvce, Cypri-
pedium superbiens.

AUGUST. Cattleya crispa, Dendrobium formosum gigan-
teum y Miltonia spectabilis and Moreliana, Per-
isteria elata, Stanhopeas in variety, Oncidium

SEPTEMBER. Cattleya Loddigesii, Dendrobium infundibu-
lum, Epidendrum cuspidatum, Lycaste aromatica
(always in bloom), Peristeria elata, Stanhopeas
in variety, Vanda Bensonice.

OCTOBER. Aerides suavissimum, Lcelia Perrinii, L. al-
bida, Miltonia Candida, Oncidium leucochilum,
Stanhopeas in variety.

NOVEMBER. Cattleya bulbosa, Cymbidium Mastersii, On-
cidium crispum grandiflorum, Lalia acuminata,
L. autumnalis, Maxillaria picta, Pilumna fra-
grans, Pleione maculata, humilis, and Wallichi-


ana, Saccolabium violaceum and Harrisianum,
Vanda coerulea.

DECEMBER. Ansellia africana, Cypripedium insigne, Vanda

tricolor, Calanthe vestita, Cattleya Chocoensis,

Odontoglossum grande, Calanthe Veitchii, Zygo-

fetalum Mackayi and crinitum, Lalia Lindley-


These are some of the plants which have been in
bloom, and from time to time adorned the house during
the last year, and not one has suffered from removal from
the Orchid house.

This list is given especially to show the blooming
seasons of the plants ; the season of bloom may be ad-
vanced or retarded, and no plants endure these processes
better than Orchids.

The treatment of Orchids while in the house is very
simple. Do not let the plant dry up, and do not keep it
very wet ; occasionally sponge the foliage to remove dust,
and do not expose the plants to cold draughts, to direct
sunlight, or to a temperature below 50. As soon as
the flowers fade, return the plant to the Orchid house for


There are some Orchids which can be profitably grown
for flowers. The public taste is fast becoming educated,
and people are learning that, however beautiful a rose or
a pink may be, that there are rarer and more beautiful
flowers in the floral kingdom, flowers which excel in
beauty, color, and fragrance.

Already Orchid flowers are in demand for choice bou-
quets, or as single flowers for vases.


The value of an Orchid for the market depends upon
the qualities of durability, color, and fragrance, some-
what upon singularity of form. With the florist, it will
also be a consideration how easily the plant can be
grown, and how much flower it will produce.

Now while most Orchids must ever remain a luxury
for the amateur, on account of their scarcity and conse-
quent high cost, there are many which can be easily and
profitably grown by the florist. Of these we mention a

Cypripedium msigne, valuable for blooming in Decem-
ber, when flowers are scarce ; a free bloomer, the flowers
lasting many weeks in water.

Many of the other Cypripediums, as they become com-
mon will doubtless prove valuable, and much may be ex-
pected from the new hybrids.

Dendrobium nobile is already much in demand, the
flowers selling freely at a good price ; valuable for color
and fragrance.

D. Wallichianum, a closely allied species, has richer
colored flowers. These plants, by a little care, may be
had in bloom from November to June.

Ccdogyne cristata, a lovely pure white flower with crested
yellow lip, valuable for wreaths and bridal bouquets, free
flowering and of very easy culture.

Calanthe vestita, in its many varieties, is a valuable
plant with graceful flowers, valuable for fine work.

Lycaste Skinneri, of easy culture, producing freely its
large showy flowers, which last long in perfection.

Cattleya Triance all the many varieties of this beautiful
winter-blooming Cattleya are very handsome. The flow-
ers are large, deliciously fragrant, and very durable.


There are many other Orchids, which as they become
more common, will be generally grown ; in England there
is a large trade in Orchid flowers, and doubtless in this
country a market wilj create itself, at remunerative prices
to the grower for all that can be produced.




