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pink orchids of belize

DANCING LADY ORCHIDS

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dancing lady orchid 

 The Dancing Lady Orchid does not refer to a specific Orchid species rather the whole Oncidium, Onc for short, Genus in the Orchidaceae (Orchid) family.

Of the more than 23,000 species of the Orchids found in the world, only about 500-600 species are in the Oncidium Genus.

 

The term "Dancing Lady," is in reference to the way the flowers sway in the wind. Dancing Lady is use mostly on flowers that grow in areas where English is the primary language, such as in Belize, Jamaica and the State of Florida.The Orchid has family members all over the tropical world from the Islands of the Pacific to the Island of the Caribbean. However, The Oncidium Genus can only be found in the Western Hemisphere from Mexico to Brazil and numerous Caribbean Islands.

The color palette of the Oncidiums, will range from the most common colors of bright yellow to bronze and orange. However, there are some Oncidiums that will come in white with pink and brilliant dark red color tones.

Some types of Oncidiums will have hundreds of blooms on a single flower spike, also called a branch, that can be over 3 feet in length; it is called a branch because they never grow up from the ground. Though the plants can be diverse in color and certain appearances there are four main features that make them a part of the Oncidium Genus:

  • Presence of columned wings.

  • Presence of a complicated callus on the lip.

  • Pseudobulbs with one to three leaves.

  • Several bracts at the base of the pseudobulbs.

Oncidiums in the wild are what is referred to as air plants, that is they will never grow directly on the ground. A wild Oncidium will only grow on rocks, logs and up in the trees.

 

The Oncidiums also have a natural water storage tank at the base of their flowers which will help to provide them with the necessary water to survive prolonged rainless periods in the jungle.

The Oncidiums seem to be more adaptable to habitats other than their native jungle areas, more so than other Genus' in the Orchid family. Oncidiums are able to stand slightly cooler and dryer climates, better than other kinds of orchids thus making them good house plants for people who live farther north than their native regions. However, in these instances they must have balanced sun light exposure, though too much sun light will damage their pedals.

Though the orchid family as a whole are not scented flowers they more than make up for it in their beauty. The intricacy of the many species of orchids is an absolute masterpiece of nature. 

Anthony Benjamin


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