Well, it’s that time of year once again – The RHS London Orchid Show!
This really does have to be our favourite time of year. Not only do we get to go to London to show our plants at one of the UK’s largest orchid shows, but it’s at the perfect time of year. The greenhouse is blooming lovely, quite literally!
This year’s design team is Ike Shackleton and Tom Forsyth. Ike is in year 10 and is the second Shackleton to be with us. Tom is in year 9 and was heavily involved in our display at Timsbury’s in Bloom entry – so the step up to International Orchid show should be a breeze! Thanks to copious exams and revision, I’ve only managed to catch glimpses of the plans, but it’s already shaping up to be our best London yet!
So whether you’re in London and fancy popping down to the RHS Lawrence Hall in Westminster, or are planning a trip up to the capital specially to see the show, we look forward to seeing you – and oh do we have a treat for you! Some of our biggest and best orchid species have decided that this year is going to be the year they put on a show – and put on a show they will!
This month we have a perfect demonstration of how the DNA of parent species influence the character of their hybrid. We have the two species Angraecum sesquipedale and Angraecum eburneum, and their hybrid Angraecum Veitchii all in flower at once.
Angraecum sesquipedale is a large growing species that produces a few large flowers each with a twelve inch ( thirty centimetres ) long spur. It is pollinated by a moth with a tonuge the same length as the spur. Angraecum eburneum is another large growing species but with many smaller flowers and short spurs.
The hybrid Angraecum Veitchii has an interesting combination of its parents’ characteristics. It is a large growing plant with leaves longer than A. sesquipedale. The flowers are smaller than A. sesquipedale but bigger than A. eburneum. There are many flowers on a spike but not as many as A.eburneum can produce. The flowers have a lip with a similar shape to A. eburneum but the other sepals are wider as in A. sesquipedale. The length of the spur is intermediate between that of its parents.
Have a look at the photos for yourself and try to spot the similarities. These photos were all taken by me on Saturday.
We have been working recently with Science Scope and Bath University. Science Scope make the data loggers we use in the greenhouses and took to Laos. Bath University are working on ways to improve science lessons through the introduction of technology.
Find out all about it in this video which is live on the Bath University website.