Orchids seem to transcend everything. Yes, even politics. I was reading a blog post awhile ago about the Michelle Obama orchid and was fascinated by the story. I even found out that there are now four orchids named after the last first ladies of the United States.
Apparently Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush all have their orchids. Year 2008, the American Orchid Society presented the last three First Ladies of the United States with their individual orchids.
And the most recent first lady, Michelle Obama received hers even before her husband was elected president. She got hers while she was still campaigning for her husband’s candidacy. That was August 2009 in Virginia. At that time Obama was the favorite among all the candidates running for the presidency, so the American Orchid Society took a chance, and they succeeded on their feat to name yet another orchid after a first lady.
The orchids named after the three previous first ladies and Michelle Obama are all Cattleya hybrids. The one given to the current first lady is the Lc Michelle Obama (C trianaei x Lc Mini Purple), which is pinkish purple in color.
There was even a funny story behind the presentation of the orchid to Mrs. Obama. Apparently, the secret service didn’t permit the presenters from the American Orchid Society to give the whole plant to her because of security issues. They had to negotiate so they could even include the flower into the official photo as seen on the blog.
In the end they were allowed to include two flowers taken from the arrangement they were supposed to give the first lady. Nevertheless she accepted the flower gracefully. In fact they said that she even gave the presenter a hug because she was so delighted with the honor of having an orchid named after her.
What do you think of the story behind these first lady orchids? Leave us a comment below.
Inspired by these Cattleya hybrids? Here are some little known tips for growing Cattleya orchids.