Egret Flower Information – How To Grow An Egret Flower

Egret Flower Information – How To Grow An Egret Flower

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

What is an egret flower? Also known as white egret flower, crane orchid or fringed orchid, the egret flower (Habanaria radiata) produces strappy, deep green leaves and beautiful flowers that closely resemble pure white birds in flight. Read on to learn more about this exotic plant.

Egret Flower Information

Native to Asia, egret flower is a type of terrestrial orchid that grows from fleshy, pea-sized tubers. It grows primarily in grassy wetlands, shady glades, or bogs. Egret flower is endangered in its natural habitat, probably due to urbanization, habitat destruction, and over collecting.

Egret flower is suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, although with proper care and ample mulch, it may tolerate more northern climes. Alternatively, you can grow egret flower in pots and bring it indoors when frosty temperatures approach in autumn.

How to Grow an Egret Flower

Growing egret flowers is relatively simple because the plant multiplies generously. A few bulbs can soon become a beautiful colony of plants.

Outdoors, plant bulbs in spring, pointy sides up, just below the surface of the soil. Egret flower performs best in well-drained soil and either full sunlight or partial shade is fine.

Growing egret flowers in pots is just as easy. Most importantly, use a potting mix formulated for orchids, or a well-drained media such as regular potting mix combined with sand and/or perlite.

Egret Flower Care

Water newly planted bulbs lightly at first, providing enough water to keep the soil slightly moist. Increase the amount of water when the plant is established, keeping the soil continually moist but never waterlogged.

Fertilize egret flowers every other week during flowering, using a very dilute (10 to 20 percent) liquid fertilizer.

Spray aphids or other small pests with insecticidal soap spray or neem oil.

Continue watering regularly until the plant stops blooming, then decrease gradually as temperatures drop in fall. The plant will go dormant when nighttime temperatures reach about 60 F. (15 C.).

Dig the bulbs for storing if you live in a cold winter climate. Allow the bulbs to dry, then store them in damp perlite or vermiculite. Place the bags in a cool, non-freezing room and dampen them about once every month to keep them from becoming bone dry until replanting in spring.

Check the bulbs regularly and toss out any soft or dark bulbs. Healthy bulbs are firm and pale brown or tan.

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Top 10 Prettiest Flowers

We've long associated flowers with love, innocence, charity, virtue and death, but above all, they're synonymous with beauty. Flowers stand out and demand our attention. For centuries, their delicate shape, vibrant hues and alluring fragrances have served as one of our primary examples of what is attractive.

But which flowers are the prettiest? The answer is subjective, of course, but that isn't going to stop anyone from naming his or her favorites!

We decided to trim down the list of the world's most beautiful flowers to the absolute essentials. There are some classic favorites, a few unique beauties and one or two surprises.

Staring at the royal bloom on the next page has been compared to looking directly at the sun.

King Protea flowers are unique -- even bizarre -- but they're also undeniably beautiful. The rare, oversized bulb appears as a brightly colored, petaled orb, but once the bloom opens, it resembles a shining star or an elaborate crown.

The King Protea is so striking, in fact, that it stands out in any arrangement, regardless of the accompanying flowers. Its colors range from creamy white to dark red, being generally lighter at the base and darkening steadily toward the petals' tips. Though the evergreen shrub originated in South Africa (where the blooms hold the honor of being the country's national flower), it's now grown all over the world. Make a special request far in advance if you want to feature King Protea at a dinner party -- it's not readily available in many flower shops.

9: Rocky Mountain Columbine

The delicate blue hue of the Rocky Mountain Columbine, also known as the Colorado Columbine, makes it truly one of the most beautiful blooms in existence. It doesn't have a lot of flash like the King Protea or elegant lines like the calla lily, but chances are if you imagine a simple, beautiful flower, something very close to the Rocky Mountain Columbine will come to mind. With its long, thin stem and lavender and white petals, the flower radiates natural, uncomplicated beauty -- and it's all the more remarkable for it!

The Rocky Mountain Columbine's scientific name is Columbine Aquilegia Caerulea. The Latin word aquila means "eagle," and in the case of the Rocky Mountain Columbine, it refers to the claw-like spurs at the flower's base.

Sunflowers make people happy, and with good reason. These large, bright blooms are so cheerful, they simply can't be ignored, and a single flower has the power to light up whatever space it's in, be it an old kitchen or an abandoned field.

