All About Orchids

Smithsonian’s 16th Annual Orchid Exhibition


“Orchids: A View from the East”

Photo courtesy of James Osen, Smithsonian Institution website

The 16th annual orchid exhibition will be held by the Smithsonian Garden and the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C. this January 29 to April 24, 2011. This time its theme will be “Orchids: A View from the East”. The exhibit will be showcasing a variety of orchids and orchid-related works of art from the east, specifically China.

The exhibit decided to feature orchids in China because of its long history with these plants. Orchids are virtually present in everything and anything about China, so it’s only natural to do a theme about the giant of the east and these ancient plants.

These plants will be celebrated in the exhibit to give visitors a glimpse of how orchids and the traditions of East Asia have evolved over the years.

Photo courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution website

There will be a huge collection of orchids in the Smithsonian Garden. But aside from that, the visitors will see and learn what the first cultivators of orchids thought and felt about orchids through different displays of paintings from different Asian artists.

There will be 15 paintings mostly highlighting the beauty of cymbidium orchids on display. They have been collected from scholar artists, Chinese and Buddhist monks, and different painters form the late Ming and Qing dynasty.

This exhibit was made possible through the combined efforts of the Smithsonian Garden, the Freer and Sackler galleries and the National Museum of Natural History. Because of this, visitors should expect only the best of the best of orchids and orchid-related works.

The event will also offer various activities throughout its course such as stamp-art activity, calligraphy and other free activities.

The orchid paintings will be displayed from January 15 to July 17, while the “Orchid Exhibit Family Festival” will be on February 26. For more information about the exhibit and these events visit:

If you want to experience orchids and their influence on Asia, then this is a must see event for you. “Orchids: A View from the East” will provide visitors with a view of the beauty of orchids from the long dynasties of China to the contemporary world of today.

Will you be visiting the exhibit? Leave us a comment to tell us about it if you will.

For more information on how to care for your orchids at home, see these orchid care instructions.

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Nikki says:

    Mary Ann- Thanks for this post. I live in the Northern VA area and I think it would be awesome to see this. I actually teach my second graders about China and I did not know about orchids being related to China. Very cool!

    • Mary Ann says:

      Thank you so much for letting me know. It sounds like this exhibit would be an amazing field trip. It’s never too early to get bitten by the orchid bug. 🙂

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