More thrilling than ever, the 14th annual Orchid Show, opening on February 27, transports visitors on a journey through orchid collecting history, each moment playing out against a stunning backdrop of thousands of orchids.
Discover the far-flung adventures of orchid hunters swept up in 19th-century “orchidelirium,” when explorers risked life and limb to secure these captivating flowers from jungles around the world. Then learn about NYBG’s efforts to rescue illegally collected orchids that have been seized at international borders. Dance performances, a poetry reading, orchid care demonstrations, and shopping fill the daylight hours, while the return of the popular Orchid Evenings ensures many memorable celebrations after the sun has set.
Orchids thrive in almost any environment around the world, from deserts to rain forests. Having evolved and adapted in order to survive and reproduce in such a wide variety of habitats, orchids grow in almost any size, color, and shape imaginable. There are an estimated 30,000 naturally occurring orchid species and tens of thousands of artificially created hybrids. Some orchid species mimic bees, wasps, butterflies, and moths; others have unusual buckets, traps, and trigger mechanisms. These adaptations help to ensure that insect pollinators visit the flowers.
The New York Botanical Garden has orchids from all of the floristic regions of the world, including Australia, Africa, South America, and Madagascar. The NYBG, a designated CITES Plant Rescue Center since 1990, cares for many confiscated plants. Hundreds of orchids from Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Thailand have arrived here in poor condition, but through careful study of their needs and the use of appropriate horticultural techniques, the Garden has successfully rejuvenated a majority of these ailing specimens.
“The Orchid Show: Orchidelirium” is designed by Christian Primeau, who oversees the extensive tropical/subtropical plant collections housed in 11 unique environments in the Conservatory.
Marc Hachadourian curates the exhibition’s orchid selection and NYBG’s extensive groupings of living plants from around the world housed in the Nolen Greenhouses, the behind-the-scenes glasshouses where plants for the Garden’s indoor and outdoor displays and science program are grown and maintained.
The New York Botanical Garden is an iconic living museum and, since its founding in 1891, has served as an oasis in this busy metropolis.
As a National Historic Landmark, this 250-acre site’s verdant landscape supports over one million living plants in extensive collections. Each year more than one million visitors enjoy the Garden not only for its remarkable diversity of tropical, temperate, and desert flora, but also for programming that ranges from renowned exhibitions in the Haupt Conservatory to festivals on Daffodil Hill.
The Garden is also a major educational institution. More than 300,000 people annually—among them Bronx families, school children, and teachers—learn about plant science, ecology, and healthful eating through NYBG’s hands-on,curriculum-based programming. Nearly 90,000 of those visitors are children from underserved neighboring communities, while more than 3,000 are teachers from New York City’s public school system participating in professional development programs that train them to teach science courses at all grade levels.
NYBG operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs, with nearly 200 staff members—including 80 Ph.D. scientists—working in the Garden’s state-of-the-art molecular labs as well as in the field, where they lead programs in 49 countries.
The year 2016 marks the 125th Anniversary of the founding of The New York Botanical Garden.