Black Orchid?

National Geographic on Apple iTunes

   For hundreds of years hybridizers have been trying to produce “black” flowers. Tulips, roses, hollyhocks, gladiolus, canna lilies, and yes, even black corn and radishes. So it is no wonder that orchids are also on the list. What is it about a “black” flower that tends to intrigue us?
   There have been many strange and mysterious stories about black orchids. They have been written about in witchcraft, mysteries, legends, comics, myths, and elsewhere. So, are there really orchids that are black?
   I think that will depend on what you consider “black.” Can a deep purple color, dark as night be considered black? Many orchids are called “black”  because they may have black bars, lips,
or petals on them. Liparis nervosa is called “koku-ran” (=”black orchid”) in Japanese, but as you can see by the photo of Liparis it is really not black. If you have read the book “The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean you may have read where she claims that there are no black orchids.
   Anyway, I got one, see the image above …

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