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Winay winay! Epidendrum radicans (hybrid) for the Queen's Birthday, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago, Illinois, USA | by Rana Pipiens
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Winay winay! Epidendrum radicans (hybrid) for the Queen's Birthday, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago, Illinois, USA

"Forever young" - winay winay - is what the speakers of Quechua in Peru call this wonderfully orange orchid, this Epidendrum radicans. That name is fitting for April 30 in The Netherlands; on that day annually the official birthday of the Queen is celebrated. Her name? Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of the Netherlands, of Orange-Nassau,and of Lippe-Biesterfeld etc., etc., etc. The Orange refers to the Principality of Orange in southern France from whence William I the Silent - the founder of the royal house and pater patriae in the sixteenth century - had inherited the title. In a manner of speaking all the 'Oranges' of today are the result of a long process of hybridisation...

In fact, the Queen was born on January 31, 1938 but her birthday is celebrated in the Spring each year. Orange dominates the street and there are parades; everyone has a holiday, and a good time is had by all.

I took this photo in the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago, Illinois. It may look like it's upside down, but I can assure you that this is the way this particular cluster of orchids was positioned. Anyway, what's up or down in the jungles where these orchids thrive in lush tree vegetation?...

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Taken on April 29, 2010