It's Phalaenopsis "Brother Coral" x "Everspring Pearl." And guess what? It's fragrant!! I do like it! Worth the wait!
With orchid crosses like this, people hand-pollinate the flowers with a brush, and when the dustlike seeds form and ripen in the pod, they scatter them on agar (a seaweed derived nutrient medium gel) in a closed flask. When the seeds germinate, they're almost microscopic. The seedlings are grown on in the flask until they're big enough to transplant. You don't really know for sure what you'll get, since some seedlings will have more properties of one parent than the other. Buying seedlings is a bit of a crapshoot, but I like that kind of gamble.
Iwangara 'Appleblossom" is a hybrid cross of Brassaevola, Cattleya, Diacrium (Caularthron) and Laelia orchids. Yes. A quadrigeneric hybrid. This is part of what is so dang cool about orchids. They are man-made, and yet manage to be so beautiful through it all. Someone decides he (or she) likes the growth habit of one, the fragrance of another, the color of another, the form of another, let's say, and crosses the plants and comes up with something unknown in nature, something virtually unnameable. So then they have to come up with a new genus name for this creation. Hence the bizarre genus Iwangara. It has a terrific growth habit, with nice fat pseudobulbs and springy arching paired leaves. And, like most of my others, it's wildly fragrant. Stinks up the room, it does. Ahhhh. In the picture below, you get a hint of that growth habit. Big plant! Has its own pedestal.
For pure bizarreness, it's hard to beat the Paphiopedalums, or slipper orchids. This is Paph. Emerald "Buint Ruby" x Paph. superbens "King." They're the most fun to photograph, with light coming through their petals.
Psychopsis Mendenhall "Hildos."
Since I wrote this post, I found that the bud had swelled and enlarged until it looked like an elf's shoe. Yesterday, I photographed it, but I was troubled by its color--a bit yellow. This morning, I looked closely at the bud again, and touched it oh so gently with a fingertip, whereupon it promptly fell off. Well, isn't that special. You wait since February and watch this thing grow to three feet and you know it only has one flower at a time but that one's a lollapalooza, and the very first bud falls off before it opens. However...there is another bud right beneath the stump of the first one, and I choose to interpret this inauspicious event as the plant trying not to bloom while I'm off giving a talk somewhere. Ahem.
Can I get an ARRRGHHH from the choir? It was my personal Belmont Stakes moment.