Sunflowers have been cultivated in the Americas for more than 4,000 years, though the flower quickly spread in Europe after it was imported by colonists in the 16th century. The large, bright flower now enjoys worldwide popularity and is recognized as symbol of happiness across the globe.

Cherry blossoms are synonymous with Japan, though the tree can now be found in many parts of the world, including the United States and Canada. Regardless of their location, the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms can't be understated. The flowers bloom by the thousands, transforming the trees into explosions of soft hues, with white and pink blooms burgeoning off every branch.

However, the beauty is fleeting cherry blossoms typically survive for just a week. During that week, the entire world stops to notice the flower with festivals taking place to celebrate the cherry blossom everywhere from Tokyo to Washington, D.C.

Hanami is the ancient Japanese practice of flower viewing. Hanami is so popular in certain areas that people have to claim (and often wait by) their spots before sunup just to have a place to view the flowers in the afternoon or evening.

Pink whirls, or Osteospermum, are extraordinarily beautiful flowers that resemble pink pinwheels from an alien planet. The blooms have a striking blue and yellow center that's surrounded by purple and pink petals that are wide around the base, then turn tubular before opening back up at the tip in a spoon- or cup-like shape.

These unusual blooms are a form of African daisy, but don't expect to find them at your local florist, as their strange beauty isn't yet appreciated by the masses (at least on this planet).

Lily of the valley is a favorite bloom of brides. These dainty white bells have long been associated with innocence and feminine beauty. Their fragrance is strong and alluring with a very sweet odor, making these flowers the most appealing members of the lily family.

Just be sure to keep lily of the valley away from little fingers and paws -- the elegant blooms are also quite dangerous. All parts of the plant, from stem to seed, are poisonous.

Lilies of the valley are featured in most British royal weddings, and everyone from Queen Mary in 1893 to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 has included the flower in their bouquets.

All varieties of orchids are beautiful, but the wildcat orchid has the distinction of being both attractive and really, really groovy.

Yes, from a distance, the flower looks like a regular orchid in a tie-dye T-shirt. But up close, the molted-burgundy-on-bright-yellow bloom appears hypnotic and striking, like the pattern on an as-yet-undiscovered big cat. It's one of the most unusual colorings in the orchid family (of which there are more than 20,000 species), and this particular variation is a hybrid of mixed orchid parentage. Your local florist may not have a dozen wildcat blooms ready to go, but it's possible to find the flower online.

Calla lilies are arguably the most elegant of all blooms. Like a swan's neck, the thick stem of the calla lily hoists up the graceful flower's head, which consists of a single, white oblong-shaped petal that resembles a basin. The plant's leaves are large, waxy and arrow-shaped, and they can grow to nearly 2 feet below the flower.

The calla lily is indigenous to South Africa, where it's considered little more than a weed. Though the plant grows as a perennial in the tropical climate and ample humidity of its native land, it's considered an annual in much of the United States because of the lily's inability to withstand chilly winters.

Calla lilies are poisonous to dogs and cats. Dogs may develop mild to moderate gastroenteritis (a non-life-threatening stomach virus), but for cats, ingesting calla lilies can be fatal, as the plant causes an advanced from of kidney disease that kills within a matter of days.

The white egret orchid is one of the world's most unique flowers and only grows indigenously in the rice fields of Japan. The flower's petals divide and split off to the side, much like the wings of a bird. Even more amazingly, the tips of the petal-wings are fringed, giving the flower an uncanny resemblance to feathers. The bloom widens where the petals split, forming the shape of a head. To look at the white egret orchid, you'd be convinced of the unmistakable resemblance to a soaring bird.

As you can imagine, these beautiful, rare blooms are expensive. And gardeners be warned: They're not for beginning horticulturalists. Because its indigenous habitat is frequently flooded, the white egret orchid requires frequent, heavy watering and constant temperature monitoring. For those with the funds and the patience, these little blooms provide a one-of-a kind floral experience.

Autumn Interest

By the middle of August, when many flowers are past their prime, one of the most anticipated plants of late summer and early fall is just getting started. The spiky orange blossoms of these dahlias are classified as cactus dahlias, and they're some of the best flower in the genus to grow for beginners. The unusual form of this class means less weight to bear on stems, which means little need for staking, and no disappointing breakage after storms. For similarly striking orange blooms, try growing 'Gatsby,' 'Andries Orange,' or 'Mel's Orange Marmalade.' If you seek giant blooms, be sure to practice disbudding, the technique of removing smaller side blooms in order to direct all energy into one large flower.

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