Ink & Penstemon

Observations on plants, gardening, & nature from the Great Basin steppe in the American West.

If you get mired in something, click on the Penstemon barbatus 'Elfin Pink' image.

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    Leaf of Paphiopedilum leuchochilum x sib.


    My entry for the Gardening Gone Wild ‘Picture This’ photo contest for January. The flowers on orchids usually get all the attention, but sometimes the leaves can be just as fantastic. The leaf featured here is only about 4 cm long. 

    The leaves of this hybrid are like the leaves of a succulent; the green base is covered by a thick, translucent water-holding layer. The surface of the leaf has a subtle, nubbly texture, echoing the sparkling topography of the layer below. I wanted to capture these things in a photo when I bought this plant at the Utah Orchid Society meeting a couple of weeks ago, but my humble point and shoot seemed incapable of achieving it. Thanks, David Perry, for showing me the way with the “macro in a mason jar” method. It doesn’t play on the light-bending qualities of the jar like many other entries, but I’m just thrilled that I was able, finally, to illuminate this complex and jewel-like leaf.

    Just be sure to click the image for the hi-res to fully appreciate it.

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