19th Annual Orchid Exhibition: Orchid Symphony

February 22 - April 27, 2014 at the United States Botanic Garden

orchid-symphony

Experience the incredible elegance of an orchid symphony with this year’s orchid exhibition, an annual collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens from February 22 through April 27. The U.S. Botanic Garden will feature exuberant displays of orchids nestled among whimsical topiaries and musical fountains. Illuminated by an orchid chandelier, the Garden Court will sing the praises of beautiful orchids. The Conservatory will feature orchids from all over the world in a multitude of environments. Come see desert orchids, jungle orchids and even orchids used in medicine and cooking against the gorgeous backdrop of the U.S. Botanic Garden collections.

During Orchid Symphony, the U.S. Botanic Garden will offer orchid-themed activities for adults and children, including extended hours with live music on March 5, March 21, April 4 and April 18. Please see www.usbg.gov for a calendar of events.

Orchid Symphony is a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Gardens and Smithsonian Gardens.

PAST EXHIBITIONS

Orchids of Latin America

January 26 – April 21, 2013

orchid-latinDo you want to stroll through a tropical rain forest on a cold winter's day? Visit this year's orchid exhibition to explore the rich crossroads where orchid botany, horticulture, and Latin American cultures meet. Learn about the importance of orchids in Latin America folklore and cultural traditions, see how that region is a hotbed for scientific research on orchid biology and evolution, and discover conservation efforts to preserve orchids and their habitats for future generations. And of course enjoy the beautiful orchids from the Smtihsonian Gardens Orchid Collection.

This event received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

View the special online exhibition

Orchid Mystique: Nature's Triumph

February 18 – April 29, 2012

Orchid MystiqueObserving the 100th anniversary of the Japan's gift of the cherry blossoms to Washington, orchids are presented in settings evocative of Japanese gardens. The tranquility of the Japanese aesthetic invites appreciation of the beauty, form and exquisite floral complexity of nature's most diverse plant family.

Orchids: A View from the East

January 29 – April 24, 2011

orchid-eastOrchids have been a part of Chinese culture for many centuries, permeating Chinese history, legends, literature, and art. Since ancient times, orchids have been celebrated in China for their beauty and fragrance, and appreciated as symbols of nobility, friendship, and refinement.

View the special online exhibition

Orchids Through Darwin’s Eyes

January 24 to April 27, 2009

This exhibit explored the alluring world of orchids through the eyes of Darwin and those he influenced—naturalists, horticulturists, and scientists who continue to find new insights and curious surprises while working with these captivating plants in greenhouses, laboratories, and in the wild.

View exhibition preview (pdf)

Orchids: Take a Walk on the Wild Side

January 27 to April 22, 2007

Orchids were displayed naturalistically rather than submerged in mulch as is typical for such exhibits. Information on orchid ecology, pollination biology, symbioses, evolution, phylogeny and the work of Smithsonian Institution researchers is interspersed on display panels throughout the exhibit.

View exhibition preview (pdf)

The Orchid Express

2005

The Orchid Express explored the transformation of exotic orchids that have always been among the most popular of the plant kingdom, despite the fact that orchids once bore the reputation of being hard to grow, as well as prohibitively expensive.

View exhibition preview (pdf)

Nature's Jewels

2003

Biological diversity, the dazzling variety of life in all its forms, levels, and combinations, is expressed exuberantly in the world of orchids. In that colorful universe, plants and animals have evolved to depend closely on each other for their very survival.

View exhibition preview (pdf)

The Artistry of Orchids

January 22 to March 26, 2000

For hundreds of years, orchids have captured our hearts and have been translated into many forms of art. This year's exhibition looked to what is so inspirational and alluring about orchids.

 

3D Orchid Tour

3D Orchid

The Embreea orchid revealed

Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection is proud to have participated in and contributed to the Smithsonian’s 3D Digital Charter collection by providing access to some of its rarest and most interesting orchids. The link below leads to a dynamic digital tour of a high definition scan of our prized, award-winning Embreea orchid, and its pollinator, a type of Orchid Bee. This outstanding tour will take you deep inside this amazing orchid and give intimate insight into its complex and fascinating relationship with its insect partner.

Smithsonian Orchid Collection

The Smithsonian Orchid Collection

The Smithsonian Orchid Collection has grown from five plants to close to 8,000 specimens since 1974. It is an invaluable resource for education, exhibition, and scientific research.