Orchids in history

A blast from the past

“It is difficult to realize that one of these tiny plants may well eventually prove to be a champion and worth a small fortune.” Greenhouses filled with orchids as we know them now are actually the result of orchid hunting by curious botanists in the past. One of them is David Sander who is making his appearance in this old video that was published by British Pathé, where he is producing new orchid specimens by cross pollination. The video is a nice glimpse into the breeding activities of orchids in 1956.

In another video, published in 1967, we see cultivation of orchids at Charlesworth nursery, in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. “You don’t have to live in the Amazonian jungles to grow these beauties. In fact, orchids are no more difficult to grow than chrysanthemums.” It all starts with the seeds. “Seed sowing is a very difficult side of propagation, and best left to the experts. It calls for a keen eye and a lot of know-how.”

What started as tiny little green plants in a lot of glass flasks, grows into a wide variety of orchids. “They are just a few of more than 15,000 known species of this exotic plant that captivates the heart of women from Iceland to New Zealand, the orchid.”

And then there is this video about the journey of a Canadian grown orchid from cultivation to transportation across the country. "They are still insignificant compared with the major industrial projects of Canada, the orchid industry is a growing one in the most delightful sense."

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