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home : arts, entertainment and events - archive : entertainment May 25, 2016

12/20/2012 9:33:00 AM
Show features Missouri Botanical Garden's renowned orchid collection

ST. LOUIS —  Escape the winter and step into the tropics during the Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Show. The annual show offers visitors a once-a-year opportunity to see a rotating display of hundreds of orchids from the Garden’s expansive permanent living collection.

The Orchid Show is a temporary display built from the ground up inside the 5,000-square-foot Orthwein Floral Display Hall. Show themes change annually to offer visitors new ways to view the collection. In 2013, visitors will be transported to Madagascar to experience the country’s tropical rainforest with native plants, water falls and bamboo huts. Next year the Garden will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its permanent presence in Madagascar and the Orchid Show further commemorates the research and conservation efforts made during the Garden’s tenure.

View a Malagasy village with bamboo huts complete with palm tree roofs. Stroll along the curved paths to uncover water features, living plant walls and bamboo structures. Lemurs, which are native to Madagascar, will also be featured in the display with replicas made from botanical materials. Interpretive pieces will educate visitors about the Garden’s ongoing research in Madagascar.

More than 500 orchids will be displayed as they would be found in the natural habitats with terrestrial orchids at ground level and ephiphytic orchids suspended atop tree branches. Orchids vary in size and color and include a number of varieties including, Laelia, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, Cattleya and Cymbidiums.

The Garden’s sizeable orchid collection includes more than 7,000 individual orchid plants representing approximately 280 genera and more than 2,500 unique orchid taxa. Throughout the year, Garden horticulturists care for the collection behind the scenes in the private greenhouse range. Horticulturists juggle temperatures inside the greenhouse range to force the winter bloom of as many plants as possible for the annual Orchid Show. Spent blooms are replaced with new ones on a daily basis, shifting the look and landscape of the show throughout its run.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit and from Interstate 64 at the Kingshighway North and South exit.

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