From the BlogSubscribe Now

Travel Photo Thursday: Jamaican Orchids

I don’t have a green thumb but I love flowers, especially orchids. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to love me. Each time I buy one, I think it will be different, it will last more than a few months.  Each time, I’ve been wrong.

Now that I’m in Jamaica, where orchids are plenty and grow wild, I’m tempted but I’m gun shy. So for now, I’m satisfied to take photos of the ones I see.

Jamaican orchid

Jamaican orchid

Over 30,000 species of orchids can be found worldwide. Approximately 230 are found in Jamaica. Of that number, about 70 are endemic to the island.

The main threat to Jamaican orchids is from the destruction of their habitats caused by land clearing for housing, hotel and agricultural development, bauxite and/or limestone mining, harvesting of forest products for timber, fuel wood, fish pots, yam sticks and fence posts.

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

The second greatest threat to the species is believed to be collection by orchid enthusiasts for local and international trade. The government has enacted legislation to protect their habitats and regulate the orchid trade. Sanctuaries have also been established to relocate orchids that are found in areas under threat.

These orchids are from the gardens of friends and family.

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

This one is known locally as Poor Man’s Orchid. It sure looks like it could be.

Poor Man's Orchid

Poor Man's Orchid

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website!


  1. Great photos, I love orchids 🙂
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day: Eri Itoh – If You Are My LoveMy Profile

  2. Thanks, Muza-chan!

  3. What a beautiful selection of orchid photos. I too love them and although I’ll get a plant to bloom for a long time I can never get them to bloom again. It is utter joy when I discover a wild orchid growing in the woods.
    Leigh recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: What Cold Looks Like in CalgaryMy Profile

  4. Great pics…What incredible flowers…
    The World of Deej recently posted..A Misadventure at the Las Vegas Sport BookMy Profile

  5. Beautiful shots! I love how colorful orchids are. 🙂
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..Greetings from Española Way, Miami BeachMy Profile

  6. Thanks, Leigh. Orchids are definitely beautiful and fragile but yet they grow wild.
    I asked a grower about that once. She told me she has different species so she always has one blooming.

  7. Thanks, Deej. Orchids are incredibly beautiful.

  8. Thanks, Michael. Yes, they definitely are.

  9. What a beautiful set of pictures! I love orchids too but can never grow them. So, I settle for going to a favorite supermarket that sells them and admire and smell their fragrance there.
    Mary recently posted..Visiting Old Mission Santa BarbaraMy Profile

  10. Vera Marie Badertscher

    So many gorgeous shades of violet and purple–and then that brilliant yellow! Wow! The best greenhouse orchids I’ve seen were at the Longmont Gardens in Pennsylvania. (Which reminds me that I should do a flower photo post!)
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: A Room With a ViewMy Profile

  11. totsymae1011

    Must be nice to be in a place where the flowers survive the climate. I’ve been cold all day, so looking at your post makes me feel a little of summer. You miss New York?

    totsymae1011 recently posted..I’ve Got My Oprah and So Do YouMy Profile

  12. Surrounded by flowers, fruit trees and greenery, it’s hard for me to think of snow. When I spoke with family and friends this week, everyone was complaining about how cold they were. No, I don’t miss New York though I had thought I would have.

  13. The colors are quite vibrant. I didn’t realize how many different violets and purples I had until I created the post. Glad to find the yellow one and be able to break up the color.

  14. Thanks, Mary. I’m with you, I can’t grow them either.
    They’re so delicate, it’s good that you can admire them in the supermarket.

  15. I love orchards, but apparently they can get very pricy D:
    Not sure if you do this already, but we use to have like 4-5 pots of orchards, and my mom would put egg shells in the pot for the orchard to get more nutrients. =)
    Annie – FootTracker recently posted..Taiwan (10) Wacky SouveniorsMy Profile

  16. Beautiful orchid photos! You caught the delicacy and strength of those wonderful plants. Even if the poor man’s orchid isn’t an orchid, it fits right in with the others. Jamaica–“land of wood and water” and breathtaking beauty.

  17. I’m not very good at keeping flowers alive. I’m great at growing vegetables in a garden, though!
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Quirky Food: Cheesie’s in ChicagoMy Profile

  18. Hahaha, that’s a good skill to have!

  19. Thanks, Donna. Orchids, even the poor man’s, are definitely beautiful. Jamaica, land of wood and water and flowers!!

  20. They are. The best thing to do if you love orchids is to join an orchid society or go to shows. There you can find growers who will sell for much less than if you bought from a florist.
    Yup, we do that here too. I’ve also seen them growing from coconut husks, probably for the same reason.

  21. They are beautiful.

    I’m the same with coriander – I think it’s called cilantro over there.

    I said to my husband the other day “do not let me buy any more pots of coriander, the last lot is turning up its heels”. I love coriander but I just can’t grow it.

