The weather hasn’t been very kind to our Valley’s champion orchid cultivators – the unseasonal humid weather has caused more than a few prize plants to bloom before the traditional Mothers Day weekend Orchid Show.
But in spite of the challenges, there are over 180 glorious specimens on display at the Nambucca Community and Art Centre – some big, brash and blowsy and others so small you need a magnifying glass to view the bloom.
“This really is a huge credit to the members of our society, which is one of the strongest orchid societies on the Mid North Coast,” president Grahame Beatton said.
The Grand Champion orchid – a Cirrhopetallum Ornatissimum by Rhonda Smith – is one not to be missed.
But it is unlikely your nose will miss it’s pungent aroma as you waltz by.
“Its smell reminds me of a dying cow,” member Max Mackay grinned.
Luckily the stench is mired by the honeyed aroma of the flamboyant Cattle Ears, which Grahame says are top-notch this year.
Other notables are the smaller clustered Ocidiinae varietals, and the royal purples of the Vandaceous species.
And if you happen to be an orchid connoisseur, then look no further than D. Blay’s exotic Bulbophyllum (pictured below), which had Mr State Judge himself rushing to consult online sources.
“I’ve never seen it before, and I’ve been in orchid societies for some 30-odd years now,” he said.
Interesting Orchid Facts
- Some orchids will flower for more than three months at a time, while others make a short-lived overnight debut.
- Some varieties of orchids cannot be reproduced at home – they rely on a unique symbiotic relationship with certain types of fungus found at the base of trees.
- Many Australian natives rely on specific nocturnal insects to pollinate them, and many require pollination at a specific hour of the night to be successful.
- Some orchids contain remote ‘triggers’ for fertilisation which are activated when the right pollinator comes along.
- The smallest orchid is tinier than a pin head.
The Nambucca Valley Orchid Society Show is open tomorrow until 4pm, and then on Saturday until 3pm.
If you’re keen to learn about cultivating orchids, the Society meets at 7pm on the first Monday of each month in the Small Hall at the Nambucca Community and Arts Centre.