ORCHID culture in the United States dates from
an early day ; and the first Orchids were grown in
Boston about the year 1838, when comparatively few
Orchids were known in England, and those chiefly from
the importations of Messrs. Loddige, in whose "Botan-
ical Cabinet " they were first figured. Mr. James Boott,
then resident in London, sent to his brother, John Wright
Boott, a collection of Orchids.

Mr. Boott had a small greenhouse in the yard of
his house on Bowdoin Square, which occupied the site
where the Revere House now stands. He was an en-
thusiastic lover of flowers, and cared for his greenhouse
personally as a recreation from business. During the
next few years he imported more Orchids, and the more
common species of Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, and Epiden-
drums were found in his collection, which, however, con-
sisted chiefly of Orchids from the Western Continent,
as previous to 1845 comparatively few of the East In-
dian Orchids had been introduced to cultivation.

Mr. Boott died about 1842, and bequeathed his collec-
tion of Orchids to John Amory Lowell, who at that time
resided upon the old Lowell estate on Heath Street, Rox-
bury, which he had inherited from his father.

During the next ten years, the Orchids remained in
the possession of Mr. Lowell, who built an Orchid house


for their accommodation, and increased the collection
by importations. The first Orchids we ever saw were
exhibited by Mr. Lowell before the Massachusetts Hor-
ticultural Society, one being an immense Dendrobium
Calceolus, which was a magnificent specimen.

About 1853, Mr. Lowell leasing his country residence,
the Orchids were sold to the tenant, by whom they were
neglected, and many perished. Some were sold, chiefly
Oncidiums, we believe, and still exist in the greenhouses
of the Misses Pratt, at Watertown.

The balance of the collection, comprising the larger
plants, was about the year 1854 bought by Edward S.
Rand, and removed to his greenhouses in Dedham,
where a house was built for their reception.

Mr. Rand was enthusiastic in the culture of these
plants, and added largely to the collection by importa-
tions from Messrs. Hugh Low & Son, of Clapton Nur-
series, London.

About 1856, this collection probably contained the
finest specimen Orchids in the country ; among them we
especially remember the grand plant of Dendrobium Cal-
ceolus, four feet high and at least three feet in diameter ;
and a plant of Cattleya crispa, as large as a small wash-

About 1865 Mr. Rand, selling his country estate, pre-
sented his large collection of stove and greenhouse plants,
including all the Orchids, to Harvard College ; and they
were removed to the greenhouses at the Cambridge Bo-
tanic Garden.

The greenhouses at Cambridge were not suitable for
their cultivation, and they were crowded with other
plants ; the Orchids fared poorly, and most of the more


delicate perished. Within the past few years, however,
considerable attention has been paid to Orchids at the
Botanic Garden, and the collection, consisting of the
plants presented by Mr. Rand, with additions, ex-
changes, and importations, has been greatly increased,
so that now the Garden possesses the foundation for a
fine collection. The species represented are chiefly
those from the Western Continent, there being compara-
tively few of the East Indian Orchids.

The large specimen of Dendrobium Calceolus had been
divided into two, and on the writer's beginning his collec-
tion of Orchids, Dr. Gray kindly gave him one of these
plants, now a beautiful specimen with canes five feet
long, which, every spring, is a mass of drooping racemes
of fragrant buff flowers.

It is a little singular that one of Mr. Boott's original
plants should survive the vicissitudes of thirty-five years,
and to-day be represented by two of as fine specimen
Orchids as can be found in the country.

In 1873 the first Orchids were grown at Glen Ridge,
and since then the collection has been largely increased.
Owing to careful culture and the perfect adaptation of
the houses, the plants have thriven wonderfully, and
there are now in the houses many very fine specimens.

It is, however, rather a selection than a collection of
Orchids ; all inferior species have been discarded, and
only plants retained which are remarkable for beauty or
fragrance of flower. Thus of the large genus Epiden-
drum, comprising many hundred species, less than a
dozen are grown.

