Influences, My Favorite Things, New York

My Favorite Things – The Orchid Show at the Bronx Botanical Garden

I love orchids.  In fact, I was convinced that the orchid in our apartment – a beauty with nine, saucer-sized, fuschia blossoms – was the Eighth Wonder of the World.  That is,  until I paid a visit to the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden.  With over 22,000 species of orchid and more than 100,000 hybrid orchid types in the world, there’s a lot to discover.  This living exhibit, the largest in the nation, was the perfect place to start!

The show was housed in the pristine Enid A. Haupt  Conservatory building…

Photo of Enid Haupt Conservatory in the Bronx, taken by Joana Miranda

Where room after room seemed to have it’s own micro-climate.  A rain-forest…

Photo of green leaves at Orchid show, taken by Joana Miranda


Photo of desert palm, taken by Joana Miranda

And shady woods!

Photo of fiddle-head ferns, taken by Joana Miranda

I was too busy taking pictures to take note of orchid species and hybrids, but some looked familiar…

Photo of purple, yellow and white orchid taken by Joana Miranda

While others looked positively otherworldly.

Photo of spotted lady-slipper like orchid, taken by Joana Miranda

The colors ranged from fiery hues…

Photo of fiery orange orchids taken by Joana Miranda

To cool shades of lime…

Photo of lime green sprigs of orchids, taken by Joana Miranda

And a little of everything in between!

Photo of spotted purple orchids, taken by Joana Miranda

There were large “diva” orchids (which I’ve since learned are called streptocarpus orchids)…

Photo of large purple and white orchid, taken by Joana Miranda

And more demure varieties, too.

Photo of peach colored orchids, taken by Joana Miranda

The most exotic plants didn’t even really look like flowers.  I believe this was called a “Lipstick Plant.” Neotropical Blueberry!  (Special thanks to Ann Rafalko – Director of Online Content, New York Botanical Garden – who wrote to help me out with this name, and  provided me with an informative link about these plants and their “super” properties.)

Photo of Lipstick plant, taken by Joana Miranda

This beauty was just as unusual…

Photo of exotic flowers at Bronx Botanical Garden, taken by Joana Miranda

As was this one!

Photo of orange "beaded" plant, taken by Joana Miranda

My favorite orchid of all looked almost like a giant spider.

Photo of exotic striped brown and yellow orchids, taken by Joana Miranda

But I was partial to other orchids such as this one…

Yellow and maroon orchids, photo taken by Joana Miranda


Photo of delicate sprig of pink and orange orchids, taken by Joana Miranda

And these.

Photo of exotic wine red and yellow orchids, taken by Joana Miranda

In this exhibit, if you got tired of looking at the flowers, you could sit and rest by the fountain…

Photo of fountain at Enid Haupt Conservatory, taken by Joana Miranda

Study the cacti…

Photo of cactus "flower", taken by Joana Miranda

Smell the gardenia…

Photo of white gardenia, taken by Joana Miranda

Or, gaze up into the bells of gigantic sun-filled blooms.

Photo of sunny yellow trumpet bloom, taken by Joana Miranda

I felt like I spent an afternoon in the Garden of Eden.  I’ll be back to visit soon!


    • I could certainly have spent many more hours there…The show continues until April 22nd, so maybe I can get back for another visit (and maybe I’ll actually learn some of the names of the orchids!)

      Thanks for commenting on my blog! Joana

  1. nina says

    fabulous photos joana! would love to compare them to your personal orchid…it might still be the 9th wonder!

    • Hi Nina,

      My orchid is beautiful (and I’m especially proud of it since it re-bloomed after my husband accidentally decapitated it last summer.) I’ve taken some pictures, but they never quite do it justice. Maybe it’s the dirty apartment windows that serve as the backdrop? 😉


  2. Magnificent shots! Now, a dilemma – do I go there to experience this myself, or did your pictures bring it to me?!

    • Oh, if you are in the area, definitely go and see the show yourself! We went early (first thing in the morning) and avoided the throngs of people that way. I didn’t post pictures of the walls of orchids that were a part of the show – I couldn’t do justice to those in a photo…

      I’m sure that you’ll see lots that I missed. Besides, different things might be blooming!

