Recent news reports of First Lady Melania Trump’s first public appearance after she took weeks off to recover from her kidney operation. But she’s bounced back to health and we believe we know what sped up the FLOTUS’ healing process – a rare orchid hybrid named in her honor nonetheless.
Rlc Melania Trump Orchid
The Rhyncholaeliocattleya Melania Trump, or Rlc Melania Trump for short, is an eye-catching Cattleya orchid hybrid in intense fuchsia pink. Dubbed the first of its kind, the rare orchid is a cross between popular orchid varieties, Cattleya Bold Swan and Rhyncholaeliocattleya Chia Lin. Rlc Melania Trump orchids will bloom in several striking colors, including apricot, blush, and tangerine.
“Cattleyas are the most glamorous of all [orchids]. This variety was a fashion statement from the 1920s to 1960s. They’re the most visually appealing, and they require significant care,” said Arthur Chadwick, president of Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc., the orchid company that bred Rlc Melania Trump to Bloomberg.
In May, Rlc Melania Trump orchid plant wowed the American Orchid Society and was given one of the organization’s highly coveted award, the Highly Commended Certificate or HCC.
First Lady Orchids
Former First Lady Laura Bush discusses cattleya orchids with the grower who named a hybrid after her. Blooming plants provided by members of the Greater North Texas Orchid Society.#chadwickorchids #laurabush pic.twitter.com/yymCmwX06F— Chadwick Orchids (@ChadwickOrchid) February 16, 2018
The beautiful First Lady Orchids tradition was originally started by the now-defunct Joseph Manda Orchid Co.’s Blc Mrs. Herbert Hoover as early as 1929. It was later continued by Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc. in the 1980s as inspired by the late Barbara Bush.
Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc. has a reputation for breeding lovely Cattleya orchids and christening their hybrids after popular personalities. He has created and personally met four U.S. First Ladies, such as:
- Barbara Bush – Blc Barbara Bush (Lc Josephine Robinson x Blc Apparition)
- Laura Bush – Blc Laura Bush (Good News x C walkeriana)
- Hilary Clinton – Blc Hillary Rodham Clinton, has has a long lineage of six generations and nine different cattleya species, mainly C. dowiana, C. warscewiczii, and C. mossiae.
- Michelle Obama – Lc Michelle Obama orchid (Mini Purple x C trianaei)
The flower must be an original cross between other orchids and must be bred from seeds. Each orchid name must be submitted and pass the strict nomenclature standards of the Royal Horticultural Society. In total, this process can take as long as seven years.
The Rlc Melania Trump will be given as a gift to the United States Botanic Garden, where other FLOTUS orchids are on permanent display. Unfortunately, you can’t buy any of the First Lady orchids as they’re not for sale. On the other hand, Chadwick & Son can apparently create a custom orchid and name if after you for $1,500.
Do you think it’s worth the hefty tag price? Let us know in the comments below.