In this video, Marc Hachadourian, curator of the orchid collection at the New York Botanical Garden, discusses the display of miniature orchids at the annual Orchid Show.
Probably my favorite part of the Orchid Show every year is this display of miniature orchids. The reason we do this is not only to be able to use some of the unusual miniatures we have in our orchid collection, but also to showcase the diversity of the orchid family itself. Orchids are one of the largest flowering-plant families, with over 20,000 naturally occurring species and now over 150,000 man-made hybrids.
One of these minis is a tiny Oberonia that has about 400 to 500 individual blooms on each of its pendant flower spikes. Each flower is only 1 mm in diameter, the thickness of a dime. With this plant, you could hold a couple thousand orchid blooms in just the palm of your hand.
The fantastic diversity of orchids makes this a wonderful group for us to focus on because it shows all of the various work in research, education, and display that we do at the NYBG. This also includes the important work of botanical conservation. talking about how to save the rainforest and other habitats that these plants grow in. Showing off this wonderful miniature display is one of the best ways to educate the public.