Okay, so I'm not a botanist, or an orchid-ologist, or anything like that. Before I met Christopher I'd only had one other friend who had orchids. Otherwise, all the orchids I'd ever seen were in corsages.
So I may be totally off on the actual terminology.
But that is what, somewhere along the line, I seem to remember it being called. So that's what I call it.
But that's all beside the point.
My point is that when an orchid is getting ready to bloom, it first starts with this really innocuous looking little stalk. Sometimes it looks like just a twig. Sometimes it looks like it could be a weirdly-place root. But, eventually, it becomes a flower spike, and - if all goes well - in a few weeks (or so) there will be a flower. Hopefully, there will actually be multiple flowers at that point.
We have an orchid which is sitting in a kitchen window and has just the very slightest little nub coming out from between two leaves. While the rest of our yard is still half covered in snow - and while we're not expecting anything green or flowery for a while - we've got the promise of something blooming in the kitchen.
Yes, it's going to take weeks for it to bloom - by which time the yard might actually green up, and trees might leaf, and early flowers might break out - but for now it is the only growing thing we have. So you can bet that every morning I'll be looking at it, checking to see how much the spike has grown.
Hopefully, by the time it flowers, the whole out-of-doors will be in spike, too.