Orchid Display House

The lush, colorful entrance to the Orchid Display House in the Fuqua Orchid Center has all the elements of a formal garden: geometrically shaped beds, symmetrical design and architectural accents.

Rising above the pathway is a cedar pergola draped with orchids, allowing visitors a close-up view of Garden's unique collection of Euglossine bee-pollinated orchids, such as the Stanhopea, Coryanthes and Gongora, with their pendant-shaped, intoxicatingly fragrant flowers.

A different species of Vanilla can be found at the base of each cedar post. Vanilla, the flavoring used in cooking, ice cream and hundreds of other products, comes from the seed capsule of several species of orchids of the genus Vanilla.

The orchid collection includes specimens from around the world:

Read the latest news on the Fuqua Orchid Center blog:

The Orchid Column

Madagascar

This large island off the east coast of Africa is home to 1,000 species of orchids, of which 85 percent are found nowhere else in the world.

Specialists in nocturnal allure, the flowers of the Angraecum orchids of Madagascar produce a sweet fragrance to attract its night-flying pollinator. Other unusual genera represented here include Grammangis, Jumellea, and Cynorkis.

Ecuador

A conservation hotspot, the tiny Andean country of Ecuador has more than 4,000 species of orchids, more than occur in the entire U.S.

An extensive area of the Tropical Display House is devoted to orchids of Ecuador and neighboring countries. Different habitats simulate the natural environments of these orchids. A rocky streambed features many species of Phragmipedium, South American Lady slippers. Artificial trees have been constructed to showcase some of the many epiphytic orchids including species of Oncidium, Cattleya, and Paphinia. Terrestrial habitats are planted with Sobralia, whose large exotic flowers can appear throughout the year but each might last for only one day.

Australia

The island of Australia has a range of orchid habitats and this display area emphasizes some of the lithophytic species of orchids that inhabit rocky areas with scarce rainfall and full sun. Australian Dendrobium species illustrate how roots of some orchids will attach directly to exposed rock surfaces allowing the plants to thrive under harsh conditions. Dendrobiums show extraordinary diversity of form and flower color.

Central America and Mexico

The isthmus of Central America is where many plant groups meet that typically have a more northern or southern distribution. This meeting ground creates interesting blends of plant groups and orchids are no exception.

The orchid flora of the forest floor and low canopy is represented by diminutive shade-loving Pleurothallids. Groups of terrestrial Sobralia thrive in a brighter, more open area. Large flowered Lycaste grow on a rock ledge near delicately flowered Epidendrum. Cattleya and Gongora species grow and flower in the tree layer.

Lithophytic species are well represented in Mexico's orchid flora including exceptionally attractive plants like Laelia anceps, Encyclia cordigera, and Rhyncholaelia digbyana. The plants in this display are growing on imported Mexican Pot Rock.

Asia

Many tropical Asian slipper orchids grow in the crevices of limestone outcrops. The Paphiopedilum outcrop in the Display House was placed in a shady location that suits the environmental requirements of many slippers. Phaius, Acanthiphippium, Plocoglottis and Calanthe are some of the more unusual terrestrial orchid species.

Epiphytic Asian orchids that flower throughout the year include Dendrobium, Coelogyne, Dendrochilum, Epigeneum, Vanda, and Trichoglottis.