The orchid express

Last weekend I was in Locarno for the LocarnOrchidea orchid show.

My first visit to the Alps came on Friday afternoon with the 4 hr train journey from Basel to Locarno, via Luzcern.


Above: The orchid express at LocarnOrchidea and the view from a non-'panoramic' seat on a Swiss train.

With glimpses of Lake Luzcern and mountain scenery, I gave up on trying to get any work done except when in tunnels...


Within a few minutes of arriving at the Show, Rudolf Jenny had given me a tour of the exhibition to show me the three species from the Eulophiinae that had made it into the displays: Eulophia pulchra at Bert Klein's display for the Munich Botanical Garden, E. euglossa at Schronenen Orchidarium (Germany), and an Oeceoclades hybrid at Luzerner Garten (Switzerland).


Above left & centre: Eulophia pulchra at Munich BG's display. Right: Eulophia euglossa (green inflorescence to rear), with Cymbidium cousins in the foreground in the Schronen Orchidarium display.


Above: Sledges, snow shoes, skis and Habenaria medusa...

Among the awards picked up by the Swiss Orchid Foundation and the University of Basel Botanical BG, were 'Best of the show' award for Inayat's Dendrochilum latifolium, and a 'Distinction' for the presentation by Lucienne and Armando on the World Orchid Iconography database.


Above: Inayat's stand for the University of Basel Botanical Garden.


Above: The Swiss Orchid Foundation stand, and cafe.

At the SOF stand, e-monocot got a mention on Lucienne's poster "World Orchid Iconography und emonocot".

We sold several copies of the current issue of the SOF's journal Renziana (a monograph of Paphiopedilum with several articles by Phil Cribb), dished out flyers for the forthcoming issue on Phalaenopsis, and ended up acting as a general port of call for botanical enquiries while serving coffee and chocolates to flagging orchid shoppers from our corner cafe.

Above: Coffee break with Cypripedium calceolus UHT.

After all this hard work, some fresh air and a good dinner was called for. In nearby Ascona we found a Grotto, typical of the region of Tocino, serving one menu, that started with bread and a wooden board of cured sausages. Several courses later, having changed tables and rooms half way through, and with new neighbours, we reached the cheese course, followed by jam tart (cut into squares from its tin as it toured the room), and nut liqueur- making very happy botanists.


Clockwise from top left: Ascona on Lake Locarno; jam tart and cheese courses at the Grotto.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith