NOTICE: The Conservatory will close at 2 pm for an official government function on Tuesday, May 5. The Conservatory and the National Garden will be closed on Wednesday, May 6, for an official government function, reopening at 10 am on Thursday, May 7.
Lycaste ciliata is an orchid species that grows on rocks (lithophytic) or other plants (epiphytic) at elevations up to about 9,000 feet in the mountains of Columbia, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Typically found under scrub in shady conditions, they are most fragrant at night. Orchids grow in habitats threatened by logging, agriculture, development and especially illegal collection, all of which upset the delicate ecological balance that orchids need. All orchids are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The U.S. Botanic Garden participates as a plant rescue center under CITES. Like this Lycaste species, hundreds of protected plants, mostly orchids and cacti, have been accepted into the USBG collections through the Plant Rescue Center Program. These are used for conservation and education programs.