Preference has also been given to winter flowering Or-
chids, as during the months of July, August, and Sep-


tember, the writer's absence from Glen Ridge renders to
him Orchids blooming in those months less desirable.
The Glen Ridge Orchids are the finest in New England,
and embrace plants of the most desirable kinds, though
for number of specimens and for some of individual
plants, they cannot vie with the magnificent collections
of George Such of South Amboy, N. J., and of Erastus
Corning and Gen. John F. Rathbone, of Albany.

Of other collections in the vicinity of Boston, we may
mention that of Gardiner G. Hubbard, of Cambridge, in
which are fine specimens of Stanhopeas and Cyrtopodium ;
a choice collection of Cypripediums of William Gray, Jr.,
Boston ; a small sale collection of the Messrs. Hovey at
Cambridge ; and a very choice collection of rare species
of Frederick L. Ames, of Easton.

In the vicinity of New York, the culture of Orchids
was first attempted by Mr. Thomas Hogg, about the year
1850, or earlier, who at that time had an extensive col-
lection ; it consisted mainly of Stanhopeas, Cattleyas, On-
adiums, Cycnoches ventricosum (a rare Orchid at present),
and Aerides odoratum, which was its rarest plant then.
Many years earlier, however, some few Orchids had been
grown, although no collection was in existence. In Sep-
tember, 1840, the veteran florist Mr. Isaac Buchanan
brought the first Cattleya Mossice. from London, and soon
after imported from Brazil a collection of Orchids, a part
of which were sent to Messrs. Hugh Low & Son, of Lon-
don. For the next fifteen years Mr. Buchanan cultivated
a few Orchids, but it was not until the breaking up of
Mr. Thomas Hogg's collection, in 1855-6, that he grew a
great number.

The distribution of Mr. Hogg's collection gave an im-
petus to Orchid culture.


Dr. James Knight, of New York, built a small Orchid
house, bought some of Mr. Hogg's plants, and imported
an assortment from Messrs Low, by which means many
plants already in cultivation in this country were correctly
named. Dr. Knight was successful in Orchid culture,
and grew and flowered many in perfection, among others
the beautiful Dendrobium Devonianum, one of the loveliest
of Orchids, for the first time in this country.

In 1856, Mr. Buchanan returning from Europe, brought
with him a good assortment of the best kinds then grown,
which formed the nucleus of his collection, to which he
has ever since been adding, and from which more Or-
chids have been distributed than from any establishment
in this country.

A portion of the collection of Mr. Hogg passed into
the possession of Cornelius Van Voorst, of Jersey City,
and another portion was purchased by Jesse Paulmerre, of
the same city ; still another part went to Mr. Baker, of
New York, an amateur collector, who at one time had
some fine Orchids. The collection of Mr. Paulmerre was
soon merged in that of Mr. Van Voorst, so that about
1857 the houses of Mr. Van Voorst contained the finest
collection in the country. The plants were under the in-
telligent care of Mr. John Fleming, who brought to the
task rare knowledge and ardent love of floriculture, and
who developed some wonderful specimens. To see these
plants was worth a journey of many miles ; we shall never
forget one visit when one side of a house was a mass of
bloom of Cattleya Mossicz in its many varieties, and
another when in mid winter a mass of Calanthe vestita
grouped with Adiantum, formed a picture of unparalleled


At the present day these would not be wonderful, but
at that time, probably, no Orchid house in the world could
have shown a finer display. The collection of Mr. Van
Voorst embraced about two hundred and fifty species,
among which were nineteen species of Aerides, forty Cat-
tleyas, fourteen Qdontoglossums, ten Anczctochiluses, thirty
Dendrobiums, sixteen Lcelias, and was especially rich in
fine plants of Cattleyas, Aerides, Saccolabiums, and Den-
drobiums. There were specimens of Cattleya crisp a, An-
sellia africcifia, and Aerides odoratum, which two men
could hardly lift.

