Home » Postcards from The Orchid Show 2023 at the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, USA

Postcards from The Orchid Show 2023 at the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, USA

by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta
NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Designer Lily Kwong - Photo by Luxury Experience
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Epidendrum Pacific Prince Hot Pink - photo by Luxury Experience

Orchids are nature’s most beloved and exotic of flowers and The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in Bronx, New York, annually attracts orchid aficionados, horticulturists, artists, and photographers to celebrate their stunning beauty. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023, this year’s show features the vision of the acclaimed landscape artist and designer Lily Kwong who transforms the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a dream-like fantasy that must be seen to be fully appreciated. We attended opening weekend, and the show once again dazzled our senses. The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden runs until April 23, 2023.


We attended The Orchid Show on Sunday, February 19, 2023, where our senses were transported with the orchids’ dazzling colors, fragrances, sizes, and shapes. From vibrant and bold yellows, oranges, reds, and purples, to delicate and fragile looking pinks, pale yellows, light greens, and whites, orchids always enchant from the tiniest to the largest with their showy plate-size ruffled shapes. As orchid lovers, we always have several orchids at home in various stages of blooming and appreciate the orchid show each year where the sheer number of spectacularly blooming orchids transfix and mesmerize the eyes.

Every year we learn something new and interesting about orchids from reading the signage throughout the show. As a point of reference, orchids belong to the family orchidaceae one of the largest plant families, and there are 30,000 naturally occurring orchid species that grow on six continents and over 100,000 hybridized varieties. Orchids come in all sizes and colors with the rarest color being blue. An orchid’s seed capsule can contain up to 4 million tiny seeds, and when you see an "X" before the name on orchid signage it means that it is a hybrid.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Xcattilianthe Gold Digger - Photo by Luxury Experience
Xcattlianthe Gold Digger Orglades Mandarin

More than just stunning to look at, orchids have a long history of culinary and medicinal uses. Vanilla comes from the Vanilla planifolia orchid where its long seed pods are dried and cured and cherished for culinary uses. Found in tropical forests in Central and South America, Vanilla Orchids grow as "epiphytes" meaning that they grow on trees. There are more than 900 species of Cane Orchid (Dendrobium), which are important in traditional Chinese medicine and used as tonics for longevity. Its history of medicinal use dates to the Han dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE).

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Reflecting Pool - Photo by Luxury Experience
Reflecting Pool

For 2023, acclaimed artist and landscape designer Lily Kwong has created a fantasy of a presentation based on her Chinese heritage utilizing sculptural elements to reflect the mountains interspersed with cascading orchids in a rainbow of colors. Whether meandering around her large sculptural designs, dazzled by the spectacular display of orchids as visitors enter the conservatory, or appreciating the reflecting pool walkways where terrestrial orchids grace the paths, the 2023 Orchid Show exceeded our expectations and as well as our imaginations.

As an added element of surprise and enjoyment historic artwork and poems by various poets translated into English were placed throughout the show inviting visitors to take time to pause and reflect on the harmony and beauty of art, words, and nature.

A Guide to the Types of Orchids at the Show

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Xrhyncholaelicatteya  - Photo by Luxury Experience

Cattleya (Corsage Orchid) are large, frilly, and fragrant orchids. They grow in Central and South America and there are 70 species.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Cymbidium - Photo by Luxury Experience

Cymbidium (Asian Corsage Orchid), have grass-like leaves, tall spikes, and waxy flowers. They come in all colors including green.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Dendrobium - Photo by Luxury Experience

Dendrobium (Cane Orchid) is an important medicinal orchid. There are over 900 Dendrobium species that grow across Korea, Japan, China, Indo-Malaysia and into Papua New Guinea.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Epidendrum - Photo by Luxury Experience

Epidendrum (Reed Orchid), have small flowers on long, thin, reed-like stems. They can either be "epiphytes" (tree dwellers) or "terrestrial" (ground growers).

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Miltonia - Photo by Luxury Experience

Miltonia (Pansy Orchid), are easy to distinguish as they resemble pansies (although they are not related) and grow predominantly in Brazil.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Oncidium - Photo by Luxury Experience

Oncidium (Dancing Lady Orchid), have clusters of small, fragrant flowers with ruffled edges on slender branches usually in colors of yellow or brown. They are named Dancing Lady for their ruffled edges that look like the skirts of ladies dancing.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Paphiopedium - Photo by Luxury Experience

Paphiopedilum (Slipper Orchid), can be identified by their lower labellum that resembles a pouch that attracts insects to enter and pollinate. They grow in tropical Asia and come in a range of colors including almost black, and can be striped, spotted, bumpy, or hairy.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Phalaneopsis - Photo by Luxury Experience

Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) is distinguished by their wide "moth-like" shape. They can be spotted or have striped patterns which attract pollinators.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Vanda - Photo by Luxury Experience

Vanda (Rainbow Orchid) are large orchids that come in all colors of the rainbow and can be spotted or have patterns.

