About the Show

Each year, this eagerly anticipated exhibition displays thousands of orchids in the country’s largest curated show featuring orchids.  In 2013, The Orchid Show dramatically transforms The New York Botanical Garden’s landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a lush rainforest.

In a local nod to how many orchids grow in the wild, Hurricane Sandy storm-damaged trees from the Garden's grounds will be incorporated into the show as a design element. Nearly 300 of the Garden’s specimen trees were either uprooted or otherwise destroyed. 

Upon entering the show, you will first encounter a stand of giant bamboos immersed in a sea of mist that camouflages the entrance to this exotic world. Tall canopy palms, ferns, and tropical trees support woody vines that crisscross from trunk to trunk, arching downward with their precious burden of fascinating flora.  Orchids, aroids, ferns, bromeliads, and epiphytic cacti are among the species that hang overhead. CostusCalathea (prayer plants), Cymbidium (Asian corsage orchids), Philodendron, and bananas grapple across the forest floor competing for every available inch of space.

In the main feature of the display, rocky outcroppings dominate, large palms protrude, and orchids thrive alongside ferns and aroids. A large pool in the center is fed by waterfalls. Two large canopy trees barren of leaves, dripping with Spanish moss and full of epiphytes, hang over the pool. Natural arbors saturated with vandas (rainbow orchids) and dendrobiums (cane orchids) nestled between Davallia and Asplenium ferns line the far path. 

About Designer Francisca Coelho

Francisca Coelho graduated from the Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture and began her career at the Garden 30 years ago, rising through the ranks to her current position of Vivian and Edward Merrin Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions. Tropical plants and aquatics are her areas of horticultural expertise.

Coelho was deeply involved in the restoration of the Conservatory from 1993 to 1997 and continues to take the lead in the restoration and preservation of this landmark structure and the development and display of its Living Collections. She leads Conservatory exhibition-related planning and implementation for the Garden and is known for her plantsmanship and design skills in developing, planting, and maintaining the permanent plant galleries and the high-profile seasonal shows.

Orchids at the Garden

There are more than 7,000 orchids representing 3,075 taxa (different types) in the Garden’s permanent collection. The New York Botanical Garden has orchids from all over the world, including Australia, Africa, South America, and Madagascar. Because the Garden is committed to orchid research and conservation, our scientists study the botany and ecology of orchids; what they discover is useful to conservation work that will ensure the future of these extraordinary plants in nature.

The Garden’s resident orchid expert is Marc Hachadourian, Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections. With more than 15 years of commercial and specialized horticultural experience, he supervises the care of the botanical collections, including the extensive orchid collection and exhibition plants in the Nolen Greenhouses.


Founding Sponsor:

Principal Sponsor: Karen Katen Foundation

Major Sponsors: Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Davidson