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The Distinctive Charm of Exotic plants
One of the qualities which make plants a more distinctive, and enjoyable, gift than flowers is their longevity. Whereas a bouquet looks impressive when first delivered; its tragic flaw is that a usual combination of flowers begins to wither and lose vitality in a few days. A plant, on the other hand, will continue to impress long after it has been received, and can make a striking centrepiece for any dining table or reception room.
And the more striking the better when it comes to plant gifts. The diminutive, flower-bed stature of the geranium pales in comparison with the commanding, slim stems of an orchid. The popularity of the oriental flower proves that when it comes to making a statement, it pays to overlook the best of British and cast your eyes further afield. Why not browse Interflora for a diverse range of exotic plants in a variety of arrangements and encasements; shopping in this way also makes flower delivery a responsibility you can leave to the experts, as well as a lovely surprise for the recipient.
Despite its unerring popularity, there is such a huge range of orchid types that this plant never seems to go out of favour. Why not take a look at the long-stemmed phalaenopsis orchid, whose several blushed petals, usually combining white with lilac or pink, tumble over one another down the stem. Its height makes the plant a lovely stand-alone piece, adding grace and style to table arrangements. The phalaenopsis genus is native throughout southeast Asia, particularly numerous in Malaysia and right up to the Himalayas . Indeed, there is an island just off Taiwan , called ‘ Orchid Island ' named after the variety.
Perhaps the most well-known of this genus is the ‘moon orchid', or phalaenopsis amabilis , most densely cultivated through East Malaysia to Papuasia. This variety has a flower of three to four softly curved petals, predominantly white, sometimes with deeply coloured veins, usually in pinks and deeper purples. These plants, if kept in the home, usually last two to three months. Don't forget to do your research before you buy: check out the photos of each flower or plant, and decide what shape, size and shelf-life are right for you. Seeing these orchids in bloom everyday is sure to stick in the memory of your loved ones far longer than an ostentatious bouquet.
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