‘Endless Forms’ show presents thousands of orchids in creative settings at Selby Gardens

Display open through Nov. 25

Orchids adorn a conservatory at Selby Gardens. Contributed photo by Matt Holler

On Oct. 12, Selby Gardens opened its 2018 Orchid Show “with a story and floral plant displays that will have guests questioning what they think they know about orchids,” the Gardens has announced.

The Orchid Show: Endless Forms, presented by Better-Gro® “emphasizes the remarkable range of shapes and sizes of different orchid species,” a news release explains.

Through Nov. 25, “the Tropical Conservatory will be filled with spectacular orchids, including rare and unusual specimens from Selby Gardens’ living plant collection,” the release continues. “The idea of ‘forms’ will be emphasized by a series of large, dramatic sculptural elements found throughout the conservatory,” the release points out. “The use of epiphytic orchids, which do not require soil, allows for the plants to be suspended in unusual ways,” the release notes.

“When we consider which orchids to use in our displays, thought goes into not just color, but also an orchid’s root shape, its leaves and bulbs — really, there are so many elements to think about,” said Angel Lara, director of glass houses at Selby Gardens and designer of the botanical garden’s orchid exhibition, in the release. “This is one of the many reasons that the title Endless Formsis really suited to this exhibition.”

Contributed photo by Matt Holler

A complementary exhibition in the historic Payne Mansion’s Museum of Botany & the Arts showcases preserved rare orchid specimens and botanical prints, the release adds. “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,” the release explains

Additionally, rare botanical books from the Selby Gardens Research Library have been 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 release says.