Buy Orchids and sundries in confidence

What do you know about orchids?

 

WhatsNew

 

Ray Creek Orchid Nursery

on line store

I hope you enjoy this, our new on line orchid store, take the links to our catalogue pages, browse through the orchids we have for sale, and buy with ease -  you order from your desk top - we deliver to your door!

 

   

 

More Orchids

 

In addition to all the popular orchids you can buy through our on line orchid store, we do have a more comprehensive mail order price list which covers our full range of stock plants, please contact us for details.

 

   

 

See me out and about

 

Upcoming shows and events

Over the year you can meet me and buy orchids from me at many different events.

 

I attend local orchid meeting, giving talks and selling my plants to anyone who cares to come along; as well as being present at some of the larger orchid events.

 

For a full list of where I will be during the year, see the events pages

 

   

 

About Orchids !

 

Orchids Grow In Many Places


It is well known in orchid circles that there are between 20,000 and 25,000 different species of orchid growing world wide. This amounts to about ten percent of all plants and represents over four times the number of mammal species.


Orchids grow all over the world on every continent except Antarctica.


They grow in most climates, from tropical through sub-tropical to Mediterranean and temperate. There are even orchids that grow within The Arctic Circle.


They can grow near the shoreline and up to altitudes of more than 13,000 feet. (4,000 meters) In bogs and marshes, sand dunes and moorland, woodland, grassland, in poor land or rich.
They are great colonisers of places where other plants can’t grow like cliff-faces, rocks, tree-trunks and the branches of other types of shrubby plants. There are even orchids that grow as epiphytes on large cacti growing in the deserts of Peru.


A comparatively recent discovery has been orchids growing underground as parasites on the roots of shrubs in Australia.

These plants are buried and never see the light of day except the flowers that show above the surface.


It is important when we talk about orchids that we know which species we are talking about because they all have their own special habitat and growing requirements.


Orchids Grow Their Own Soil?


To enable certain orchids to grow on rocks (lithophytic) or trees and other plants (epiphytic) they need a way of collecting water for future use, whilst it is available.

To do this they grow a thick layer of soft spongy cells on the outside of the root. This cell layer soaks up rain and dew whilst it is available. This water can then be used by the plant over an extended period.

Just as if it were growing it’s own soil or growing media.


Large And Small.


The heaviest known orchid is Grammatophyllum speciosum from tropical Asia. It has huge cylindrical pseudobulbs that can be up to 10 feet tall. (3 meters) These grow in huge clumps that can weigh up to a ton. It is said that a single plant can produce up to 10,000 flowers.

The tallest or longest orchid is Vanilla planifolia, the very same plant that we get vanilla pods from for flavouring food.

The orchid with the largest leaves is said to be Bulbophyllum fletcherii. This huge plant can have leaves up to 6 feet long. (1.8 meters)


The orchid with the largest flower is perhaps Paphiopedilum sanderianum, it has long, tapering, pendant petals up to 3 feet long. (90 centimetres)

 
The smallest orchid plant is native to Australia and is called Oncophyllum globulifolia. It has tiny pseudobulbs the size of a pinhead, each has a tiny thread-like leaf at it’s apex. The tiny flowers are about one millimetre across.


Pollen In Parcels.


Orchid pollen is all stuck together in clumps or parcels these are called the pollinia and when the right insect visits an orchid flower the whole mass of pollen sticks to the insect and is transported to the next bloom.

For this reason orchid are ideal for people who suffer from hay fever as there is no way that the pollen can float about in the atmosphere.


The Smallest Seeds.


Orchid seed is the smallest of any in the whole plant kingdom. One orchid plant can often produce many millions of seed. However these seed have no endosperm or food store as other plants would. Because of this, in nature, these seed need the help of friendly fungi to germinate and grow.


Hundred thousand Pound Orchid?


In the nineteenth century orchids were new and unknown plants.
In a world where keeping up with the Jones’s was the pass-time of the aristocracy, huge prices where paid for the latest imports.

The largest amount ever recorded as having been paid was in England in the year 1890 when £1500 was paid for a single plant.

This would be equivalent of about £100,000 in today money.


How Long Do Orchids Flower For?


One of the great advantages of Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) is their ability produce flowers over a period of many months or even sometimes years.

However not all orchids are the same. The individual flowers of the small growing Dendrobium cuthbertsonii may last up to six months.. Compare this with the mass of flowers that is displayed by Dendrobium crumenatum, (Pigeon Orchid) these may only last for a day.

 
All orchids are interesting but if you are growing for flower-power alone check you are getting the appropriate variety.


Orchids Make Great Houseplants


There are many varieties of orchid that make splendid houseplants. Most people know about the long periods of flower that we get from Phalaenopsis. However there are many other varieties that can be just as rewarding to grow if not quite so free flowering.

Perhaps some of them won’t have such long flowering periods but types such as the Cambrias (Oncidium Alliance), Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Paphiopedilums (Slipper Orchids) and Zygopetalums are sure to give great pleasure.


If you are a little more adventurous then there are thousands of different species orchids (Botanicals) plus many unusual crosses and hybrids, a good percentage of which can be grown in the house without problems.


Whatever orchids you decide to grow I am sure that you will find enjoyment, interest, and satisfaction. There is something for everyone.