Now through April 11, 2010, The New York Botanical Garden presents the 8th annual edition of its justifiably famous Orchid Show. This year's theme is Cuba in Flower and features iconic sites of Old Havana and the Cuban countryside, reimagined to
evoke the history of the island while engulfing visitors in radiant flowers. Cubanreared
landscape architect Jorge Sánchez, of the Palm Beach firm Sánchez &
Maddux, sets the stage for this season’s not-to-be missed showcase for
garden lovers, orchid fans, history buffs, and those in need of a one-day
tropical retreat from winter.
The Orchid Show: Cuba in Flower in the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory features thousands of
brilliantly colored orchids set among architectural vignettes from Havana and the surrounding
countryside. Welcoming visitors into the exhibition and to the Conservatory’s Palms of the Americas
Gallery, which under its 90-foot dome houses the largest collection of New World palm trees under glass,
stands a handsome replica of the iconic tower and statue La Giraldilla. The statue, one of the most
representative symbols of the city of Havana, embodies history, art, and a legend of love. The statue and
tower sit atop the Castillo de la Real Fuerza (Castle of the Royal Force), a defensive structure built
quickly after an attack on the city by French pirates in 1538 and the oldest stone fortress in the Americas.
Species and hybrid Oncidium orchids, commonly known as Dancing Lady, in purple, yellow, and white
surround La Giraldilla and pervade the Palms Gallery reflecting pool.
Upon entering the Seasonal Exhibition Galleries where the show’s most concentrated displays of orchids
are traditionally encountered, visitors walk beneath overarching fronds of booted sabal palms planted
in a tunnel alleé leading to a sugar mill ruin. Sugar mills processed cane sugar, an economic mainstay of
18th- through mid-20th-century Cuba. By the 20th century, local sugar mills gave way to large mills,
causing the old mills to fall into ruin to be reclaimed by natural overgrowth, as depicted in this vignette.
Encompassing the ruin and imbuing the scene with a purplish haze are Dendrobium (cane orchids), Paphiopedilum (slipper orchids), and Oncidium orchids in purple and pink, with accents of yellow.
Upon venturing farther into the Seasonal Exhibition Galleries, visitors happen upon an evocation of
the Soroa Orchidarium, including its charming Cuban vernacular architecture. This botanical garden is
dedicated to education and the cultivation and conservation of Cuban orchids. A veranda, surrounded by a
multitude of orchids representing the hundreds of species living in the actual Cuban orchidarium, are
flanked on both sides by groves of Cuban royal palms symbolizing the growing habitat. The Orchid
Show’s interpretation of the Soroa Orchidarium offers visitors an opportunity to sense the lushness
and biodiversity of Cuba, home to more than 300 species of orchids alone. Nestled in the hills of the
Sierra del Rosario, in the village of Soroa, a World Heritage site and a biosphere reserve of over 65,000
acres, the Soroa Orchidarium features more than 6,000 species of tropical plants and flowers from around
the world, including many orchid species no longer found in the wild.
The Orchid Show: Cuba in Flower
Through April 11, 2010
The New York Botanical Garden
Hours and Pricing:
Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday
Monday, April 5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Children $8 Children (under 2): Free
Your ticket, the All-Garden Pass, includes admission to all areas of the Garden, special The Orchid Show: Cuba in Flower tours and events, Home Gardening Demonstrations, children's activities, and Tram Tours.
Orchid Show Events:
An Evening with Orchids
Enjoy this spectacular show starring thousands of stunning blooms dramatically lit and infused with the sensuous sounds of Cuba inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
The Orchid Show Cell Phone Tour and Take-Home Tips
A cell phone tour of The Orchid Show gives a thoughtful look at this year’s theme, Cuba and its flora.
Additional recordings offer advice on caring for your particular species of orchid at home. Tip sheets are
also available at Shop in the Garden and the Home Gardening Center.
Tuesday Talks—Every Tuesday during the exhibition, 1, 2, and 3 p.m.
Before entering The Orchid Show, get an introduction to the biology of orchids in a brief, informal
presentation by a Garden docent.
Docent-led Tours—Every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during the exhibition, 3 p.m.
Expert volunteers are the guides for tours of The Orchid Show: Cuba in Flower that provide in-depth
looks at some of the rarest and most extraordinary orchid specimens.
Home Gardening Demonstrations—Every Saturday and Sunday during the exhibition, 2 p.m.
A little attention and the proper care is all you need to grow gorgeous and healthy orchids in your home.
Join Sonia Uyterhoeven, Gardener for Public Education, as she discusses the basics of orchid care and
how to choose and successfully grow these exotic plants.
Q&A with the Experts—Every Saturday and Sunday during the exhibition
11 a.m.–3 p.m., in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
Garden docents are available to answer questions about the permanent collections in the
Conservatory and The Orchid Show to add insight to visitors’ experiences.
2–5 p.m., at Shop in the Garden
Gardening and orchid experts share their best secrets and explain the simple steps to healthy