Isn't this a beauty? The Rothschild slipper orchid in its full splendour. I had been waiting patiently for it to bloom ever since I saw the bud a few weeks back. So, when I heard that it had finally bloomed, I made my way to see for myself what the fuss was all about.
I wasn't disappointed. Just looking at the colours alone was enough to take my breath away. And from side-to-side, each bloom measured about eight inches.
The Rothschild orchid is one of the most exotic plants in the world. It's natural habitat are the cool slopes of Mount Kinabalu and it is named after Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, a 19th-century connoisseur of orchids. The flower is rarely seen outside its natural habitat, so this is an especially wonderful occasion for me to view it, touch it and photograph it up real close. And here is a photo of the buds that I had snapped several weeks ago.
The Daily Telegraph tells the tale of how six plants were smuggled into England in 2005. Plant trafficking is rife and an orchid plant like this can fetch thousands of pounds. It's no kid stuff, this Rothschild orchid (scientific name: Paphiopedilum rothschildianum).