Kathryn Fleming
First Year

Estrous Orchid: A Botanical Investigation

Victorian Plant hunters prized new species of Orchids and traveled the globe in pursuit of their beauty. Since the introduction of tropical species in the 19th century, over 100,000 unique Orchid hybrids and cultivars have been created. In 2005 18 million potted orchids were sold at wholesale.
Recently, a new flowering plant belonging to the Orchidaceae family has been discovered in the highlands of Northern Peru. Long a part of local folklore and known to natives as 'The Bleeding Flower', its petals change coloration throughout its 28 day bloom cycle in sympathy to hormonal changes of women in close proximity. It is believed to have been used a means of encouraging genetic variety through visually displaying the fertility status of groups of women living in remote villages. Although many plants inter-communicate though pheramonal messages, this is believed to be the first species sensitive to human pheromones. It is currently under review by the The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants or U.P.O.V., the species may become available commercially in the near future.