Page:Once a Week, Series 1, Volume II Dec 1859 to June 1860.pdf/167

154
[February 11, 1860.
ONCE A WEEK.

flowers the yellow is clear and bright, shading off through successive plants to a deep orange, while the brown is at times mingled with red; both colours are rich and glowing. The petals which represent the wings are brown barred with yellow, while the labellum is yellow encircled with brown. The sepals, which substitute the antennae of the insect, are four or five inches long—one on the plant already named measured 4${\displaystyle {\frac {3}{4}}}$ inches in length. The petals or wings of the same flower being three inches in length, made the flower nearly six inches across. The striking and wonderful form of this flower, the brilliancy of its colours, the position of each flower, at the end of a long leafless neutral-tinted elastic wirelike stem, when seen moving, we might almost say fluttering, like an insect with every current of air, remote and apparently unconnected with any root or bulb, it requires no very vigorous exercise of the imagination to believe it to be, not a flower, but a gaily coloured butterfly flitting among surrounding leaves and flowers. The plant, comprising bulbs, leaves, stalks, and flowers, exhibiting its habit of growth, was copied from a living specimen. The larger flower at the bottom shows more distinctively the several parts of this wonderful flower, which is of easy culture, and still remains a general favourite. E. W.