It's hard to believe that this white phalenopsis orchid, my Miss Alabaster, is as old as my son. Five years they've been with us, blooming year-round.
Miss Alabaster acquired a companion, Miss Fuchsia, about two years later; she blooms bright pinkish-purple flowers. Over the years, I've learned these ladies' likes and dislikes. They like the humidity and light in my bathroom. They do not like the openness of our living/kitchen area downstairs. They don't like to be watered too often, but they do yearn to be taken care of and loved.
Miss Fuchsia blooms bigger and fewer flowers (3 to 5 at a time), while Miss Alabaster creates numerous, cascading blossoms (5 to 7 at a time). They each do their own thing, they are independent women with a mind of their own. Unbeknownst to them, they keep a similar flowering rhythm, keeping their cycle of life in synch.
Miss Fuchsia has a keiki (Hawaiian for 'child' or 'baby'). It stems from a bud of the currently flowering stem, and prolongs the flowering phase of that particular stem. These orchids will produce two or three keikis from each stem. When the flowers wilt, the oldest leaf will yellow and dry. Then a new leaf will grow, followed by a new stem. These phalenopsis have been repotted once.
While they do not offer significant gift for the olfactory sense, they more than make up for it for the visual sense. I'm in awe of their beauty all year round. My heart still skips a beat whenever I discover a new keiki or a new stem, or anticipate how many flowers are in line for full bloom.