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Alabama Adventures: Longleaf Pine Treasure Forest

After hearing about Pinus palustris from several southern botanist friends, I had to see the trees for myself! I had the great pleasure of ...

21 July 2016

Chicago Botanic Garden: 2016 Orchid Show

This is a few months late, but I was able to go to the 2016 CBG Orchid Show! Pardon the "old" post layout; I typed most of this up before I found a better format.

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In 2015, I experienced Chicago Botanic Garden's orchid show for the first time. This year's show was just as exciting! I attended on the last day, during the Illinois Orchid Society show & sale.

I made a beeline for Nichols Hall, which was full of Orchid Society exhibitions. I immediately spotted someone I admire greatly, Kathleen Marie Garness, near the entrance. I was delighted to chat with her about her incredible artwork on display, as well as some of her ecological restoration efforts. (Kathleen is well known for her dedication to stewardship in our area, and she is someone I really look up to! She has given so much as a volunteer. The link above is to her website - check it out! Her watercolours are superb!)

After chatting for an hour or so (I could talk to her all day!), Steve looked like he really wanted to see the orchids, so off we went. There were so many orchids on display from the show that I never have seen, it made my head spin.

Phrag. Sedenii

Phal. Chia E. Yenlin 'Horng Lin'

Lepanthes fiskei

Dendrochilum latifolium
After fawning over the tiniest, most adorable orchids, I finally went on to see the orchid show itself. The setup of the entrance was the same as last year, as far as I could tell, so I didn't spend too long looking at it. I wanted to dive right into seeing what the greenhouses had in store! However, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks: Medinilla magnifica, an epiphyte commonly called the Philippine orchid, despite being in the Melastomataceae. So, not at all an orchid, but I adore seeing plants native to the Philippines (Strongylodon macrobotrys being another favourite at CBG)!

Be still, my heart!
Orchids aside, the kalamansi (× Citrofortunella mitis) was a sight to see, as were the carnivorous plants in flower. I enjoyed seeing the fruit of Alice (CBG's second Amorphophallus titanum), as well as a smaller A. titanum, on display. I was in awe of a butterfly orchid, Psychopsis papilio.  












Afterwards we left the orchid show and wandered the grounds despite the rain. I will have to have an annual Orchid Show visit! Always a pleasure to see these beautiful flowers.

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Click here for more photos!

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I have yet to get my hands on that 2016 CBG membership, so I've actually spent more time this year botanising outdoors than visiting public gardens. I really wanted to spend the summer exploring CBG like last year, except more frequently, but it seems that wasn't meant to be. I'm still very excited about the adventures I've had, though. Botanical adventures have become so common in my life that I don't make a post about each one (save for Instagram, at least)! :)

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