Orchids are considered to be some of the most beautiful flowers in the world. In fact, the Cayman Islands’ national flower is the wild banana orchid.
Every year, orchid enthusiasts, amateur gardeners, and those just keen to learn what all the fuss is about, head to the QEII Botanic Park in Frank Sound for the Annual Orchid Show.
On Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., the show is on!
For the entrance fee of only $5 for adults (free for children under 12), attendees can take in the orchid display, listen to talks about the exotic blooms, buy some jerk barbecue (washed down with local beverages) and even go home with some specially imported orchids from the extraordinary plant sale.
The Orchid Show not only showcases beautiful hybrid orchids, it also promotes the conservation of Cayman’s native orchids. The event has also become an occasion for educating gardeners on the techniques of growing orchids.
The proceeds from the show will go toward the establishment of an orchid garden in the Botanic Park.
Queen of them all
To truly appreciate the beauty of orchids, people are encouraged to stand and marvel at the “Queen of Orchids,” Grammatophyllum speciosum. Believe it or not, the largest orchid in the world is presently in bloom at the park.
Currently, the flower spike is 4 feet in length and may reach up to 8 feet. As the first bloom opened fairly recently, it may very well last until the show.
It has been lovingly taken care of by the park’s nursery staff and volunteers, Trevor Leslie and Lisa Brodlie. It is located behind the Visitors Center on the back patio. If you are lucky enough to see it, please only take pictures and do not touch.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
Enjoy a leisurely walk through colorful gardens, botanic, lake and nature displays. Stroll through Heritage Garden, enjoy the Tea House with its panoramic views, and the lake area which forms a natural habitat for the Cayman Blue Iguana and breeding ground for a variety of rare aquatic birds and animals native to the Caribbean.
When Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened Grand Cayman’s Botanic Park in 1994, only the Woodland Trail was complete. In the ensuing years, the grounds have grown and developed into the full fledged world-class facility that is operating today.
The Botanic Park is owned jointly by the Cayman Islands government and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, a nonprofit, statutory body dedicated to preserving natural environments and places of historic significance in the Cayman Islands for present and future generations.
Cayman Islands Orchid Society
The Cayman Islands Orchid Society is dedicated to the preservation of Cayman’s native orchids and educating its members and the public on orchid conservation and orchid culture.
The QEII Botanic Park is located off Frank Sound Road. For more information, call 947-9462 or email [email protected]