Orchid Spectrum at U.S. Botanic Garden

I mentioned awhile back that I wanted to keep an eye out for the Smithsonian Gardens’ annual orchid exhibit. Well, just last week I discovered that the exhibit, called Orchid Spectrum, is running from February 23 to April 8 at the United States Botanic Garden. So on Monday I took a chilly walk on over to check the exhibit out!

The 2018 exhibit is quite different from the 2017 exhibit, which was called Orchids: A Moment. That exhibit was a simple but beautiful display of orchids on shelves in the lobby of the Hirshhorn Museum. This year’s exhibit feels more organic, seeing as how it takes place throughout the U.S. Botanic Garden—it’s like a smaller version of the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show.

Upon entering the main conservatory hall, I was greeted with this lovely archway covered with Phalaenopsis orchids:

I spent about an hour wandering through the different rooms of the garden…and I probably looked like a crazy person photographing every single orchid. Though I felt like I took a ton of photos, I didn’t even come close to capturing them all with my camera!

For this post, I thought I would try out a different method of displaying my favorite photos from this exhibit. Rather than uploading a ton of large photos that create a very long post, I chose to display them in a gallery. Below, you can hover over each image to see its caption, and you can click on each image to see a larger version. Once you’ve opened the larger version, you can click through the slideshow…though within the slideshow you won’t see captions (not ideal, I know). I’ve included orchid names in the captions where I can, but not all the orchids had tags on them. If you know the name of any of the NOID orchids I’ve included below, feel free to let me know in the comments. Please enjoy!

Thoughts on the photo gallery display? I know people generally don’t like change (believe me, I’m one of them), so I get it if you hate it. I realize that the longer captions are cut off when you hover over them and then you can’t see the full caption at all when you click on the image. I’ll have to look into whether there’s a way around that. F U, technology.

One last pic—of course I had to take a selfie with my favorite plants!

Selfie at Orchid Spectrum

If you live in the DC area (the DMV, as locals apparently call it) or happen to be visiting Washington DC while Orchid Spectrum is running, I highly recommend going to the U.S. Botanic Garden to check out the exhibit! Also…there is no entry fee for the USBG or the exhibit, so that’s a plus. The garden is located at the southeastern corner of the National Mall—very close to the US Capitol and the National Museum of the American Indian—so it’s kind of in the thick of things in terms of DC sightseeing.

Have you been to see Orchid Spectrum yet? What were your favorite orchids in the exhibit?


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