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The spikes last a month in full beauty sometimes two. An Oncidium which always commands attention from the public and grateful regard from the devotee is Onc. papilio. Its strange form fascinated the Duke of Devonshire, grandfather to the present, who was almost the first of our lordly amateurs, and tempted him to undertake the explorations which introduced so many fine plants to Europe.

There is no such pure gold in the scheme of the universe as it displays under fifty shapes wondrously varied. Thus Oncidium macranthum! one is continually tempted to exclaim, as one or other glory of the orchid world recurs to mind, that it is the supreme triumph of floral beauty. I have sinned thus, and I know it.

Wallace told me of an instance in his collection where eighteen months elapsed from the appearance of the spike until the opening of the first bloom. But it lasts a time proportionate. Nature forestalled the dreams of æsthetic colourists when she designed Oncidium macranthum.

Only here and there an Echites had crawled out of the wood and lay along the ground, its long shoots gay with large cream-coloured flowers and pairs of glossy leaves; and on it, and on some dead brushwood, grew a lovely little parasitic Orchis, an Oncidium, with tiny fans of leaves, and flowers like swarms of yellow butterflies.

After a single lesson, in the genus Cypripedium alone, a young lady of my household amused herself by concerting the most incredible alliances Dendrobium with Odontoglossum, Epidendrum with Oncidium, Oncidium with Odontoglossum, and so forth. It is unnecessary to tell the experienced that in every case the seed vessel swelled; that matter will be referred to presently.

Among the most beautiful is the oncidium, of a yellow hue, often seen apparently suspended in air between the stems of two trees shining in the gloom, as if its petals were of gold.

A clear, strong, golden yellow is the colour that would have been wanting in our cool houses had not the Oncidium supplied it. Shades of lemon and buff are frequent among Odontoglossums, but, in a rough, general way of speaking, they have a white ground. Masdevallias give us scarlet and orange and purple; Lycastes, green and dull yellow; Sophronitis, crimson; Mesospinidium, rose, and so forth.

He will try his luck once more perhaps this season; and then he will pot the bulbs unsold to offer them as "established" next year. Oncidium luridum follows the Odontoglots, a broad-leaved, handsome orchid, which the untrained eye might think to have no pseudo-bulb at all. This species always commands a sale, if cheap, and ten shillings is a reasonable figure for a piece of common size.

In 1883 he brought a quantity of plants and put them up at auction; nobody in particular would buy. So those reckless or simple or trusting persons who invested a few shillings in a bundle had all the fun to themselves a few months afterwards, when the beautiful Oncidium Jonesianum appeared, to confound the unbelieving.

Among them were idealizations of flowers, beautiful and marvellous as fairyland, but compared with the glory divine that dwells in a garland of Odontoglossum Alexandræ, artificial, earthy. But on the table before me now stands a wreath of Oncidium crispum which I cannot pass by.