Smithsonian Title with Orchid Background
Colmanara Wildcat
The Colmanara Wildcat, a intergeneric hybrid of Oncidium. Oncidium is one of the most widely utilized orchids for hybridization—the process of combining desirable characteristics from two genetically different plants into one offspring-plant—leading to hybrids like this one.

See this and other orchids in person at the National Museum of Natural History. You are invited to explore the world of orchids up close and hands on at the Orchid Family Festival on Saturday, Feb. 21, from 10am to 2pm.
Latouria dendrobium
Latouria dendrobium hybrids hail mostly from lowland tropical forests of New Guinea and need warmth and moisture year round. The vast number of species in the Dendrobium genera has resulted in a tremendous diversity within the genus.

Unlike Dendrobium, the Embreea genus contains only two species. Take a 3D tour of the Smithsonian Gardens’ prized, award-winning Embreea orchid. This tour will take you deep inside this amazing orchid and give intimate insight into its complex and fascinating relationship with the euglossine bee.
Venus Slipper Orchid
Also known as Venus slippers, Paphiopedilum has a pouch that traps insects seeking nectar. To leave again they have to climb up past the staminode, behind which they collect or deposit pollinia, helping the flower to pollinate.

Complex pollination processes like this are one of the many factors leading to orchid endangerment in the wild today. Watch this video about some of the most beautiful and imperiled orchids in North America, and what a team of ecologists led by the Smithsonian and the United States Botanic Garden is doing to save them.
Dendrichilum cobbianum ORchid
First described in 1880, the Dendrichilum cobbianum is an epiphytic orchid, meaning it doesn’t root in soil. Instead it’s generally found growing non-parasitically upon another plant, such as a tree. In its native Philippines, it has even been seen growing on rocks at altitudes above 1200 meters.

Though currently on exhibit, this and many of the orchids in this gallery will be changed out regularly. Check out the Smithsonian Gardens’ Encyclopedia of Life Watch List for information on many of the species orchids currently on display in the exhibit.
Nobile Dendrobium Orchids
The Nobile dendrobium, which blooms in winter or early spring, is native to the highlands of South East Asia and the Himalayas. Semi-deciduous, these plants need cool and dry conditions, which cause them to lose a portion of their leaves just prior to their flowering periods.

Can’t get enough orchids? Visit the Smithsonian Gardens’ Orchid page for resources on orchids: from culture sheets for popular genera to lesson plans and orchid databases. Get your orchid on!

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