Friday, October 09, 2015

Orchids were abundant, and often, occupied positions in which the growers of these plants in England would little expect to find them #QotD

2015.10.05-DSC04162Orchids were abundant, and often, occupied positions in which the growers of these plants in England would little expect to find them, but in which they gave an indescribable singularity and charm to the landscape. The limodorums were numerous in parts of the road, and formed quite a ball of interlaced roots at the base of the bulbs. A small species, resembling in habit and growth the Camarotus purpurea, but quite unknown to me, and bearing a vast profusion of white and sulphur-tinted flowers, often enlivened the sides of the road along which we passed. But the an graecums, both A. superbum and A. sesquipedale, were the most abundant and beautiful. I noticed that they grew most plentifully on trees of thinnest foliage, and that the A. sesquipedale was seldom, if ever, seen on the, ground, but grew high up among the branches, often throwing out long straggling stems terminating in a few small and often apparently shriveled leaves. The roots also partook of the same habit. They were seldom branched or spreading, but long, tough, and single, sometimes running down the branch or trunk of a tree, between the fissures in the rough bark, to the length of twelve or fifteen feet; and so tough and tenacious that it required considerable force to detach or break them. Many of them were in flower; and, notwithstanding the small, shriveled appearance of the leaves, the flowers were large and the yellow color strongly marked. On more than one occasion I saw a splendid Angraecum sesquipedale growing on the trunk of a decaying or fallen tree, as shown in the accompanying engraving, and sending its tough roots down the trunk to the moist parts of the vegetation on the ground. p. 206

From Three visits to Madagascar during the years 1853--1854--1856: Including a journey to the capital; with notices of the natural history of the country and of the present civilization of the people by William Ellis


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