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10 February 2005
 
Orchids
 
We look at a colourful flower display.


What makes a good orchid? The main things that the judges look for are colour and for shape. And it depends on the type of orchid that we're talking about, where there can be a very big difference from the original orchids of the species to what is grown in the hybrid today.

Yes, a hybrid is the cross breeding of orchids. Where you might have once species crossed with another, it's called a primary hybrid. Then after many crosses it becomes a complex hybrid.

Some of the orchids in South Australia we have to grow in a glasshouse environment because they're tropical orchids and therefore we have to as close as possible reproduce that.

And we do that by having it completely self-contained and we have humidity problems that we've got to counter by spraying the ground and around the orchids. We have to use heat in the winter and we have to use cooling in the summer.

With cymbidium orchids, which are the majority of the orchids in this Show, they grow naturally in South Australia under shade cloth. They grow very, very well. It's one of the best states in Australia to grow cymbidium orchids.

I do say the cymbidium is my favourite and I also have quite a passion for what's called paphiopedilum or the slipper orchids, but each of them have their own particular fascination and interest.

I think it's just the challenge of getting something that's different and something that's better, so that you're really looking at the challenge on the basis that there is an improvement that you can produce, that others do not have.


story notes

 orchid
 
A type of flower. Note the spelling and pronunciation of orchid. The c-h is pronounced with a k sound. Remember not to confuse orchid with the similar orchard, which does have a ch sound.
 
 
Listen to the words by following the link.
 
more information: orchid & orchard

 original orchids
 
The original orchids are the types of orchids found in nature.

 species
 
A species is an particular type of plant or animal. Members of a species are all exactly the same type. The scientific term for a more general group of plants or animals that are similar is genus.
 
Cymbidium is the genus name for a group of orchid flowers that are very similar . A particular type of cybidium is a species such as Cymbidium bicolor. Notice that the species name (bicolor) does not have a capital letter.
 
Check out today's spotlight for more about scientific names.

 grown
 
The past participle of the irregular verb grow.
 
more information: grow

 hybrid
 
A hybrid is a mix of two different species.

 cross breeding
 
mixing different types

 crossed
 
mixed

 primary hybrid
 
Graeme says that one orchid species crossed, or mixed, with another is called a primary hybrid .If one or more primary hybrids are crossed, a complex hybrid is created.

 crosses
 
mixtures with various different types

 complex hybrid
 
Graeme says that one orchid species crossed, or mixed, with another is called a primary hybrid. If one or more primary hybrids are crossed, a complex hybrid is created.

 glasshouse
 
A glasshouse is a building with a glass roof and sides. It's very warm inside a glasshouse.
 

 tropical
 
The orchids are grown in a glasshouse environment because they're tropical orchids, which means they're from the tropics. The tropics are areas near the equator that are very warm and wet.

 reproduce
 
copy

 cymbidium
 
Cymbidium is the genus name for a group of orchid flowers that are very similar. A particular type of cybidium is a species such as Cymbidium bicolor
 
When writing a full scientific name such as Cymbidium bicolor, the genus name has a capital letter and we often use italics.
 
Example: Cymbidium bicolor
 
But when a genus name is used as a general term, we use the lower case and don't use italics.
 
Example: I went to the show to look at some cymbidiums.

 have quite a passion for
 
To have a passion for something is to really love it.

 paphiopedilum
 
Here, paphiopedilum is the general name for a group of similar orchids. It's a genus name that is capitalised in a scientific name such as Paphiopedilum appletonianum.
 
The more common name for these types of orchid is slipper orchid.