Posted by / 27 February 2018 /

Missouri Botanical Garden Orchid Mania

Every year the Missouri Botanical Gardens puts together beautiful specimens from the Garden's permanent living orchid collection with over 500 orchids on display.  It's a night to enjoy the beautiful and amazing blooms and step back into the Victorian era when these beautiful and exotic plants were collected and cultivated.  Orchids were a symbol of wealth during this time.
orchids at Missouri Botanical Gardens

Each year the floral display team puts together a completely new show.  You can see photos of the installation here:  Orchid Show Installation.  It is pretty incredible how they transform this space into a rain forest of beautiful blossoms.

All orchids share the same characteristics:  3 peetals, 3 sepals, and both male and female reproductive organs called a column.  The lower petal has a special name, labellum, and this is where pollinators for the orchid land.  Yes, insects and tiny animals have their own landing pad!

Look at these teeny tiny orchids!
The first specimens appeared at the MoBot (our pet name for the Missouri Botanical Gardens) in 1876.  MoBot has 6,000 orchid plants, many are rare specimen.

Missouri Botanical Gardens cymbidium
We went during Orchid Nights, which is a nighttime display of orchids with beautiful back lighting.  People will come to this event in all kinds of dress:  dressed for Date Night, or office clothing, and even more casual clothes. It surely doesn't matter, as we are there to look at the orchids.  You hand over your ticket, and then are escorted through the refreshment line.  They always offer a special cocktail and this time was a blueberry sparkler made with vokda or cognac, a blueberry syrup, and sparkling soda.  Very delicious!

After the drink, you can browse around the various displays that show you how to grow your own orchids and the various products that are made from orchids.  You can see my post about Vanilla Orchids from last year's show here.  There is a table in the entrance where you can pick up a scavenger hunt which encourages you to read the various posters around the display.

Missouri Botanical Garden Cattleya
Walking around the display, taking photos, talking to people, enjoying the cocktail and visiting the different vendors is about an hour.  Then we like to end our visit with a trip to the MoBot's fantastic gift store.  Always something new and wonderful we must have!

Missouri Botanical Gardens orchids

If you are a Saint Louis citizen (and the greater Saint Louis area) I highly advise becoming a meber of the Gardens. They have a lot of wonderful activities that are family oriented and all educational.  It is one of the best memberships in the City.

My family, enjoying the orchids!
Missouri Botanical Gardens
4344 Shaw Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63110
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