National orchid day: meet the first black Vanda Orchid

Back in the early nineties, orchid master Martin Motes selected from a large number of tessellata species seedlings to create what he hoped would be a black flower. Several of these seedlings matured into an especially fine form that produced unusually dark flowers. They were almost but not quite black.

That has always been a goal for growers – to find black blooms. Since they are not plentiful in nature. Even calla lilies are more eggplant than black. But it was Martin Motes’ passion to be the first to find a way for a black beautiful Vanda orchid flower.

These first-generation hybrids received both national and international recognition as well as awards. Since then, the masters at Motes Orchids in Redland, Florida have been experimenting and sure enough, these wizards now have created the perfect black from hybrids from Vanda tessellata “Mary Motes” FCC/AOS.

Then of course there was more mixing and matching, discarding and planting, working and working.

For those who like all the details – and we do have passionate orchid lovers in our audience – here is what Martin Motes says then happened.

Read the complete article at

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