Brought to you by Black Orchid Management, Ltd.
If you were to ask me what I like most about flowers, I will tell you, they make me happy. They are beautiful to look at. Have you ever seen someone gaze upon a beautiful flower and stay in a bad mood? NEVER! Flowers, lift our spirits, they can change our mood, they make us happy and it is the one way, that we can tell someone we love them, simply by handing them a flower. Please follow me on my journey through the Belize rain forest jungle, to explore all the different flowers there are to see. I sincerely hope you enjoy my series entitled "Flowers of Belize".
There are over 600 species of the Oncidium flower today, and it is one of the largest, most diverse flowers, found in the Orchid Family. Colors range from bright yellow to bronze, white with pink, and glittering shades of dark red. Some have hundreds of blooms on flower spikes or branches over 4ft long!
Early explorers to Belize were spellbound by these golden fields of yellow, with their doll-like flowers - moving gracefully in the wind. The first Oncidiums were called "Dancing Ladies", because of the way they wiggled in the wind as the breezes moved them.
Because Oncidiums grow in many different habitats, they seem to be more accommodating in their growing requirements, than most orchids. Most are excellent plants for "northern" growers whose temperatures are cooler during winter months.
In their natural habitat Oncidiums are what they call (air plants), that is they grow on rocks and in trees - but never on the ground. That's why you'll often see active roots growing outside the pot. Mother Nature has also equipped Oncidiums, with a natural water storage tank at the base of the flower. This water tank, provides the flower with water, during long dry periods and in between rains in the jungle.
With orchids, we always say "there's a place to grow them and there's a place to show them". This is particularly true for Oncidiums. During the growing season (fall and spring), these plants need several hours of direct sun every day, to build up the energy to produce a flower. Then, when the flowering cycle arrives, and the first couple of flowers open, you will then need to move your plant away from the direct sun to encourage - longer lasting flowers. Hot sun deteriorates Oncidium flowers quickly. After the blooms have faded, cut back the flower spike or branches and move the plant back to a sunny spot to begin the next growth cycle.
In the language of flowers, orchids mean ‘love, beauty and refinement’. Orchids are found everywhere in Belize, tropical Asia, Central America, and Australia. Some other colors you will find the Oncidium in, are: blue, brown, cream, green, pink, purple, red, white and yellow.