Sunday, March 11, 2012

St. Louis Orchid Show—There’s Still Time to Go!

But don’t delay—it ends on Sunday, March 25!

Last year (remember?), I was gypped out it due to inclement weather and a busted ankle, and I all I could do was point you to our friend’s Flickr site full of her beautiful floral photographs. (Indeed, this year, she took more gorgeous photos—and yup, I’m still telling you to see her Flickr page—click here!)

But this year is different—we got to go last week! And I took a few little pictures, myself.

But you really ought to go yourself, because pictures never equal the immediate experience—of flowers, or anything else. The annual orchid show takes place at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Here’s the official website of the show.

And here’s a YouTube advertising it.

The theme this year is “Flora of China,” which is an ongoing project of the research branch of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a multi-multi-multi-volume description of every plant in China. (But the orchids in the show hailed from all over the world.)

Visitors enter the orchid show through a Chinese-style moon gate similar to the gateway to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Chinese Garden, built to celebrate St. Louis’s sister city Nanjing. (That garden, by the way, is my favorite place at the MBG.)

The use of Chinese lanterns in the orchid show provides a tiny taste of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s big Lantern Festival that it will have this summer. Click here for more on that.

The orchid family is one of the largest families of plants in the world (you couldn’t tell it from Missouri, since most are tropical, and our temperate flora is dominated by composites, grasses, and grasslike plants). Orchids, however, are many and varied. There are about 600 genera, with about 15,000 species, worldwide (plus loads of cultivars).

Honestly, I don’t know what else to say, but GO!

I didn’t write down the names of the orchids I photographed, but many of the people taking pictures there were also photographing the name tags, for later identification. I just know this as “those freakishly bright orange orchids!”

See this little orchid bud? Well, it’s probably blooming right now! Just for you to see! Don’t miss it!

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