From the September 19, 1931, issue | Science News

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50 Years Ago

From the September 19, 1931, issue

By
1:12pm, September 17, 2001

ORCHIDS THAT LOOK LIKE GIRLS

Plucked from their stems and stood on the table, they are the daintiest little dancers imaginable–dancers in the latest fashionable costumes at that. Their skirts are long and concealing, tight over the slim hips and flaring widely at the bottom. The dancers stand poised, their arms thrown up and out, their heads covered with chic cloche of a rather theatrical pattern, such as one would expect show-girls to wear. One involuntarily waits for them to break their fragile repose at any moment and whirl into their dance.

But they are orchids, just orchids. They come from Panama, and the botanists at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis have been very successful in their culture. For official purposes they refer to them by their severe family name of Oncidium stipitatum, but most of the time they call them Dancing Girls, as everybody else d

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