Friday, January 9, 2009

The Beauty of the Blue Orchid Flower

There are not many truly blue items in nature, and this is especially true in flowers.  While blue bells are one obvious example, there are many other flowers that are not available in blue varieties, like roses.  Despite the fact that there are thousands of varieties of orchids, there are only two blue versions available.  In one version, the blue tint only shows up on the lip and the rest of the flower is white.  The other version has blue sepals.

The vandal coerulea is a naturally blue orchid flower that can be found in Northern India.Its blue blossoms can usually be seen during October and November.  Each plant may yield up to fifteen blossoms, and the flowers are approximately four inches in size.  This orchid does not grow in colder climates, and needs to be in an environment where the temperature stays above sixteen degrees centigrade.

A lot of orchid growers have attempted to create hybrid blue orchid flowers without much success.  The weekend gardener or orchid hobbyist may never actually see one of these stunning plants.  They are an elusive prize to the most avid growers.  Creating a hybrid orchid is not a simple process, especially if you want to create a rare color such as blue.

The first step in creating a hybrid blue orchid flower is to choose the different plants that you are going to use.For a few varieties of orchid, the blooms will become different colors depending on the environment in which it is grown, so this needs to be taken into consideration.  Look for varieties that have predominantly blue petals, which still retain the color before they are in full bloom.  Also, finding varieties of orchids that have less complicated growing requirements will make the process easier for you.

The genetics of an orchid plant seem to have very distinct color dominance patterns.  If you use an orchid flower that has a green color to it, it can produce a hybrid that is blue.  On the other hand, if you have any orange tints in the flower that you select, the resulting hybrid will often have more of a reddish color to it.

Flowers receive their colors thanks to a chemical reaction that occurs between a pigment known as anthocyain and the A co-pigment.  The desired color can only be achieved if the reaction happens at a certain pH level.  To get a blue orchid flower, the reaction must take place in an environment with an alkaline pH.  If the environment is more acidic, the flower will generally have a reddish tone to it.

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