Annual Orchid Show At Missouri Botanical Garden Exudes Mayan Flair

Travel to a mysteriously different time and place with the debut of the 2011 Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden. This winter, the Maya-themed show offers colorful orchids, lush foliage and eclectic art and accents, through Sunday, Mar. 27. The show is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (last weekday entry at 2 p.m.) and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Orchid Show admission is $5 per person (ages 3 and up), in addition to regular Garden admission ($4-$8).

The Orchid Show is the one time of year for visitors to see a regularly rotating display of the Garden’s orchid collection, one of the largest in the nation. The Garden is home to 7,500 individual orchid plants representing approximately 280 genera and over 2,500 unique orchid taxa.
This year’s Orchid Show theme is a nod to the much-discussed Maya “Long Count” calendar, which reaches its end in 2012. Prints of ancient Yucatan ruins sketched by famed writer John L. Stevens and artist Frederick Catherwood, photographs and cases of botanically-derived textile, agricultural, medicinal and ceremonial products offer an orienting insight into Maya culture in the show’s entry vestibule. As visitors step into the 5,000-square-foot Orthwein Floral Display Hall, they are transported into a jungle-like environment filled with verdant foliage. A light fog meanders through the pathways, adding to the ambiance. Life-sized, moss-covered mannequins donning colorful, elaborate headpieces of dried botanicals pose throughout the display. A large, central serpent fountain gurgles water from its mouth. Replicas of a reclining Chac Mool stone statue, chiseled towers and other sculptures peek out from behind plant leaves. At every turn, hundreds of blooming orchids fill the scene.

Photographers are welcome to use hand-held cameras to capture the Orchid Show for personal enjoyment; tripod and monopod usage is not permitted indoors.
Sponsorship support for the 2011 Orchid Show is provided by Northern Trust Bank.
Admission to the Orchid Show is $5 per person (ages 3 and over), in addition to general Garden admission ($8; St. Louis City and County residents, $4 and free on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until noon; free children ages 12 and under). Garden members are admitted free to both the Garden and Orchid Show.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit and from Interstate 64 at the Kingshighway North & South exit. Free parking is available on-site and two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.
For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577-5100 (toll-free, 1-800-642-8842).
Join the Garden or renew your membership during the 2011 Orchid Show and receive free show admission for two adults and all children. Memberships begin at $65 ($60 for seniors) and offer 12 months of free admission for two adults and all children, plus exclusive invitations and discounts.
Learn more at www.mobot.org/membership.

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