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Plantgasm - I love plants too much. By Derek Powazek.

Orchidgasm at the Pacific Orchid Expo

Today Heather* and I visited the 2011 Pacific Orchid Expo and I think my jaw is still somewhere on the floor of Fort Mason. There were so many completely breathtaking orchids I’d never seen before. Where else can you walk around and see orchids from all corners of the world in one place?

I was especially taken with the immense and varied Paphiopedilum species (I came home with three from Paphiness Orchids), the vast collection of jewel orchids (came home with two), and the wacky corkscrew Dendrobium spectabile (didn’t buy because it was so expensive, but is now on the Someday List).

For just a taste of the crazy beauty on display, check out these photos. The expo continues through this weekend. If you’re in the Bay Area and even vaguely interested in plants, don’t miss it!

*How lucky am I to have married a woman who excitedly attended the Expo with me even though she knew she’d be done two hours before I was and would spend the rest of the visit waiting and listening to terrible music while I circled Fort Mason hyperventilating over plants? Answer: very.

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6 Responses

Wow, fantastic pictures. What camera/lens/flash etc are you using?

That Masdevallia (Byrsella) caesia is probably the most interesting Orchid I’ve ever seen.

Posted by Andrew on 5 March 2011 @ 6am

Orchids are so amazing. Wow. And yes you are VERY lucky!

Posted by melissa on 5 March 2011 @ 7am

I nodded in agreement reading what you said about Heather. I feel the same about Davin. He likes plants and gardens and does get into it… but he runs out of steam and enthusiasm for these kinds of shows hours before I do… because beyond the plant gawking these shows are often terrible.

He and Heather should start a support group for people with plant-addicted spouses.

Posted by Gayla on 5 March 2011 @ 10am

Great pictures, Derek. Thanks for sharing them! I always enjoy orchid shows – large or small. And my wife doesn’t mind being drug along, either, which is nice.

Posted by Zach on 7 March 2011 @ 8am

Derek – so glad you had a great time at the POE!

That D. spectabile needs a HOT greenhouse to grow and a lot of space. Not really suited for small city apartments.

Here are my photos from the weekend, including the studio shots of all 17 of the American Orchid Society awarded plants:

-Eric in SF
San Francisco Orchid Society VP (for a few more months at least!)

Posted by Eric in SF on 8 March 2011 @ 8am

Okay, but my question is, how do you find someone who will tolerate both the incessant photo-taking of orchids/wildflowers, AND doesn’t mind heavy metal blasting from the speakers….?!?
Ha! Thanks for the orchid update.

Posted by phyte club katie on 9 March 2011 @ 12am


Plantgasm is where Derek Powazek chronicles his botanical antics and misadventures. More.