The 10th annual Orchid Show, is expected to see hundreds of visitors descend on the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
Held on the Saturday and Sunday, 22 and 23 April, the show will feature a display of colourful blooming orchids, orchid culture demonstrations, educational displays and the popular orchid sale featuring over 500 orchids in bloom. Prices will typically range from $20 and upwards.
All the major orchid types that do well in the Cayman Islands will be on display, including, Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Brassavola, Vanda and Ascocenda, many of which will be available to buy.
While at the show visitors will also have the chance to learn. Culture demonstrations will show people how to take care of their orchids, from how to re-pot, water, insect and disease problems to how much sun light is required.
Guidelines on how to care for orchids vary depending on type, and visitors are welcome to seek advice on orchids that they may currently have.
‘The first show was very small, with only an exhibit and a small number of plants for sale,’ said Andrew Guthrie, Botanic Park general manager. ‘Over the years the exhibits have gotten larger, the number and variety of plants for sale has increased and the number of visitors to the show has grown immensely. The last show attracted over 1,000 people.’
Hosted jointly by the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and the Cayman Islands Orchid Society, the show aims to educate the public about Cayman’s native orchids and the need to conserve them.
‘Currently there are 26 orchids native to the Cayman Islands and most of them are very rare and threatened with extinction in the wild, due to habitat loss, development and Hurricane Ivan,’ Mr. Guthrie said.
‘Three species of orchids are found in the Cayman Islands and no where else on earth. If they die they will no longer exist,’ he added.
Myrmechophila Thomsoniana, more commonly known as the Banana Orchid – Cayman’s national flower – is endemic to the islands. The other two orchids which are found only in Cayman are the Ghost Orchid, or Dendrophylax Fawcettii and Encyclia Kingsii, an orchid so rare that it has no common name.
There are currently over 30,000 species of orchids, growing naturally in every part of the world. The only place where there are no orchids is Antarctica.
Proceeds from the show will go to the Orchid Society; an organisation formed 20 years ago and dedicated to preserving Cayman’s native orchids for future generations to enjoy.
The show runs from 9am to 5pm on both days and will feature a BBQ station with hot dogs and hamburgers, courtesy of the Orchid Society. The event is free to attend, however the normal Botanic Park entrance fees apply. These are $6 for adults and $4 for children aged six to 12 years of age.