The Orchid Show at The New York Botanical Garden
Posted on 27 February 2017
The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) located in the Bronx (B, D or 4 train to Bedford Park Blvd Station) is one of the greatest botanical gardens and research facilities in the world. Every year over 1 million visitors take in the beauty of Its over 250 acres of diverse landscapes; that include 50 different gardens, a cascading waterfall, wetlands and an original old growth forest that was never touched by European settlers in the 1600’s. The Botanical Garden hosts some of the best cultural events in the city. Last week one of those events, The Orchid Show began.
The Orchid Show (February 18 - April 9) now in its 15th year, has become an annual rite of spring and has joined the other two must see events the garden hosts every year. (The Halloween Fall Festival and Holiday Train Show) This year’s show paid tribute to the wealth of orchids and rich cultural history of Thailand. Thailand is home to more than 1,200 native orchid species and is the world’s leading exporter of tropical orchids.
The exhibit focused on a variety of beautiful Vanda orchids from Thailand. Vanda orchids are extremely popular in Thai homes and gardens thanks to both their large variety of colors, and large patterned blooms. The centerpiece of the show was an unbelievable, gigantic arched façade in the style of a traditional Thai pavilion, adorned with hundreds of beautiful orchids. There were also traditional Thai dance performances, film screenings, tours, orchid care demonstrations and expert Q&As. Here are some fun facts about orchids that we learned.
- Orchids are the oldest flowers in the world. Their existence dates back prior to the continents separating.
- Orchids are the largest family of flowering plants. There are over 25,000 different species. That’s 4 times the amount of birds and 4 times the amount of mammals that exist.
- The word Orchid comes from the Ancient Greek word Orchidaceae meaning “testicle” because of the shape of the bulbous roots. The term “orchid” was not introduced until 1845.
- Orchids are thought to be only a tropical plant, but they grow on every continent from the Arctic Circle to the southernmost jungles. The size, shape and color of the plant all depend on its climate.
- Orchids are highly valued by different cultures around the world. The various species all have different meanings associated with them. Traditional uses included the making of perfumes, spices and Asian medicine.
- Vanilla is one of the best known and widely used flavors. It is extracted from the pod of Vanilla planifolia, which is a species of orchid.
- While Orchid plants have a reputation for being difficult to grow, they can live to be over 100 years old.