Featured Plant

The Orchid Family: Orchidaceae

Orchidaceae are one of the two largest families of flowering plants, with approximately 28,000 species distributed over 763 Genera. The number of orchid species nearly equals the number of bony fish in the world, more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species.

Orchids are considered perennial herbs as they lack any woody structure. The Vanilla Orchid, the source of vanilla flavouring, grows in a vine like style called Monopodial; the stem grows from a single bud and leaves are added annually as the stem grows. You can find one in the Conservatory growing up the Loquot Tree in the southeast corner of the Palm House.

Orchids have great variety in their flowers and are highly specialized to their pollinators. Some orchids are highly scented but most rely on visually attraction or mimicry. Orchids can be terrestrial with root systems that can be rhizomes, corms or tubers. Epiphytic orchids grow on trees using aerial roots, which act as attachment systems but also help the orchid grow by absorbing humidity. A very common epiphytic orchid is the Phalaenopsis, which is showcased in the current display room at the Conservatory. 

Manitoba is home to over 30 species of native orchids. Most are endangered so please enjoy them where you find them and bring home pictures NOT plants.

Join the Manitoba Orchid Society for their Spring Show & Sale at the Conservatory from March 23 - 25. There will be public information sessions, an American Orchid Society judged show, plus a variety of orchid species, hybrids, and growing supplies for sale from qualified vendors.


yellow orchid