By Nancy Chuda founder and Editor-in-Chief LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World



Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

And if you just watched the video clip above you”ll know why Huel Howser is so popular amongst the ladies here. They named this series of cymbidiums in his honor. They are  California’s Gold.

The Huel Howser orchid collection photo by Nancy Chuda


If you are like me and you love orchids you may want to read Darwin’s book by which British and foreign orchids are fertilized by insects in 1862. But if you don’t have time to download it on your Kindle (probably not listed) then it is important to note that Darwin was the first to discover the relationships between orchids and the insects that fertilized them. The observations Darwin made by studying orchids and their pollinators, gave support to the theory of natural selection that he describes in his more famous book “On the Origins of Species” praised at the time by his contemporaries in natural history and botany.

This years Santa Barbara International Orchid Festival was purely orchidellic. Surrounded by fans from all over the world, these spectacular specimens are truly celebrities in their own right. Here is a list of all the exhibitors and vendors.

First Prize the Blue Ribbon Winner



Santa Barbara Orchid Show photo credit James Chuda

A single slipper

Thought to be one of the slowest-growing plants in the world, the lady’s slipper orchid takes between 6 and 11 years of growth before it actually produces flowers. The seeds are minute, dust-like particles that contain no food reserves. The materials needed for germination are derived from a symbiotic association with a mycorrhizal fungus. The lady’s slipper orchid has been studied and successful ex-situ propagation techniques have been devised. It is dormant in winter, does not form tubers, but has creeping rhizome.

A very unusual specimen but definitely the most attractive  orchid in the show were displayed by the Tokyo Growers.

From Tokyo these magnificent slippers

One of the best aspects of the show  every year is  the lecture series.

It doesn’t take much time to learn how to pot, fertilize and even grow orchids. And if you live in California, you may want to get on the orchid trail, meet the growers and start a collection of your own.



“An orchid in a deep forest sends out its fragrance even if no one is around to appreciate it. Likewise, men of noble character hold firm to their high principles, undeterred by poverty.”

– Confucius (551–479 BC)E

Lady Slipper Orchid
A selection of Lady Slippers photo credit James Chuda


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