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There Are Rare Orchids That Look Like A "Baby In A Cradle," And They're Unusually Gorgeous

There Are Rare Orchids That Look Like A "Baby In A Cradle," And They're Unusually Gorgeous

The plant is known to grow to a height of 18 to 24 inches and the flowers are unusually large for the plant.

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Orchids. There are more than 25,000 species of them. About 100,000 more if you count the hybrids and the cultivars. And yet, you are left in awe every once in a while when you hear about or see a rare variety. This is one of those times. Called the Anguloa Uniflora, this particular variety is unlike any you've ever seen—an observation you'll come to make when you see it. The unique orchid looks like a baby in a cradle as the petals appear to swaddle the inner layer i.e., the pistil which resembles an adorable baby with its arms flailing about. For the layperson, they're also called tulip orchids simply because of their likeness to the tulip flower.

 

 



 

According to Orchidplus, the rare species is typically seen in South America along the Andes regions of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia. The swaddled babies orchids were discovered when botanists Antonio Pavon Jimenez and Hipolito Ruiz Lopez —from Chile and Peru respectively—embarked on a 10-year-long expedition from 1777 to 1788. Another botanist Don Francisco de Angulo helped with their classification and thus came the name Anguloa Uniflora, in honor of the man. Although, it took another decade to arrive at the moniker. The plant is known to grow to a height of 18 to 24 inches and the flowers are unusually large for the plant. Studies show they bloom during the spring in creamish or completely white colors and are waxy in nature. They are known to be extremely fragrant, almost throwing up scents of cinnamon at the observer.

 



 

Gardening Know How notes that there are species in the genus Anguloa, almost all of which can be found in South America. For growers, creating greenhouse and humidity to mimic their original environment is the best way to grow the swaddled babies orchid. Their blossoms last long and grow for extended periods in low-light conditions. While it requires cold temperatures, the flower also requires solarium, a heated greenhouse, and protected and warm home interiors to grow. For those looking to grow them in natural conditions, it's worth noting that only the US Department of Agriculture zones 11 to 13, which have the least cold temperatures during winter, provide the best environment for their growth.



 

Experienced growers note that swaddled babies' orchids should be watered for 7 days in the summer and to a slightly lesser extent in winter. During the summer, they needed to be misted at least 5 times. As to the summer temperatures, the plants need 26 degrees Celsius during the day and 18 degrees Celsius at night to support optimum blossoms. In the winter, temperatures need to be 18 degrees Celsius in the day and 10 degrees Celsius at night. If you are considering taking up the challenge of growing the Anguloa Uniflora, you need to plant them in soil that is a mixture of perlite mixed with bark and charcoal or coarse peats ideally in plastic pots with drainage holes. An added tip to grow them well would be to buy orchid soils from their natural environments which prevent rotting at the roots.

 



 

Admittedly, growing the Anguloa Uniflora takes considerable time, effort, patience, and dedication on the growers' part but their strong and delightful fragrance, and ever-lasting blooms will prove to be a massive payoff that makes it all worth your while.

Source: Botanicgardens.org

 

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