Asheville Orchid Festival 2019

Beautiful yellow and red spotted orchidOrchids are not only beautiful but they are a fascinating plant too. We are very lucky to have the North Carolina Arboretum hosting the Asheville Orchid Festival this year in the Education Center. The walls will be filled brim to brim with a brilliant variety of colors, faraway scents, and intricate display designs showcasing the exotic and timeless beauty of the renowned orchid flower.

Did you know that the Orchid has over 25,000 documented species around the world which makes them the largest botanical family ever recorded? To put this into perspective that comes to around four times the amount of birds on the planet and four times the mammals! That’s a lot of orchids! Perhaps this feat is easy for them when one considers that a single seed pod from an orchid produces more than 3 million seeds…..is your jaw dropping yet???

Most people understandably think of the orchid as solely a tropical plant but this isn’t so at all. You can actually find the orchid on every continent and some species actually thrive in colder climates. The Southern Appalachia has our own orchids to brag about too! The most common species of orchid seen here are the Pink Ladyslipper (Cypripedium acaule ), Yellow Ladyslipper (Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens), Showy Orchid (Orchis spectablis), and the Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens). The National Heritage Program listed a suspected 72 species of orchid in our southern mountains but some of them are so rare and others are now most certainly extinct the figures look to have dwindled down to about 20 different species.Exotic red and yellow orchid

These little nuggets of information are but a wee taste of what you’ll get at the exhibition! And of course a heavy dose of prettiness too! Held on the weekend of April 6th and 7th, the admissions are your basic $14 parking fee plus an additional $5 for the orchid exhibit which is collected at the door. Children 12 and under are FREE and all proceeds go to benefit the WNC Orchid Society for research and future events. Here is a copy of the Schedule of Events as prepared by the North Carolina Arboretum.

Asheville Orchard Festival Schedule

Saturday, April 6

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Orchid exhibit viewing and market place

10 a.m. – “A Walk through the World of Orchids” by Marc Burchette. A guided expedition through the fabulous orchid exhibits.

11:30 a.m. – “Decoding Dendrobium” by Mark Reinke of Marble Branch Farms. The surprising orchid you thought you knew.

1 p.m. – “The Enchanting Orchids of Ecuador” by Dayaneth Loja Portilla of Ecuagenera Orchids, Ecuador. Discover the wonderful orchid species from Ecuador.

2:15 p.m. – “Our Native Orchid Species of WNC” by Scott Dean. Learn about the many orchid species found in the Western North Carolina region from a native orchid enthusiast.

 

Sunday, April 7

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Orchid exhibit viewing and market place

10 a.m. – “A Walk through the World of Orchids” by Marc Brochette. A guided expedition through the fabulous orchid exhibits.

11:30 a.m. – “New Phragmipedium Hybrids and Culture” by Jason Fischer of Orchids Limited. Learn from one of the premier Phragmipedium breeders in the world!

1 p.m. – “Complex Paphiopedilums and their Culture” by Hadley Cash of Marriott Orchids. Learn the best kept secrets on how to grow award-winning Paphiopedilums.

2:15 p.m. – “Repotting with New Zealand’s Finest” by Graham Ramsey. An in-depth look at Orchiata Bark, Sphagnum Moss and Tree Fern.

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