A lovely welcome to summer, the Westerlay Orchid Launches today at Kroger supermarkets nationwide. The popular Bramble Orchid by Westerlay Orchids is just one of the latest varieties from this popular brand and, as such, is only available exclusively at Kroger outlets. However, the advent of this exotic plant has brought with it some wonderful tips for planting orchids that may prove to be useful to those not familiar with this hard-to-manage plant.
This attractive plant features dark green leaves with an array of tiny red blooms. It is a member of the mint family, Origanum majorana, and as such features a typical range of colors seen in most species native to southern Europe. But the most commonly seen variety is a vividly red form that is a common crop in gardens throughout England. That range changes slightly each year as plants molt, but the true royal orchid form commands a price not altogether common among consumers.
As a result, it is not uncommon for growers to try to sell their most fertile plants at rock-bottom prices, knowing that many enthusiasts will bypass their efforts and move on to greener pastures. But by establishing a presence on the internet and aggressively marketing these exotic plants, experienced growers can establish a foothold in the interiorscape spotlight. And if the plant can be found in beautiful British gardens, then the Bromble Orchid can easily steal the show, drawing comparisons to Santa Claus as well as David Korstad and John Cleese.
One of the most important aspects of this successful marketing campaign is the identification of the plant with its eventual habitat. According to David Korstad, “We decided to name the plant after John Paul Jones, an American expatriate who worked in Great Britain and who became a botanist while there. The British botanists mistook his nickname, which was St. Paul to St. Paul’s flower.” This identification marks the first step toward establishing a connection between the plant and its home state. Once this has been made, both the interior plantscape industry and the global interior plantscape industry can benefit from increased knowledge and appreciation for this rarest of flowers.
It is not just John Paul Jones that deserves credit for the Bramble Orchid. John Paul Jones was a key figure in the development of the American nursery trade, working diligently to promote the planting of exotic species. According to David Korstad, “John Paul Jones was responsible for the naming of over eighty exotic species. Many of them are still not seen today in their natural habitats.” This achievement is credited to John Paul Jones, an American expatriate who worked in Great Britain and later in America.
The global recognition of the Bramble Orchid is owed not only to the hard work of John Paul Jones but also to the research and dedication of David Korstad. “I worked with John Paul Jones as an employee in the British nursery business for eighteen years, after I had become a professional botanist in England,” says David Korstad. “After leaving the business I traveled all over Europe, visiting various gardens and orchids. A common topic of discussion was the vignettes, or flower heads, of the various plants.”
When he returned to the United States he began a teaching career at what was then the Academy of Natural History in New York. “I began teaching a course on the vignettes and their importance to the science of flora and fauna,” says David Korstad. “I continued to do research on this subject for the rest of my life.” He earned a master’s degree in English at the University of Minnesota, and a PhD from the University of London in botany. Today he is an active member of the Santa Clara, or cantata society. “I’m very happy and proud that I have played a role, along with others, in planting the last species of this rare plant,” he says.
There are many more species of orchid that are threatened or currently endangered. It is important that they are not planted to extinction. The Bramble Orchid has played a major role in the protection and recovery of many such species. They should be protected as well.