The Orchid Show at Chicago Botanical Garden


For the first time, The Orchid Show will provide an infusion of warmth and color to guests visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden this winter. From now until March 16, visitors will enter the exhibition through an orchid-and-palm allée in Nichols Hall, then view a large orchid tree surrounded by other orchid displays in the Joutras Gallery. The visitor greenhouses will be filled with orchids on trees, in the ground and suspended on hanging structures. The effect will give visitors the feeling of being surrounded by colorful, fragrant blooms. Guests can also wind their way through orchid columns in the Greenhouse Galleries as they read about orchid conservation efforts.

The Regenstein Center Greenhouses and Galleries are transformed by trees draped in orange and yellow Dendrobium, a hanging hedge of purple Oncidium, and vibrant Vanda in pink, orange, red, yellow, and even blue. See more than 10,000 orchids in all. Sure, it’s cold outside, but it’s warm inside at the Orchid Show Greenhouses and Galleries. Add live music (on Tuesday mornings), an orchid marketplace, and our on-site Garden Café—it’s a great place to unplug and relax.

Note to selfie: bring a camera.  Need inspiration? There are more than 600 orchid books and resources—including fantastic photos and illustrations—in our Lenhardt Library. For safety reasons, tripods will not be permitted in the exhibition. (Tripods are only allowed in the Orchid Show with private rental.) After you take your beautiful orchid images enter the Orchid Show photo contest through March 16.

Did you know that it takes 45 to 55 orchid flowers to make a standard Hawaiian lei? That Cattleya was the orchid of choice for corsages in the 1950s? That Oncidium Sharry Baby smells like chocolate? There’s a lot to learn about orchids. Ask the Illinois Orchid Society all your orchid questions; society orchid experts will be on hand every weekend during the Orchid Show. On March 8 and 9, the society will hold its spring show of judged orchid displays at the Garden. The Garden’s Plant Information Service desk has a new location! Stop in next to the Lenhardt Library to ask a master gardener your orchid questions. And whether your orchid knowledge is beginner, advanced, or all about vanilla, there’s an orchid class for you at the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Every weekend during the show, find orchids for sale and repotting services along with the experience of the Illinois Orchid Society’s members. There will also be a post-Orchid Show Plant Sale on  March 19, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. for Garden members only. On March 20 – 22, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., the sale will open to the public, while supplies last. Exhibition orchids and indoor houseplants will be sold after the close of the Orchid Show.

Admission to the Orchid Show: Adults: members/nonmembers: $8/$10; seniors 62+: members/nonmembers: $6/$8; children 3 to 12: members/nonmembers: $6/$8. Children 2 and under are free. Parking fees apply for nonmembers.

The Chicago Botanical Garden is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe.

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