The Pinocchio Orchid

Painting #3/Week #3 52/52 Painting Challenge 2012

I was visiting a friend in Naples Florida and she had a wonderful collection of orchids. They seemed to be just dripping off the trees and off the side of her house. I was in the midst of such a beautiful range of shapes and colors. It was difficult to decide what to paint. I walked around her property and found a delightful little orchid called the "Pinocchio Orchid". It is in the Lady-Slipper family. Almost 60 species and hundreds of hybrids make up the genus Paphiopedilum, often called the lady-slipper orchid. The Pinocchio slipper orchid is a primary hybrid cross between Paphiopedilum primulinum and Paphiopedilum glaucophyllum.

The reason it is called the Pinocchio Orchid is the stem keeps getting longer and longer and it continues to bloom, one bloom at a time for months.  It was towards the end of its blooming stage, but from my painting you can see how many bracts there were on the stem. Each bract had a ladyslipper flower. It had one large bloom and then 2 more buds that had not yet opened.

My friend was gracious enough to cut the orchid and stem so that I could take it home and complete my painting. Orchids here in Florida are very easy to come by and very affordable. I am in HEAVEN!