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Orchid Show: Endless Forms
by Selby Gardens
November 6, 2018

The 2018 Orchid Show: Endless Forms will amaze visitors with never-before-seen displays of Orchids that celebrate the plant family's dramatic diversity of colors, shapes and sizes. Guests will also enjoy an intriguing display of rare orchid specimens and botanical prints in the Museum of Botany & the Arts. The Orchid Show is open for viewing, now through November 25!

Celebrate orchids in their many forms during the 2018 Orchid Show. Opening Oct. 12 and running through Nov. 25, this year’s Orchid Show will amaze visitors with never-before-seen displays of orchids that celebrate the plant family’s dramatic diversity of colors, shape and even scents.

The Orchid Show: Endless Forms presented by Better-Gro® emphasizes the remarkable range of shapes and sizes of different orchid species. The phrase is drawn from the famous final line of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, in which he stated that “from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” (More details can be found in this essay by Orchid Show curator Dr. David Berry) From Oct. 12 – Nov. 25 the Tropical Conservatory will be filled with spectacular orchids, including rare and unusual specimens from Selby Gardens’ living plant collection. The idea of “forms” will be emphasized by a series of large, dramatic sculptural elements found throughout the conservatory. The use of epiphytic orchids, which do not require soil, allows for the plants to be suspended in unusual ways.

A complementary exhibition in the historic Payne Mansion’s Museum of Botany & the Arts will showcase preserved rare orchid specimens and botanical prints. Groupings of a print, pressed herbarium specimen and fluid-preserved spirit specimen will demonstrate the various forms of botanical evidence tools used by plant researchers. This exhibition is curated by Dr. David Berry, Associate Director, Academic Affairs and Special Projects at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Rare botanical books from the Selby Gardens Research Library will also be released from the vault, including A Monograph of Odontoglossum, an impressive oversized volume published by British horticulturist James Bateman in 1874, and Illustrations of Orchidaceous Plants, produced in the 1830s by Austrian artist Francis Bauer, considered one of the greatest botanical illustrators of all time.

The Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid has gifted a replica of the Haenke’s Malaspina colour-chart : an enigmato Selby Gardens from its archive and library. The piece is thought to be the first “color-by-number” guide for botanists working in the field to use to complete illustrations after returning home. To demonstrate modern research tools of botanical science, an animated 3-D model of orchids produced in partnership with the Institute for Digital Exploration (IDEx) at the University of South Florida in Tampa will be on display.

Free with general admission.

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