So this past weekend, the Houston Museum of Natural Science was hosting a show of orchids from around the world, sponsored by the Houston Orchid Society. Naturally, in light of my recent orchid obsession, I went, especially since I was on a mission: I had read somewhere that there existed a blue orchid, from Malaysia or something, and I wanted to see if I could find one there -- just to photograph, if I couldn't afford to buy it.
So I went. And there were, literally, hundreds of different types of orchids everywhere, from all over the world. They were beautiful. They smelled heavenly. But no blue orchids. I even asked a guy who looked like he was intimate with the orchid world, and he looked puzzled: "Nope. Can't say I've heard of it. Malaysia, you say?"
I walked away without buying anything, disappointed, but feeling vaguely smug that I knew something about the elusive Malaysian blue orchid that an orchid expert -- an orchidaphile, as it were (I just made that up) -- knew nothing about.
Then today, I had to run into the grocery store, and imagine my amazement when there, right at the entryway, was this incredible blue and purple orchid, just waiting to be purchased. It was called "Black Sapphire." It was more expensive than I usually like to spend on grocery store flowers, but hey -- there was just one left. Surely it was a sign that it was rare! Exotic! Meant to belong to me! So I bought it, took it home, and giddily photographed it in my entryway.
After I uploaded the images, I decided to do a little research on my orchid. I typed "Black Sapphire Orchid" in the Google search bar.
Now. You know when you're doing something, and right at the last minute you suddenly get this uneasy feeling that you're about to make a fool of yourself? This is EXACTLY the feeling that came over me as I hit "enter." A little voice in the back of my head was screaming "noooooooooo ...."
Yup. They're fake. From this website:
To create these radiant rainbow hues, we use a patented, licensed process to infuse white phalaenopsis orchids with a non-toxic medium. Over time, the color enhancement will be absorbed and the plants will re-bloom their natural color.
They're still pretty, though.
(P.S. And now? I can't find anything anywhere on a "Malaysian blue orchid." What in God's name was I thinking ...?)
Song: Fool's Gold by Jill Scott