Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection: Take a Closer Look

April 6, 2012 at 11:00 am 1 comment

It is hard not to appreciate the beauty of an orchid in bloom. Right now, at the exhibit Orchid Mystique: Nature’s Triumph, visitors are able to partake in a lot of orchid appreciation.  Seeing the colorful throng of orchids in the Garden Court at the U.S. Botanic Garden is a tremendous sight, but don’t get completely distracted by the panorama.  Take a look at the details!

Individual orchid flowers are a world of color, pattern, shape, size, smell and texture, especially the modified third petal which is called the lip or labellum.  This part of the flower helps to attract an orchid’s pollinator and can serve as a landing pad for insects like bees, moths, butterflies, and flies.  Every orchid species or cultivar has a characteristically different labellum and it is amazing to see the different adaptations and variations that are present. Here are just a few fantastic flower designs that you can find at the exhibit.


Bletilla striata


Dendrobium aphyllum

Dendrobium aphyllum

Visit Orchid Mystique: Nature’s Triumph for more information. 

 Julie Rotramel, Orchids Intern

Entry filed under: Collections, Orchids, Uncategorized. Tags: .

Blooming online! Come Move in the Gardens! Let’s Move! Debuts

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Amir  |  April 13, 2012 at 10:45 am



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