Bauhinia × blakeana (aka Hongkong Orchid Tree) grows along the banks of the Rio Grande River at the USA/Mexico border just south of here.

The heavenly-scented blossoms are enjoying a full bloom right now and were pleasant greeters as we crossed the Rio Grande Bridge into Mexico two days ago.

As I slipped into the Google rabbit hole this morning, I found two books that I plan to read: “The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean and “Orchid Fever” by Eric Hansen.

I learned that there are about 30,000 orchids in the world. Over 1,200 of them can be found in Mexico. Of these, about 250 are found only in Mexico.

Colombia has the most orchids in the world with more than 4,000 different species. Orchids grow on every continent except Antarctica.

I could go on and on with what I discovered just this morning, but I’m sure you’ll do your own research if this unique and much-coveted flower interests you.

By the way, the one I told you about in this post Grandma Loved Orchids didn’t survive.

I wonder if I might be developing orchid fever.

Photo Note: Because there were no blossoms close enough and I didn’t have my mobile tele lens with me, I shot the original photo while leaning over the thick concrete guardrail of the Rio Grande bridge. For my feature photo, I did a severe crop to showcase a single blossom. Sometimes a severe crop results in a rather blurry photo, but this one seemed to work ok. I then took the photo into Snapseed to correct over exposure, and colour. I added a bit of a vignette for drama.

“Many collectors died in process of searching for new species, and despite persistent reports that the men died from drowning, gunshot and knife wounds, snakebite, trampling by cattle, or blows in the head with blunt instruments, it is generally accepted that in each case the primary cause of death was orchid fever.”

Eric Hansen, Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy