ourney into an orchid-filled world and learn more about these amazing plants during the 2016 Orchid Show, “Where Wild Things Grow.” The Orchid Show runs February 6 to March 27, 2016.
At every turn, orchids burst from the landscape with bright, bold colors. Approximately 500 orchids are on display at any one time, including Cattleya, Laelia, Encyclia, Oncidium and Paphiopedilum along with many other varieties. Spanning a wide range of sizes, colors and scents, these orchids are displayed as they would be found in their natural habitats, with terrestrial orchids at ground level and epiphytic orchids suspended atop tree branches. Hundreds of other tropical plants and ferns help set the verdant scene.
This year’s Orchid Show offers visitors the chance to learn more about the habitats of orchids and how they adapt to changing environments. The Missouri Botanical Garden’s work including research, discovery, conservation and restoration of orchids will be presented with interpretation encompassed in the beautiful display.
Orchids are found on every continent of the world except Antarctica, with the greatest diversity found in the tropics. Most tropical orchids grown on other plants and derive moisture and nutrients form the air. Orchids found in more temperate regions are terrestrial, growing out of the ground rather than on other plants. Some orchids grow on long fines, and in a variety of conditions including deserts and rain forests.
Orchids are valued by collectors because of their beauty which has led to some species becoming endangered due to over-collecting in the wild. The Garden works diligently to protect those at-risk species though conservation and recovery programs in the United States and around the world.
Throughout the year, Missouri Botanical Garden horticulturists care for the collection behind the scenes in the private greenhouse range. Temperatures inside greenhouses are manipulated to force the winter bloom of as many plants as possible for the annual Orchid Show. Orchids are grouped by watering needs and different fertilizers are used depending on the season. Spent blooms are replaced with new ones on a daily basis, shifting the look and landscape of the show throughout its run.
Photographers are welcome to use hand-held cameras to capture the Orchid Show for personal enjoyment; tripod and monopod usage is not permitted indoors.
Orchid Show admission is $5 per person (ages 3 and older), in addition to general Garden admission ($8 for adults; $4 for St. Louis City and County residents, with free admission Wednesdays and Saturdays until noon; free for children ages 12 and younger). Missouri Botanical Garden members enjoy free general admission along with free Orchid Show admission.