Orchids at the III Winter Festival of Orchids and Other Exotic Plants.

From late December to mid-March, the III Winter Festival of Orchids and Other Exotic Plants was held in Moscow. Its location, as in previous years, was the Palm Greenhouse of the oldest botanical institution in Russia - the Aptekarsky Ogorod (branch of the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University at Prospekt Mira, 26). It was founded more than 300 years ago - in 1706 - by order of Peter the Great himself.

Compared to the two previous festivals, the number of plants exhibited within the framework of this event has significantly increased and exceeded one thousand copies. Basically, these were beautiful orchids, which are rightfully considered the most attractive and unusual plants in protected ground. Despite the exoticism, Orchids are the most extensive and widespread family of the plant kingdom (about 800 genera and 35 thousand species inhabiting all continents, with the exception of Antarctica). Scientists in the tropics discover up to 200 new orchid species every year. But not everything is so rosy. Massive deforestation of tropical forests leads to a reduction in the number of orchid species, and in Russia many orchids (outwardly not as luxurious as in the tropics) are protected as endangered species and are included in the Red Data Books of various levels. Now with tropical orchids, extensive breeding work is underway: as a result of intraspecific and interspecific hybridization, a huge number of varieties have been obtained, which are mainly common in indoor culture.

I am not a specialist in orchids, but among those that were presented at the festival, I managed to find out the most popular ones - phalaenopsis, cymbidiums, wandas, dendrobiums, pafiopedilums (shoes), cambria, oncidiums, odontoglossums, zygopetalums, vanilla (dried fruits of the latter as the spice of the same name). Their flowers varied greatly in size (from 1 to 15 cm in diameter), in number on one plant and had the most incredible shapes and colors (white, various shades of pink, red, crimson, burgundy, yellow, orange, green, brown, blue , purple, lilac, monochrome, bicolor or multicolor, with various spots, stripes, strokes or strokes, polka dots or mesh). There were also differences in the size of the plants, in the shape, texture, arrangement and color of the leaves. At the festival, everyone could be convinced that orchids are a beautiful and mysterious world that contains many surprises, mysteries and amazing discoveries.

In the greenhouse space, orchids were located either singly or in picturesque groups - monochrome or not. Some specimens were suspended in moisture-saturated air, while others were placed on tree trunks, stands, shelves, or were dug right into the soil in pots.

The second place in terms of the number of species, hybrids and varieties presented at the winter festival was taken by the Bromeliad family. Here one could see the most common genera in room culture - vriezia, guzmania, neoregelia, nidularium, ehmeya, pineapple (for those who do not know, I will clarify that this is not a palm tree at all, but a herbaceous plant up to 1 m tall). In terms of the variety of shapes and colors (red, yellow, green, less often - blue tones), they, of course, were inferior to orchids, but they were still good.

Of undoubted interest among the visitors were carnivorous plants (sundews, Venus flytraps, Nepentes, Sarracenia) that feed on insects and are still rarely found in indoor culture. Also, the interior of the greenhouse was decorated with other evergreen decorative representatives of the flora: multi-colored anthuriums, medinilla, poinsettia, strelitzia, takka. The latter, for its gloomy, unusual shape, flowers are called the black lily and the bat.

The permanent inhabitants of the greenhouse - various types of powerful century-old palms, a two-hundred-year-old specimen of a cycad, monstera, coffee, cocoa, avocado and many other representatives of the flora created the feeling of a real tropical forest, under the canopy of which enthusiastic visitors strolled leisurely. The show of orchids and other exotic plants is over. However, in just a few months it will start again ...

Alexey Antsiferov, candidate of agricultural sciences, Corresponding Member of ANIRR Photo by the author

Watch the video: Apopka International Winter Orchid Festival by KrullSmith and Orchid Haul

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