The U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) presents “Discover the World of Orchids” from February 28 through May 3, 2020. The exhibit continues the Garden’s celebration of its 200th anniversary, showcasing its largest specialty plant collection that dates back to the 1800s. The 25th annual orchid exhibit is in partnership with Smithsonian Gardens, and this year shares stories of the history of orchids and how technology advances their conservation.
From transporting orchids across the ocean in Wardian cases during the 18th century to growing orchids from tissue cultures today, technology has changed our relationship with orchids over time. This year’s spectacular display is possible thanks, in part, to years of technological advancement. Come explore how technology contributes to how we conserve, grow, and understand orchids.
The Garden Court features shipping crates, barrels, and docks overflowing with orchids plus a special rope sculpture cradling orchids by artist Susan Beallor-Snyder, titled “Weaving Narratives.” The sculpture uses 10,000 feet of natural manila rope (made from Musa textilis in the banana family) of varying widths from 1/4” to 2” and weighs over 300 pounds.
Visitors will find large, 8-foot-high curtains made from colorful Vanda orchids in the Plant Adaptations and Rare and Endangered houses. In the Tropics house, hundreds of orchids are on display, including an arch of epiphytic orchids that will be a favorite photo opportunity. In South Transition, discover stories on the conservation of rare and endangered orchids, modern orchid growing techniques, how the Garden cares for a diverse orchid collection, and more.
The Garden will offer orchid-themed programs and activities for adults and children, including an Orchid Family Day Festival, orchid care demonstrations and workshops, art and photography workshops, lectures on orchid diversity, conservation, and more.
The Friends of the U.S. Botanic Garden (Friends) will offer a gift shop with items such as live orchid plants, post cards, chocolates, books, and other educational and botanical gift items, and will be open Friday through Sunday each week of the orchid exhibit. The Friends’ beverage stand will be run by local coffee roaster Zeke’s Coffee and will be open all weekends through Memorial Day weekend. Proceeds from the gift shop and beverage stand will benefit education programs at the USBG. Learn more and plan a visit at www.USBG.gov.
Download a brochure to learn how to care for orchids at your home!
Video Tour Playlist
Join us for a multi-part video tour of the orchid show. Start the first video in the series below or click here to see the full playlist: