Here in New York City, one of the first signs spring is around the corner is the start of the annual Orchid Show at The New York Botanical Garden. I love attending this show every year. Held inside the magnificent Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, it is known as the nation’s largest exhibit of its kind.
This year, the show's theme is "Thailand". Thailand is home to more than 1200 orchid species, and this stunning floral display pays tribute to the beauty and cultural history of Thai gardens. The show runs through Sunday, April 9th. If you’re in the area, I encourage you to visit.
Enjoy these photos.
The Orchid Show is held in NYBG’s elegant Conservatory every year. As the nation’s largest Victorian glasshouse, it is among the grandest indoor spaces in the world.
Originally constructed in 1902, the steel and glass Conservatory includes a 90-foot tall domed Palm Gallery and 10 attached glasshouse galleries.
In addition to the Orchid Show, this enormous glass structure is home to a tropical rain forest, a cactus-filled desert, and an ever-changing landscape of flowers and foliage.
This is a beautiful display of mixed orchids at the Reflecting Pool of the Conservatory’s Palm Dome.
Orchids adorn elephant topiaries that welcome you into the space. The Thai elephant is an official national symbol of Thailand.
Asian elephants are a highly endangered species. Only an estimated two to three thousand wild elephants remain in Thailand. The Thai Elephant Conservation Center works to improve conditions for working elephants, and to reintroduce young elephants to the wild.
Thailand’s year-round hot and humid climate is a perfect environment for leafy green plants and colorful flowers, including orchids.
There are tens of thousands of plants to see at the Orchid Show. Orchids thrive in warm temperatures and moderate light.
The Seasonal Exhibition Gallery features a kaleidoscope of orchids and lanterns overhead.
This orchid is called x Aliceara Snowblind ‘Sweet Spots’.
This is x Miltonidium Carnivale ‘Rio’.
This is Cymbidium Half Moon ‘Wonderland’. Cymbidium orchids are often used in cut flower displays as well as in corsages. Cymbidiums are often called “boat orchids”and have large flowers and a patterned lip.
Here are more cymbidiums. The flowers can last anywhere from eight to 10 weeks and come in almost all colors except blue. I grow lots of cymbidiums at the farm.
Cymbidiums have grass-like leaves and tall spikes of waxy flowers. They are also called Asian Corsage Orchids.
Many Asian Corsage Orchids are tree-dwelling epiphytes, but in tropical environments, they can also he grown in the ground.
This corsage orchid is called Cymbidium ‘Purple Haze’.
Here’s another corsage orchid – Cymbidium Lovely Valley ‘Peace in the World’.
And this corsage orchid is Cymbidium Avanti ‘Rose Tints’.
This orchid is called x Oncidesa Sweet Sugar ‘Lemon Drop’ – a beautiful pure yellow.
Lanterns hang from branches inside the gallery. In Northern Thailand, people traditionally light sky lanterns for celebratory occasions. These lanterns symbolically carry away bad fortune and bring good luck.
These are Pansy Orchids, or Miltoniopsis. This was once considered a single genus of about 20-epiphytic species from South America. Now the species is divided into two genera: Miltonia and Miltoniopsis.
Miltoniopsis is a small genus of fragrant epiphytic orchids, named of course because of their resemblance to the flower.
There are many variations and colors – so beautiful.
Here, orchids decorate a sala, a traditional Thai pavilion used as a meeting place for shade and relaxation.
Many orchids cover the sala in shades of pink and white.
The blue orchids overhead are vandas, Vanda coerulea. In Thailand, these orchids grow high up in the trees of the northern mountain forests, where they can get lots of sun and rain.
Moth Orchids, Phalaenopsis, are among the most popular for home growers. They are native to southern Asia, the Philippines, New Guinea and tropical Australia.
Phalaenopsis has moth-like flowers in a wide array of striking colors.
This is Phalaenopsis I-Hsin ‘Spot Leopard’.
Moth orchids thrive in warm temperatures and moderate light.
This spotted orchid is x Oncostele ‘Wildcat’.
This is Oncidium Heaven Scent ‘Redolence’. Oncidium orchids can be a little more challenging to care for than its cousins, the tolerant Paphiopedilum or Phalaenopsis. Oncidium orchids must have abundant light and definite dry periods between waterings.
These dancing ladies orchids are Oncidium Irish Mist ‘Big Hot Sun’.
This is Oncidium Sanguine ‘Celtic Goddess’.
And these orchids are x Oncostele Wildcat cultivars.
The display includes other specimens including Strongylodon macrobotrys, commonly known as jade vine, emerald vine or turquoise jade vine, is a species of leguminous perennial woody vine, a native of the tropical forests of the Philippines, with stems that can reach up to 60-feet in length.
The plant typically grows beside streams in damp forests. It is prized in tropical and subtropical gardens for its showy foliage and unusual colored flowers. The plant has claw-shaped flowers that are carried in pendant trusses of about 75 or more. I love the turquoise color.
Here is a rock-tassel-fern Huperzia squarrosa.
And a view looking up at the the palms in the Gallery.
If you are in or around the New York City area, please visit the New York Botanical Garden – you will love the show!