Over the weekend, I hung out at the Ann Arbor Orchid Festival to totally submerge myself into my new orchid obsession.

This event was on my calendar for months & I was totally ready to be wowed & boy was I. I’m not sure how many people attended, but that place remained packed during the hours that I spent both days.

Going to various stores, you may see 3-4 varieties of orchids and usually the same ones and or colors every time. This orchid festival had hundreds of varieties of orchids. It was almost overwhelming! And for the ones that were on sale, they were moving like hotcakes. Expensive hotcakes.

The orchids ranged in price from 5 to 150 bucks. The one orchid that went for $150 was a “Winston Churchill Paphiopedilum,” which happens to be the oldest & most successful hybrid orchid ever going back to 1951. The grower that sold this orchid gave me quite an education & also noted that the “Winston Churchill Paphiopedilum” has sold for as much as $1500 in recent years. Shocking right! All that cash for a plan that has one flower bloom per year.

Randomly, I also leaned that there are 110,000 known hybrid orchids, 25,000 known natural species, & that the Great Lakes region has 51 native orchid species which happened to be paphiopedilums (also known as lady slippers). Pretty cool to know that orchids can thrive in agricultural zones 4 & 5.

I resisted the urge to splurge and walked away with only 3 new babies, a new paphiopedilum (Redvale Red Rooster x Valwin’ Sun Spot), phalaenopsis (Sin Yuan Golden Beauty “Fairy Tale”) & a maxilaria (Maxillaria Tenuifolia x Maxillaria Sanguinea), which smells like coconut when in bloom.

Of the many orchid species that I had the chance to view and research, I have to say that paphiopedilums are hands down my favorite. Sure, they only bloom once a year & typically you only get a single bloom but they are big and texturally dramatic. And we all know that I love drama!

I will not say how much I spent on the three plants, but I do know that I will not be going out for lunch for at least 3 weeks!

To see a few more images, check here.

Orchid geek out!