Specimen plants are so named because they are worthy of special recognition or a place of honor in order to be better seen. The word “specimen” comes from the Latin root “spec-” which means “see” or “look.” “Spec-” gives us other common words like “spectacles” (the better to see you with, my dear) and “spectacular” (looking great, which describes a lot of orchids, in my opinion). While many of us choose to buy smaller plants in order to have a greater variety, larger plants do provide some benefits.
- First, big plants have more leaves and roots which allow the plant to grow faster than single or double growths. Think of it as strength in numbers.
- Second, more growths offer more opportunities for flower spikes. Large plants can put on longer lasting displays when spikes mature at different times, thereby extending your blooming season.
- Third is the most obvious: a bigger plant offers more visual input–the shape, size, color, texture, or whatever attracted you to that variety will be bigger and better in a specimen plant.
I pulled out some nice Neos this afternoon that can stand alone and still not break the bank. So pick up your specs and check out these spectacular specimens!