In 1870, the whole of the Van Voorst collection was
bought by Mr. M. Lienau, then of Jersey City. Mr.
Lienau was one of the first who sent Orchids to Europe.
As a young man, he was sent to South America, as super-
cargo in one of his uncle's vessels, and saw fine Orchids
with Mr. Perrin, of Rio Janeiro. He bought of Mr.
Perrin seventy pounds worth, Lczlia Perrinii among the
number, and sent them to his uncle in Germany. After
his uncle's death, he brought a share of these plants to
Jersey City, and these, with the large collection of Mr.
Van Voorst and numerous importations, formed the
largest and finest collection in the country.

In 1873 Mr. Lienau returned to Germany, taking with
him many of his choicest plants to Hamburg, where he
now resides, still an amateur in Orchids. The balance
of the Lienau collection was sold at auction, October 4th,
5th, and 6th, 1873. This was the largest sale of Orchids
ever made in this country. There were in all 917 lots,
among which were 136 Cattleyas, 75 Dendrobiums, 30 Cy-
pripediums, 12 Selenepediums, 41 Stanhopeas, 25- Aerides,
40 Odontoglossums, 70 Oncidiums, 28 Vandas, and 40


Lalias, besides large numbers of Lycastes, Maxillarias^
Miltonias, Catasetums, JBrassias, Brasavolas, Zygopetalums,
Epidendrums, and a host of various Orchids. All these
were established plants, many were splendid specimens,
and there were many plants collected by Roezl, among
which doubtless existed many fine and probably new

The dispersion of this collection was in one view a
great misfortune, as many rare plants were without doubt
lost by passing into the possession of careless or igno-
rant cultivators.

The collections of Orchids in New York and vicinity
are not now numerous.

Mr. Isaac Buchanan still cherishes the love of his
earlier days, and has at his greenhouses in Astoria very
many choice plants.

John Cadness, of Flushing, Long Island, has a small
sale collection. Mr. S. B. Dodd, of Hoboken, has a nice
amateur assortment ; John Patterson, of Newark, N. J.
has a good private collection.

In Philadelphia, Robert Buist, one of our oldest florists,
has a small Orchid house. Mention should also be made
of a small assortment grown by Caleb Cope, in Philadel-
phia, about 1850, which was dispersed after his death.
At South Amboy we find the splendid collection of Mr.
George Such, in which still exist many of the Van Voorst
plants, as at the Lienau sale Mr. Such was a large pur-
chaser. Although a zealous amateur, Mr. Such sells sur-
plus or duplicate plants, and it is from his Orchid houses
that many of our present cultivators have first procured
their plants. To visit Mr. Such's collection is enough to
make one an Orchid amateur, and we are convinced such


a visit has been the first incentive to the construction of
many an Orchid house. Such magnificent Cattleyas,
Aerides, Vandas, Dendrobiums, Ccelogynes, Lizlias, Zygo-
petalums, and hosts of other choice Orchids, can be found
nowhere except in the splendid collections at Albany of
which we make mention hereafter.

Leaving New York by the Hudson, we find at many of
the country seats small collections of Orchids. At
Tarrytown, Mr. Mitchell has a beautiful Orchid house
containing some nice plants. At his charming country
seat Tioronda, Matteawan, Gen. Joseph Rowland has
an assortment of rare species under perfect culture.

At Rhinebeck, at the residence of the late William Kel-
ley, there is a good assortment, containing fine plants, but
generally of old and long known species.

In Albany exist the finest collections of Orchids in
the United States. No lover of Orchids, in visiting Al-
bany, should fail to spare a few hours for the green-
houses of Mr. Louis Menand, an ardent lover of flowers,
and especially of Orchids. We never fail to find with
him choice and rare plants, which we see nowhere else.
With Mr. Menand a flower is not valued for what it
will bring in dollars and cents ; a florist, and growing
flowers for the market, he has all the love of an ardent
amateur, and his love for his pet plants, which no money
can buy, and his companionship with them, will be ap-
preciated by all lovers of flowers, and is as rare as it is

