Orchids at Hillwood Estate

An Orchid Collection in Northwest DC

Hello, orchid friends! I’m back to share photos from our first visit to Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens located in Northwest DC. We went specifically to see a new exhibit called Fragile Beauty: Art of the Ocean, but I had been wanting to visit for a long time because the estate has an orchid collection. So of course we also explored the greenhouses while we were there! (P.S. the Fragile Beauty exhibit is very lovely!)

Hillwood Estate greenhouses

Hillwood Estate is the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, heir to the Postum Cereal Company—now known as Post. She was known as the wealthiest woman in American for some time; roaming her estate, you can see why. The mansion in DC is just one of her many homes, and she also owned more than one yacht. She became an art collector, and her mansion in DC houses what is believed to be the largest collection of Russian decorative art outside of Russia itself. It’s a really impressive collection and worth seeing in person, though that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

Post’s Orchid Collection

The greenhouses at Hillwood Estate contain more than 2,000 tropical plant specimens.

Entering the greenhouse, you’re greeted with lovely Phalaenopsis blooms:

Phalaenopsis Green Angel

There were so many beautiful blooms in the greenhouses that I didn’t know where to start! I’ll share some of my favorites here and note the names if I was able to see the tag.

This beauty has coloring similar to my peloric Phal, minus the peloric blooms.

These speckles-and-stripes blooms look so happy:

I liked this rusty orange Colmanara Catatante ‘Kilauea Karmal’:

Here’s a pretty Oncidium Macmex ‘Woodlands’ x Odontioda Avranches:

I always love Phragmipediums; this one is a Phrag. dalessandroi x Conchiferum ‘Kay’:

Tons of blooms on this Miltassia Charles M. Fitch ‘Izumi’:

Did not see the tag on this Oncidium alliance orchid, but it was also bursting with blooms:

A pretty display of blooming orchids and tropical plants by the central greenhouse entry:

Didn’t catch the tag on this white orchid…maybe a type of Laelia?

I believe this is some kind of Phal? Whatever it is, I love how the lip mimics the petals:

Pretty in purple: Cattleya Canhamania ‘Cobalt’ AM/AOS:

Again, I didn’t catch the tag on this one but I loved the long spray of delicate blooms:

A gorgeous Phal. Chingruey’s Giant…the natural sunlight was SO good for photographs.

I wasn’t not going to take greenhouse selfies.

selfie with orchids

That fuchsia ombré effect on these blooms….sooooo pretty:

I have an orchid similar to this waxy beauty, but did not see its tag:

These pale peach blooms are so unusual:

Looks like a type of Dendrobium:

Another gorgeous greenhouse display:

Tropical plant display

Dendrobium Sherry Abe ‘Myzina’ AM/AOS:

A Cattleya or Laelia, I believe?

This Dendrobioum Green Leopard has the coolest lip:

Got hit with a bit of sprinkler water while posing here, but it felt really nice on a warm June morning.

You can expect to see at least a couple photos from our Hillwood visit in my 2025 orchid calendar! I was really impressed with how many orchids are currently blooming there. I took a lot more photos, so what you see here is just an edited-down selection.

I do recommend visiting Hillwood Estate if you’re an orchid lover. Even if you’re not into orchids, the estate gardens are beautiful, and the art collection in the mansion is also totally worth seeing.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re staying cool out there!

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