While the landscape designs always create an impactful impression, it is the essential beauty of the orchids themselves from which we take the most pleasure. Solid colored or striped, patterned, or spotted, or with the look of being hand-painted, each orchid rightly shines leaving a lasting impression in our memories, and for that we are forever grateful.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Phalaenopsis - Photo by Luxury Experience

Until next time, keep enjoying travel with Luxury Experience. Happy Spring!

Pro Tips for Visiting the Orchid Show

Do allow a minimum of 2-3 hours to fully appreciate the orchid show and the rest of the conservatory gardens that transport visitors to the tropics and to the desert, before venturing outdoors to enjoy the various gardens as they come into bloom. Take time to ride the tram to experience all the beauty of the 250-acres of the garden, visit the gift shop to take home a bit of the NYBG, and perhaps enjoy a beverage or lunch in one of the restaurants to spend a perfect day at the New York Botanical Garden.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Phalaenopsis - Photo by Luxury Experience

The NYBG Orchid Show Dates and Special Information

The Orchid Show runs until April 23, 2023

Orchid Nights: (For Adults 21+): March 18 and 25, and April 1, 8, 15, & 22 from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm. Entry Times at 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, and 8:00 pm.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Phalaenopsis - Photo by Luxury Experience

Orchid Show Classes: Select dates in March, April, and May. Orchid Flowers in Watercolors: Saturday, March 18, 2023. Orchids for Beginners: Sunday, March 19, 2023. Special Photographers’ Hours: The Orchid Show: Friday, March 24, 2023. Phalaenopsis Care: Thursday, April 27, 2023. Hardy Orchids: Saturday, April 29, 2023. Hanging Orchid Basket: Thursday, May 4, 2023.

The Orchid Outpost on Saturdays and Sundays from February 18 until April 23, 2023, from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm – At the Garden.

The Orchid Expert is in: Saturdays on February 17, 19, 26 and April 23 from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm – At the Garden.

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - X Aliceara - Photo by Luxury Experience

Orchid Basics Q&A: Wednesday, Saturdays, and Sundays from February 18 until April 23, 2023, from 1:00 pm – 4:00 – At the Garden. (NYBG Shop).

The All-Garden Pass includes daytime access to The Orchid Show, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and Tram Tour, plus Garden features including the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and outdoor collections.

Admission: Adult: $35, Senior (65+): $31, Student (with valid ID): $31, Child (2-12) $15, Child Under 2: Free, Patrons/Members: Free

In addition to the Orchid Show, the NYBG holds interesting events year-round so be sure to check their website for all upcoming events and programs.

For additional information on tickets and pricing, please visit the NYBG website at: www.nybg.org/visit/admission/

NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Phragmipedium - Photo by Luxury Experience

About the NYBG

The New York Botanical Garden is a 250-acre oasis located in Bronx, New York. Founded in 1891, the garden attracts year-round visitors with its exquisite beauty, spectacular exhibitions, and interesting programs. It is a National Historic Landmark located in Bronx, New York where its nearby neighbors include Fordham University and the Bronx Zoo. Do allow a minimum of 3 hours to thoroughly experience the New York Botanical Garden and its many programs.

Other special exhibitions and events, such as Members-Only Previews, may cause early closing of Garden areas. Exceptions are also made for evening events, which may take place after normal Garden hours. For specific hours on the day of your visit, please see their calendar on the website: www.nybg.org/plan_your_visit/

The Garden, its buildings, and its tour vehicles are accessible to people with disabilities, except for a few areas where the terrain is naturally uneven. Wheelchairs are available free of charge at both Garden entrances, on a first-come, first-served basis (reservations are not accepted). An ID must be left with Visitor Services. Visit the website for additional information: www.nybg.org/visit/accessibility.php

Please visit the website for additional information on the NYBG, The Orchid Show, upcoming programs and events, and admission: www.nybg.com

New York Botanical Gardens - Bronx, New York, USA

New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, New York 10458
United States
Telephone: +1-718-817-8700
Website: www.nybg.org
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/NYBotanicalGarden
Twitter: @nybg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nybg/

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