(Bllra. Tahoma Glacier 'Sugar Sweet')
Orchidaceae ~ Orchid Family
Watercolor sketch painted at Kealakekua Bay, Big Island, Hawaii, during Vorobik's annual Orchid Painting Retreat, of orchids from Pacific Orchid Farms (www.PacificOrchidFarms.com).
Many know that the Orchid Family is very diverse, but few know that there are likely over 20,000 species in the world, and more than 300,000 cultivars. While the number of native species is declining, sadly, due to loss of habitat and extinction, the number of forms of cultivated plants is increasing daily. Advances in tissue culture techniques have revolutionized horticulture, making it possible to reproduce hybrids, and even hybrids between different genera (intergeneric hybrids; these rarely occur in nature). This doesn't at all make up for the loss of native species, but does increase the number and variety of flower forms that we can enjoy in our homes, greenhouses, and if we are lucky enough to live in a warm, humid climate, our garden.