      🙂 Joana

  3. Ed Sahagian-Allsopp says

    You have an eye for the perfect image, your framing and crop and choice of subject are perfect; nothing showing but the essential components.

    • Hi Ed,

      Thanks so much for your comment and for keeping up with my blog! It wasn’t hard to get good photos at the orchid show…so many gorgeous flowers, and the light coming through the green house domes was pretty spectacular that day.

      I’ll be back in your neck of the woods (Milwaukee) for a couple of weeks soon. Are you doing any photography shows? Have you seen Dale? He’s gone M.I.A. – I’m suspicious that it’s because we need him to make us two bookshelves. [?]

      Anyway, I hope you are doing well! With all best wishes, Joana

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for cluing me in on that one. I’ll add a note to my post now.

      With all best wishes,

      • I might unintentionally have misled you, Joana. I was just pointing out how the blooms looked very similar. Streptocarpus are in the African Violet family (gesneriads). They are not orchids (although the grower I get them from says that visitors to his greenhouse often mistake them for orchids).

        • Hi John,

          I was surprised today to get an email from Ann Rafalko, Director of Online Content at the New York Botanical Garden. She had read my post and took the time to nicely correct my guesswork on the picture I labeled as a supposed “lipstick plant.” I’ve updated that caption and added a link to a NYBG online article about the plant’s super antioxidant qualities; I also took the opportunity to ask Ann about the Streptocarpus “issue.” Hopefully, she’ll be able to clear up my confusion…I’ll forward along what she says.

          With all best wishes, Joana

  4. Helen Reich says

    Wonderful pix, as always! I think the one with the orange berry-looking things might be an orchid gone to seed, perhaps?

  5. Yet another delightful tour! Thanks Joana! You do have a great eye and I always enjoy the themes of your tours. They are always so much more than a group of excellent photographs.

    I manage to keep several pots of one type of orchid alive and I’m a distant admirer of all the rest!

    • Hi Pam,

      So glad you are enjoying my “tours.” I got so many great shots of the orchids (not hard, since the blooms were at their peak!), that it was hard to whittle them down to a manageable post size. This week I’m in D.C., so I hope to get some nice photos of the cherry blossoms…whatever is left of them. I guess they’ve had the same early spring and freaky weather that we’ve all had this year.

      Ciao –

  6. Thanks for visiting our show and for spreading the word. It’s lovely to see the show through your eyes! The plant that you thought was a lipstick plant is actually a neotropical blueberry (that’s right … those blueberries!) Here’s a blog post about them:

    About your orchid: Your husband probably actually *helped* the plant by decapitating it! Most orchids require being trimmed after blooming in order to encourage re-blooming. One of our horticulturists will be covering that in a future blog post! I would still love to see your orchid though! Nine blooms is impressive! — Ann Rafalko – Director of Online Content – New York Botanical Garden

    • Hi Ann,

      What a pleasure to get your comment on my New York Botanical Garden/2012 Orchid Show post! I’ll update the name of the plant I incorrectly called the “lipstick plant.” I had no idea that plant was related to the blueberry plant or that it is classified as an “extreme superfruit.” My husband and I regularly eat Chia seeds and Goji berries (chocolate-covered, of course), so maybe we’ll find ourselves eating neotropical blueberries soon.

      Since I was so fortunate to have you read and comment on my post, maybe you could answer a question about another photo I took at the show. In the post, I playfully labeled the large white and pastel purple orchid a “diva” – then was alerted by a reader that my picture resembled his streptocarpus plant at home. When I researched “streptocarpus”, I found an orchid website with a “Streptocarpus Purple Panda” bloom that looked very similar to the picture I took. Is your orchid in fact a Streptocarpus Purple Panda Orchid, or is that name reserved only for flower species in the African violet family?

      With all best wishes,
      P.s. My husband will be delighted to know that you approve of his radical pruning method for our orchid.

    • Too bad we can’t catch up and have our own delightful conversation over a cup of coffee!


  7. Megan says

    Maam i have 2 new orchids and i am tryin to find the exact species of my orchids so i can give them the best care. They look identical to the first orchid picture on this site the purple yellow and white colored one. What is the name of them? Thanks in advanced.

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