We get a lot of calls and emails from new and old customers describing how they have questions about or would like one of our 'Volcano Queens'. This is great for brand recognition but also makes our job a little harder to decipher what plant they're talking about. Let me explain.
You see, my father-in-law wanted to brand all his original hybrids with the variety name that included Volcano, our location on the Big Island. So, whenever he creates a new hybrid that then gets cloned, he will attach some version of Volcano to the end of the name in quotations. His prized and premium clones get the variety name 'Volcano Queen'. Others will be named 'Volcano Princess', 'Volcano Sunshine, 'Volcano Beauty', etc. The words written before 'Volcano Queen' on the tag is really the plants name. Let's break it down.
The image above shows samples of our name tags. You might wonder why the name tags starts off with Rlc. or C. For Cattleyas, this is the abbreviations for the plant genus. Rlc. is an abbreviation for Rhyncholaeliocattleya and C. is the abbreviation for Cattleya. All orchid plant name tags usually start off with an abbreviation for its genus. The Royal Horticulture Society has a list of all orchid genera abbreviations for 2017. Check is out here.
The second part after the genus abbreviation and any words in quotations are the plants actual name. This is where it gets interesting because the Royal Horticulture Society allows us to name our original orchids. Over the years, we have also created a legacy program, where some of our lucky customers have chosen to honor a loved one, their business, etc by purchasing the naming rights to one of our original creations. My father-in-law back in the 1990's had the pleasure of meeting Kristy Yamaguchi (olympic champion figure skater) when she visited our store. In her honor, he named an orchid after her Rlc. Kristy Yamaguchi '#1' and her foundation Rlc. Always Dream 'Volcano Queen'. Watch the video for more information on our legacy program or see products online.
The third part in the quotations is for the grower to attach their mark to the plant in someway. For us, it's using a version of Volcano so that anyone who purchases our plant, retail or through the wholesale market, knows that the plant originated right here in Volcano.
Lastly, if there is anything noted after the name, it will usually look like FCC/AOS, AM/AOS, HCC/AOS, etc. These are indicators that this particular plant was given an award. FCC is a First Class Certificate awarded by the American Orchid Society. AM is Award of Merit and HCC is Highly Commended Certificate. See the list of awards given by the American Orchid Society here.
So, now you know how to read an orchid plant tag. The next time you are out there looking for an orchid created in Hawaii, look for the 'Volcano Queen' but remember, when you call us to inquire, give us the name right after the genus abbreviation so we can easily find it among our 1,000 'Volcano Queens'.