Inside The New York Botanical Garden

The Orchid Show: First Look!

Posted in The Orchid Show on March 10 2014, by Lansing Moore

pink orchids at The Orchid Show: Key West Conteporary at The New York Botanical GardenWe wrapped up our first week of The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary over the weekend, and we already have the first Orchid Evening event under our belts. The Orchid Show this year takes its inspiration from a garden designed by Raymond Jungles for an estate garden in Key West, whisking us away to Florida’s tropical climate. We bedecked the geometric reflecting pools, soaring angular pergolas, and sleek benches of this modern residence with hundreds of orchids! With so many varieties on view, the final effect is dazzling. For a burst of color on this March afternoon, click through for a look at The Orchid Show in all its glory.

There are an estimated 30,000 naturally occurring orchid species and tens of thousands of artificially created hybrids. We couldn’t possibly have room for all of them, but there is a stunning array on display at the Conservatory, and thousands of types in the Garden’s permanent collection.

Orchids grow in almost any size, color, and shape imaginable, having evolved and adapted in order to survive and reproduce in a wide variety of habitats, from deserts to rainforests. The New York Botanical Garden has orchids from all of the floristic regions of the world, including Australia, Africa, South America, and Madagascar. Sadly, many wild orchids are at risk of extinction due to over-collection and the destruction of their native habitats.

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Since 1990, the New York Botanical Garden has cared for many confiscated plants as a designated CITES Plant Rescue Center. We’ve received hundreds of orchids in poor condition from Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Thailand. Through careful study of their needs and the use of appropriate horticultural techniques, the Garden has successfully rejuvenated a majority of these ailing specimens.

Part of what makes these flowers so remarkable is the way they attract pollinators. Some orchid species mimic bees, wasps, butterflies, and moths; others have unusual buckets, traps, and trigger mechanisms. You will see examples of all these structures in The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary. Be sure to check out our exciting roster of special programs, including live music, a poetry walk, and Orchid Care Q&A so you can plan your visit for maximum fun.