Bulbophyllum  "Lovely Elizabeth"

Bulbophyllum "Lovely Elizabeth"

I've always been drawn to the genus Bulbophyllum by the unique architecture of thier flowers.  You're never sure whether you're admiring a blossom or a sculpture.  Bulbophyllum "Lovely Elizabeth" is a hybrid which adds a sinister air to the sophistication.  Overall, the bloom is set in a blood red.  8 or 9 seperate blossoms form an umbel.  Each stretches out it's long fused petals, like needles that drip their blood red color.  Each reaches a tiny point that seems to evaporate in the air, so fine is the tip.

The lip, a blood red invitation, bobs and dips in the wind.  Movement of the flower parts is another unique characteristic of Bublophyllum  As if the delicacy of it's structure and color were not enough, it dances.

Following the fine petals upward we find ourselves at the lip and cast above the deep red we see the sepals. They are transcluscent and the backlight shows us vertical rows of red set in the very lightest shades of yellow.  The effect is that of a stained glass window.  The one dorsal sepal and it's lateral partners rear up from the lip, as if prepared to swallow the viewer.  I'm not so sure she is "Lovely Elizabeth" so much as Lady Macbeth but I love her just the same. 

If you hover your cursor over the image you can see a shot of the blossoms in formation and in the process of arranging themselves.