    I haven’t tried orchids though!
    Narelle recently posted..full of wonder and sensory perceptionMy Profile

  22. totsymae1011

    Such a contrast, these two places. I know you must be relieved to be away from the constant busyness of the city. I have an artist friend from Jamaica, who’s still in Atlanta, building his home to retire back in Jamaica. The economy has delayed some of the progress but sounds like it’s going to be an extraordinary home to live in, with ALL the fixings.
    totsymae1011 recently posted..The Sniff TestMy Profile

  23. Only 4 hours away and a world apart. Sometimes, like now, all I hear is dogs barking. Other times, birds or insects.
    My ex has an artist friend who lives in Atl. I was going to ask the name of your friend but this is too public for that. A lot of people start building or buy before they retire so that when they’re ready everything’s set up; all they have to do is move in.

  24. They sure are.
    Try growing another herb and see if you get the same results. I’ve heard my cousin, who’s got such a green thumb, complain that one particular plant never thrives with her. I concluded from that that some plants just don’t do well with some people.
    If you’re good with other plants, try an orchid. I don’t know about where you are but before you do, talk to a grower — if you have flower shows, there should be some there — and they’ll tell you what to do.

  25. Orchids really are beautiful, aren’t they? I remember seeing heaps of stunning ones in Madeira, must be just the right climate out there in the Atlantic. I’m like you, though. Love gardens and flowers, but not much of a gardener.
    Sophie recently posted..A to Z of Sophie’s WorldMy Profile

  26. They sure are, Sophie. Yes, Madeira would be perfect for them.
    I’m trying to be better with flowers so I can graduate to an orchid or two one of these days.

  27. These pictures and the colorful orchids are exquisite. 🙂
    ElizOF recently posted..Happy Chinese New Year: Ten Blessings & Ten Things To Know…My Profile

  28. Thanks, Elizabeth. The orchids are definitely an exquisite prize possession

  29. OMG, I took one look at the Jamaican orchid and sighed! How I miss the tropics! These shots remind me of home! So beautiful! 🙂

  30. That means you’re due a visit home, Bella. Glad you liked them.

  31. My English Thoughts says:

    This orchids are so beautiful. I really love the fushia’s one, in the middle of the post, so wonderful colour and shape !!

  32. Andrew Graeme Gould

    Lovely photos, Marcia! (Don’t take it personally… Sadly, plants tend to die at our place, too.)
    Andrew Graeme Gould recently posted..Santiago, San Francisco, Sydney, Alice Springs: People and artMy Profile

  33. Thanks, Andrew. Good to know others have the same issue.

  34. Thanks, Isabelle. That one’s my favorite too.

  35. What a shame that many of the orchids you have photographed are not actually endemic to Jamaica, but Asian…

  36. Well, David, these might be Asian but they also grow in Jamaica so that makes them Jamaica, in my book.

  37. Paul Phillips says:

    I live in Phuket, Thailand and as your probably aware, its the home of Orchids, they are everywhere, it a beautiful sight!
    Paul Phillips recently posted..Mountain Ranges in ChinaMy Profile

  38. My friends and I are planning to visit Thailand next year. Will keep that in mind, Paul.

  39. Minisoft Hotel says:

    Beautiful flowers, I wonder if they can grow in a very tropical climate.
    Minisoft Hotel recently posted..Hotel Software Finest HallmarkMy Profile

  40. Yes, I’m sure they can. We’re in the tropics here.

  41. nike2012sneakers says:

    I live in Phuket, Thailand and as your probably aware, its the home of Orchids, they are everywhere, it a beautiful sight!

  42. Great pix, I love having orchids. Beautiful flowers, I wish I could grow that kind of orchids.

  43. Phuket must be absolutely gorgeous! Hope I get to see it one of these days.

  44. Thank you. They’re really beautiful but some require a lot of attention.

  45. openskydeals

    The third photo looks like a little angel in the orchid. very nice photos. Just being able to see these fragile and exotic flowers is reason enough to travel.

  46. Oh, I so agree! Orchids are so beautiful, so fragile and definitely exotic.

  47. These are lovely, but Orchids are not that hard to care for and propagate. there are plenty of sources on the internet to learn how to care for them. I\’m sorry that your version of CommentLuv did not pick up my link. My website is one of those that try to simplify the process.
    stan recently posted..Orchid Care – Phaleanopsis OrchidsMy Profile

  48. For you, it might not be hard to care for but for me – maybe because I’m nervous I’ll kill them ’cause I think they’re fragile – they’re hard.
    Thanks for the tip about orchids in stores and MiracleGrow.

  49. Wow! Great collections and your posted article gives me some differing opinion and it definitely gave me some new and creative ideas. Flowers are best to gift someone. Send flowers to India

  50. Thank you and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  51. In our country, there are the same flowers, they are so beautiful!
    Jack recently posted..Cat Ba Tourism Year 2013 launchedMy Profile

  52. Yes, they are, Jack. I bet you have some lovely varieties as well.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  53. WOW . Awesome photos of Orchid.
    I really like it.
    Thanks for the posting.
    Matthew recently posted..Purchasing Herbal Potpourri Wholesale OnlineMy Profile