Orchid - Paphiopedilium callosum
The Orchid House is something of a hidden treasure at the San Diego Zoo, filled with over 3,000 orchid plants. It was fascinating to see the diversity among the lovely flowers. The collection contains 189 of the approximately 880 recognized genera, including hundreds of the same species in some cases and singular species of others. All orchids are considered endangered by international agreement, and the Zoo is a rescue center, providing an appropriate environment for border confiscations, many of which are quite exotic. The Zoo’s orchid collection is also an active part of the conservation of the species by growing, propagating, and sharing them with other botanical gardens.
Many thanks to Janette and Paul for the warm welcome I received! They are two of the horticulturalists who give the orchids the loving care they need to keep them healthy and beautiful, and generously share their knowledge with visitors. As I walked around gazing at the intricate formation of each unique flower, I felt a bit like I’d stepped through a magic closet! I was glad to have Paul point out a few of the tiny ones that I might have missed seeing.
The Orchid House is open one Friday each month. Here’s the link for the dates: http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/content/botanical-tours
A big thank you to Janette for providing me with the names of the orchids I photographed!