71st Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show
Earl Warren Showgrounds
Friday, March 4th through Sunday, March 6th,
9 AM to 5 PM
National Geographic News reports that the popularity of orchids is soaring in the United States. People are discovering that the myth…‘orchids are hard to grow’…is simply not true. In fact, orchids respond best to ‘benign neglect!’ After they’re watered, they thrive best when left alone to dry out before the next watering. Periodically adding a little fertilizer completes their care needs.
Another factor that accounts for the growing popularity of these exotically beautiful plants is the fact that orchid flowers can survive up to 6 months, depending on the species. They come in myriad shapes and sizes, with some flowers growing as large as dinner plates, while others hardly covering the head of a pin. The largest orchids in the world can grow to over 65 FEET in height!
It has been said that when you look at an orchid, it looks back at you! The symmetry of an orchid blossom resembles that of the human face, so if a line is drawn vertically down the middle of the flower, the two halves are mirror images of each other. Scientists have speculated that this may be another reason why people have had such a longstanding fascination with these flowers.
Orchid colors range from the purest white or almost solid black. Every hue of the rainbow is represented by an orchid flower, but brilliant sky-blue is a rare color for the flowers, and only a terrestrial species from Australia produces flowers that are truly "blue" among the orchids.
While it is known that certain orchid species can live to be 100 years old, in contrast…it can take up to 18 years to produce some of these wonderful flowers from seed. The average orchid plant takes seven years to mature to a flowering plant from a seed.
Orchids grow naturally all over the world…on every continent except Antarctica. It is not known exactly how long orchids have been around, but biologists at Harvard University have identified the ancient fossilized remains of a pollen-bearing bee that has given scientists the first hint that orchids may be old enough to have coexisted with dinosaurs.
Whether you are an avid horticulturist, or just a lover of nature and beauty, the Annual Orchid Show in Santa Barbara is the perfect opportunity to experience the mystique that sets orchids apart from almost all other flowers. Orchids are elegant and almost unreal in their perfection. And although they are one of the largest flowering plant families, every orchid species has a unique look. Come see for yourself!