Paris, France — It is profusion of colors and astounding shapes and scents that emerge in the Great Greenhouses of the botanical gardens in the National Natural History Museum of France in Paris. Every year the institution presents its 1001 Orchids exhibition to the delight of young and old alike. It offers a warming moment in the midst of a Parisian March in the balmy tropical greenhouses adorned with waterfalls and decorative ponds and which are listed as historic monuments. Some 20 different species of orchids, of the 25,000 that have been identified around the world, are on hand from the fragrant Lycastes (most orchids have no scent) to the shapely Paphiopedilums (the slipper orchids) and the fascinating Phalaenopsis.
Orchids are mainly epiphytes and in their native tropical homes grow on trees and not in the ground. Educational displays and conferences are all on the agenda with for example the discovery of certain orchids, like vanilla. The exhibition is presented by the Botanical Gardens and the Auteuil greenhouses of the city of Paris and the Arboretum of Versailles-Chèvreloup which is revealing specimens from its secret collection for the first time this year. The show involves the participation of French orchid producers and associations. A boutique selling orchids and orchid paraphernalia is open next to the greenhouses for the duration of the exhibition.
The show is blooming until March 21st.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
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