Rare Plants Consulting

A beautiful carnivorous plant A lovely orchid bloom

Evolution has given us a vast array of wonders in the Plant kingdom.  However, there are some plants whose adaptations are so unique and their beauty so extreme that they are in a class by themselves. These special plants have evolved in environments that are harsh and alien.  The beautiful orchids of the Andean cloud forests or the tropical pitcher plants living high up on the mountains on the Island of Borneo, for instance.

These plants are not appropriate for the typical room environment nor are they in any way "low maintenance". However, to someone who has fallen in love with their exceptional beauty the chance to see them at their full potential is reason enough.  Pictured at left is Pinguicula grandiflora, a carnivorous plant whose home is in the hills and mountains of Europe. At left and below is the orchid Bulbophyllum 'Lovely Elizabeth'

The process begins with you and your passion.  Contact me and let me know the sort of exotic plant or plants you are interested in growing. If you want to see some of the possibilities visit the Rare Plants Photos section. I will first teach you about the ecology from which the plant originates and then what will be required to replicate those conditions in your home. This initial consultation costs $50. Once that is done and you feel you'd like to proceed I will prepare a formal proposal.

Below I will talk about two catagories of the very exotic; orchids and carnivorous plants.

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants boast some of the most unique forms and beautiful colors in the plant kingdom.  They're beautiful because they have to be. Carnivorous plants are to be found on all the world's continents except Antarctica but wherever they are found it is in extremely difficult environments where the media in which they grow offers little or no nutrients. This fact unifies them and their common response was to began preying upon insects. Evolution has rewarded us and them with this unique and savage beauty.

Carnivorous plannts originate in a variety of habitats. American pitcher plants thrive in the swamps and bogs of North America. South American pitcher plants recieve rain repeatedly throughout the day on Brazil's mountain plateaus. The tropical pitcher plants of Southeast Asia exist in steamy lowland forests and chilly cloud forests.  Some live entirely in trees like many orchids. All around the world the highly diverse sundews thrive, there long tentacles covered in the gleaming droplets from which they get their name.

Pictured at right are the traps of a Southeast Asian tropical picture plant.  To see many more photos of carnivorous plants visit the Rare Plants Photos section.

The traps of a tropical pitcher plant 

Orchids

A beautiful orchid bloom

No plant group is more associated with mystery and beauty than the orchid. Orchids are found all around the world but it is those from the tropics and subtropics that are best known.  In these biomes they occupy a vast variety of habitats.  Many live their entire lives in trees within these mysterious jungles. Others grow directly from the rocky faces of cliffs. Still others live in the leaf litter and moss that runs sometimes feet deep on the jungle floor.

These are the plants that great plant explorers of yore went trudging into steamy tropical forests to find, many never to return. Today modern propogation techniques mean that we do not have to go to these sort of great lengths in our quest for beautiful orchids.  A reasonable variety are available locally and many fold more if you turn to mail order and the internet. All you need to have these beautiful plants blooming and growing in your home is the right now how.

It is certainly true that the culture of many orchids is very difficult. However, many of the ones that we see locally and fall in love with are well within our ability to cultivate successfully within the home.  If orchids are your interest please provide me with pictures of the ones that you are interested in learning about and potentially growing. The cultural needs of orchids vary greatly and so a more exact identification is important.