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World premiere plant a highlight of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s Orchids 2014

PUBLISHED: 15:24 16 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:25 16 January 2014

The Orchids festival returns to Kew this February

The Orchids festival returns to Kew this February

Things for 2014

A beautiful, never-before-seen orchid will be exclusively premiered at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s annual Orchid festival this February.

This hybrid exists in very limited numbers and, with stunning cascaded petals of varying shades of fuchsia and gently mottled edges, will be one of the main attractions this year at the hot and humid Princess of Wales Conservatory.

Visitors will be transported into a tropical rainforest, full of horticultural displays of intense exotic colour, sounds and scents, a vision of paradise and the perfect antidote to the cold weather outside.

Explore a hidden world of orchids and tropical plants as you are taken on a journey through time, retracing the footsteps of the intrepid Victorian plant-hunters, right through to their modern-day counterparts at Kew Gardens.

“The orchids have to be ordered and planted at just the right moment for just the right amount of time to catch them at their peak,” says Phil Griffiths, Kew’s Glasshouse displays coordinator.

“The intensity of their colours, as well as the speed of their life-cycle, will depend on the level of light the glasshouse gets in February, and obviously this varies year-on-year.”

“Our challenge is to keep the glasshouse looking magical for a month and while we humans may not like the cold, controversially, the best weather for the plants longevity is crisp and dull with no sun! The display’s transience is part of what makes this festival so special, and its beauty depends on both man and nature.”

Orchids are some of the most valuable plants in the world, hunted by botanists, desired by collectors and admired by all for their beauty, rarity, and symbolism.

The steamy display at Kew Gardens will include a cascade of Vanda orchids, drapes of tropical flowers, and a plant-hunter’s camp in the pond area, dotted with wardian cases and floating canoes bulging with plants destined for distant lands echoing Kew’s history in this area.

***

Orchids 2014 takes place from Saturday February 8 to Sunday March 9 at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew TW9 3AB. More info @ kew.org.

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