Founded in 1639 and beautiful year round, Utrecht’s botanical gardens provided the perfect backdrop for a name-giving ceremony. Utrechts’ Mayor Jan van Zanen, was on hand to officially open the orchid show and to name a Phalaenopsis. ‘Queen Máxima’ is a beautiful white Phalaenopsis and one of the latest creations of orchid breeder Floricultura from Assendelft/Heemskerk, the Netherlands. The orchis stands out for its extremely large blooms.
The honour of being presented with the first ‘Queen Máxima’ Phalaenopsis went to 17-year old Elise van den Anker, a patient, hospitalised at Utrecht’s Prinses Máxima Centre for Children’s Oncology.
Van Zaanen stated to how extremely diverse orchids are, not only in colour and size, but also in bloom shapes.
Rob Hendriks, Chairman of the Dutch Orchid Society, Gerard van Buiten, Head Gardener of the Utrecht Botanical Gardens as well as several other orchid experts, provided a comprehensive overview of the extensive orchid family which has around 30,000 members around the globe. They explained to the Mayor of Utrecht how to identify different orchid species and shared their trick of the trade to successfully grow the most exotic of plants.
Occupying pride of place was the Ecuagenera farm from Ecuador, a family-owned company specializing in the production and conservation of orchid species and hybrids. The company ranks among the largest orchid suppliers in the world, growing and selling over 8000 varieties. Next year, Ecuador’s coastal city of Guayaquil will host the World Orchid Conference which is set to take place from November 8-13, 2017
In addition to the presentation by a handful of professional growers, the Orchid Show also hosted a contingent of Dutch orchid aficionados from the Society’s regional chapters in Haarlem, Arnhem and Utrecht. They displayed the cream of the crop, explaining that even beginners can grow breath-taking windowsill orchids provided they surround their plants with enough water, light and love.