On Orchids

13Jun08

In which The Gay Recluse admires orchids.

Orchids have a reputation for being “difficult” plants, which is one reason we love them.

We always feel a little sad to see them on display in office buildings, knowing that as soon as the blooms begin to show a little fatigue, the entire plant will almost certainly be thrown away.

The sadness we feel is not for the orchids, however, but for ourselves.

And the certainty that our fate is pretty much the same.

Then, there are flowers of noble lineage like the orchid, so delicate and charming, at once cold and palpitating, exotic flowers exiled in the heated glass palaces of Paris, princesses of the vegetable kingdom living in solitude, having absolutely nothing in common with the street plants and other bourgeois flora.

Joris-Karl Huysman, Against the Grain

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4 Responses to “On Orchids”

  1. 1 c.

    Touching entry, on a favorite flower. Isn’t there a strange analogy in that beautiful quote to Russian Blues and lolcats?

  2. That’s an interesting point, C. Naturally I completely agree.

  3. I am not gay and I love orchids. I guess you don’t have to be gay to love orchids. The orchid in the picture looks like Dendrobium Emma White. Do you know the name of the orchid?
    Thanks,
    1888Orchids.com

  4. Thanks, Phillip–it’s actually a Dendrobrium New Somrak White. We refer to it as “The Ken,” however, because our friend Ken gave it to us.


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