At his country place Ta-wass-a-gun-shee, near Albany,
Erastus Corning, Esq., has the most extensive collection
of Orchids in the United States. There are about four
hundred species and varieties, and many very fine sped-


mens. Mr. Corning began his collection about 1850,
with thirty species brought by him from England, and
has added to it ever since ; we find seventeen species of
Aerides, thirty-five of 'Cattleya, thirty of Cypripedium^
twenty-eight of Dendrobium, twenty-one of Lcelia, six of
MasdevaHia, twenty-seven of Odontoglossum^ twenty-four
of Oncidium, seven of Phalcenopsis, and twelve of Vanda,
and among these only the choicest kinds, many of which
are almost unpurchasable in England. Among plants
specially worthy of notice as large specimens are Aerides
odoratum purpur ascent, Angrcecnm sesquipedale, Cattleyas
labiata and Schilleriana, Lcelia superbiens, Masdevallia Har-
ryana, Odontoglossum Dawsonii, Phalcenopses grandiflora
and Schilleriana, Vandas tricolor, insignis, and suavis, and
Saccolabium retusum. This collection owes its perfec-
tion to the watchful care and intelligent culture of the
head gardener, William Gray, who unites to an ardent
love of these plants much scientific knowledge and
great cultural experience.

The Orchid house of Gen. John F. Rathbone, in Al-
bany, contains some of the finest plants in America.
Although in species the collection of Mr. Corning is supe-
rior, there are, in General Rathbone's, single plants which,
as specimens, are unsurpassed. The Cattleyas, Vandas,
Angrcecums, and Phalcenopses, of this latter collection,
have no equals in the country.

General Rathbone in 1860 imported from London his
first Orchid, Vanda suavis. He writes : " I was so de-
lighted with the plant and flowers that I caught the Orchid
fever, which I am happy to say is now prevailing to con-
siderable extent in this country, and which I trust will
become epidemic ; I purchased each year following a few


plants. In 1867, that I might successfully grow this
charming family of plants, I built a house exclusively for
Orchids ; and now I have a collection that will compare
favorably with any in America. As to my success in
flowering, let me briefly say that I have flowered sin-
gle plants : Dendrobium nobile, 476 flowers ; Phalcenop-
sis amabalis, 85 flowers ; Phal&nopsis Schilleriana, 156
flowers ; Angrczcum eburneum, 30 flowers ; Angrczcum
sesquipedale, 12 flowers ; Odontoglossum grande, 48 flow-
ers ; Ccelogyne cristata, 216 flowers; Cyrtochilum macula-
turn^ in flowers ; and numbers of Cattleya Mossice, with
from fifty to seventy flowers each."

General Rathbone's collection contains now 686 plants,
all of choice kinds, and many in superb specimens. We
may mention ten species of Aerides, twenty-seven of
Cattleyas, ten of Cypripediums, twenty-five of Dendrobiums^
fifteen of Odontoglossums, fifteen of choice Oncidiums,
six of Saccolabiums, four of Phalcenopses, in splendid speci-
mens, and eight of Vandas.

There may be other collections in the country which
have not come to our notice. Orchids are becoming pop-
ular, and it is a common thing to partition off the warm
end of the greenhouse and grow a few of the free-bloom-
ing species, and there is hardly a greenhouse where a
few Orchids cannot be found, if only Phajus grandifolius
and Cypripe Jht in insigne.

The Orchids which have been imported from England
have generally come from Messrs. James Veitch & Sons,
King's Road, Chelsea, London, who have a fine collec-
tion, and Messrs. Hugh Low & Son of Clapton Nursery,
London. Our importations have been. from the latter
house, which is one of the largest importers of Orchids,



employing many collectors, and they have sent us many
plants, which have always arrived in fine order, both from
careful selection and careful packing.

We trust the day is not far distant, when amateurs in
this country will send out collectors, and bring home Or-
chids in quantity.

The Orchids of Mexico and South America are of

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 8 of 25)