The Beauty of the Jardin botanique de Montréal’s Orchid Collection
Looking to escape the frigid conditions outside? January is the best time to take a stroll through our balmy exhibition greenhouses and observe our vibrant and diverse orchid collection in bloom. You will find these colourful and fragrant plants in our Orchid and Aroid greenhouse as well as our Tropical Rainforest greenhouse. From January 16th to 29th, we will be putting our most showy orchid specimens on display in our Reception Centre.
Although flowering times for orchids vary according to variables such as species, environmental conditions and cultivation techniques, certain genera tend to brandish their best blooms around the fall and winter, evening temperatures are cooler. In January, our Paphiopedilums, Phalaenopsis, Cymbidiums and a select group of Cattleyas are ready to stun admirers with their eye-catching flowers. This winter, be sure to check out our display case between our Orchid and our Fern greenhouses to see some of our more delicate and rare specimens, namely our Masdevallias, Miltonias and Calanthes. These smaller specimens are often paired up with dainty specimens from our Fern collection.
With Adaptation Comes Diversity
The family Orchidaceae is arguably the most diverse family of plants on earth with between 25 000 and 35 000 reported species along with new discoveries named by botanists on a regular basis. Their flowers represent just one of the many ingenious ways that orchids have adapted to life in the forest. In our Orchid and Aroid greenhouse, you can learn about how orchid flowers attract different organisms to help them pollinate. Their enticing forms not only draw in bees, but some species attract more unusual helpers such as flies, moths and even birds in some cases. In our Tropical Rainforest greenhouse, you can discover how epiphytic orchids have adapted to growing on trees.
A Collection with a Rich History
In the 1940s, the Jardin botanique de Montréal began acquiring and cultivating orchids under its first curator, Henry Teuscher. Our collection has since flourished into an inventory comprised of over 1 300 species from cool, temperate and tropical climates. This exceptional group of plants is preserved in two exhibition greenhouses along with three conservation greenhouses as well as an outdoor shelter, in the summer. Two specialized horticulturists oversee the care and the success of this collection.
While some flowers can last up to several weeks or even months, other blooms are more ephemeral and only last a few days. Be sure to catch our show stopping orchids before it’s too late!
Many thanks to Josianne Boulanger and Denis Laperrière, Specialized horticulturists responsible for our orchid collections, for collaborating on this blog post.