Missouri Botanical Garden Appreciates Passion for Orchids with ‘Orchid Mania’

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The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis is a huge fan of the elusive and mysterious orchid, holding an annual orchid show. Each year, the garden presents the orchids with a specific theme, and this year there is no holding back with the mania theme that displays the passion and appreciation people have for orchids, from past centuries through today.

“Orchid Mania” allows visitors to travel back to the Victorian era, a time when plant lovers collected new orchid species no matter the cost. It gives a perspective on how current scientists have learned and expanded orchid knowledge from this era’s infatuation.

Known as a difficult plant to grow, most owners kill orchids off with even the best soil and attention. Some can keep the plant alive for a long time, but never have luck with it blooming. The orchid is a mysterious and beautiful flower; consequently, this makes it a favorite among those with green thumbs. But, the appearance of the flower in bloom is what truly makes this plant jaw dropping.

Seemingly having a face of its own gaping back at those who dare look, the orchid makes a huge statement. Roots grow every way possible reaching out to almost touch viewers. Each one has its own personality and unique, bright colors.

Walking into the exhibit really gave the feeling of organized chaos. There were orchids everywhere you turned just waiting to be admired. But, these flowers were placed with the utmost thought and careful attention. There were intricate backdrops, helpful informational signs and even a small pond in the indoor exhibit. However, none of these outshined the orchids who demand all the attention. You could find one of every color, some purple blooms the size of a hand, others so tiny you had to lean in to see their dark, seductive appearance. There were a few blooms growing so high viewers had to look up to appreciate their intimidating height.

There’s no doubt some people stayed in the show for hours to attempt to see every orchid. Some visitors will attend at least a few times to soak in enough orchid mania to hold off for another year.

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The yonic appearance of the orchids allowed me to feel empowered in my womanhood. In a way, I could relate to these flowers. The orchid proves you do not always have to bloom and be your best constantly, but that you are loved and appreciated even in dark times.

The show lasts now until March 25, and tickets include regular garden admission as well. Adult tickets cost $12 and children under 12 can go for free. The garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Written and photographed by Lauren Leady