A bit of eternal summer in the Primorsky Aquarium

A bit of eternal summer in the Primorsky Aquarium

Regardless of the season and the weather, our visitors are met by blooming orchids at the “Tropical Rain Forest” exhibit. There you can find both species orchids growing as indigenous plants in the wild and hybrid ones bred by man.

Phalaenopsis equestris, one of the species orchids, blooms almost all year round. The orchid can be identified by the cloud of small whitish purple flowers. Next to this plant some Phalaenopsis hybrids of different colours (white, yellow, pink, violet, dark orange) are growing. One of them is Phalaenopsis Kaoda Twinkle, a dark maroon flower with a white lip emitting the delicate scent of lilies of the valley. Another complex hybrid, Phalaenopsis Liodoro, smells of citrus.

The blooms of Dendrobium phalaenopsis resemble a scatter of moths. Wild orchids of this species have rather small flowers that lack diversity. The Green Sapphire, a Dendrobium phalaenopsis hybrid, has an unusual coloration; its white flowers with green-edged petals are raspberry red in the centre. The Pink Lady, another Dendrobium phalaenopsis hybrid, “pretends” to be a completely different species: it repeats the form of Cattleya orchids and has a frilled lip.

Visitors often give attention to the Lady’s Slipper orchid that is named so due to its slipper-shaped lip. Another interesting orchid cultivar is Oncidium Sweet Sugar; its blooms resemble small yellow suns, they are also called “dancing dolls”. If you take a closer look at them, you will see a tutu skirt with “arms” spread apart and a “head” rising above it. Oncidium Jungle Monarch got the “royal” name because of its long branching stem and rich vanilla scent.

“Orchids are rather difficult to tend but nothing is impossible, and we can grow any, even the most fastidious, species. The main thing is to create optimal conditions for their growth by finding the proper balance of light and air humidity”, said Galina Zolotareva, Chief Specialist of the Tropical Rain Forest Department. “Flower cultivation seems to be an easy process but if a plant is left unattended, you can miss the moment when it gets sick. That is why they need daily nurturance. Our orchids are constantly taken care of, and therefore they bloom so lushly.”