In the Company of Dancing Ladies

They are called dancing ladies because their flowers resemble ladies with colorful skirts.

I can see that.

They are definitely not shy, even described as promiscuous, happy to use their good looks and “hybridize with just about anyone.”

The genus Oncidium has become diverse, with 330 species. It is described as “grossly polyphyletic” — I had to look that up — it means “being grouped together based on characteristics that do not imply that they share a common ancestor.” In other words, no pedigree or lineage of breeding. The American Orchid Society labelled it a genetic “dumping ground.” Thankfully, some taxonomic housekeeping is being done. Hopefully these ladies are on the way to respectability.

Regardless of their ancestry — and may I suggest, with no scientific basis whatsoever, that their diverse background makes them more hardy — they are beautiful. They bloom throughout the year in less than ideal conditions where others might struggle. They are quite forgiving, friendly to beginners.

I don’t mind having these dancing ladies for company any time of the day, or night.


(For Cee’s FOTD)

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