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Photo of the Week: Cattleya Orchid

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Hundreds of flowers attract visitors at this weekend's "Orchid Seduction Show."

Cattleya Orchid

Posted May 2, 2013. Photo by Amy Landers/ABQ BioPark.

In the 1800s, William Cattley stumbled upon the Cattleya orchid, named in tribute to the collector. The stunning blooms started a craze, and people flocked to tropical Central and South America to hunt for the flowers. Fashionistas even used to sport oversized Cattleya corsages to special events.

But people aren’t the only ones attracted to these beauties. Orchids seduce bees, hummingbirds and other animal pollinators with irresistible perfumes, enticing colors and highly evolved labellums that look like potential mates. Unwitting animals get pollen stuck to their bodies, and eventually, deliver the pollen to another plant.

Tomorrow through Sunday, May 3-5, the Botanic Garden and New Mexico Orchid Guild host the Orchid Seduction Show. Award-winning orchids will be on display and a variety of species will be for sale. Learn about orchids’ clever deceptions, then find out how to plant and care for these flowers before you take one home.

With more than 35,000 orchid species and 100,000 hybrids, there's something for everyone! Do you have a favorite orchid? Join the conversation on Facebook.

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