Kew Orchids Festival to celebrate Colombia

Colombia’s rich biodiversity and culture will be celebrated at Kew’s 24th annual Orchids Festival (February 9-March 10, 2019).

The Princess of Wales Conservatory (pictured) will feature orchid displays, each representing aspects of Colombian wildlife and culture.

Famed for its wildlife diversity, Colombia boasts the greatest number of bird species of any country in the world.

The central display of the festival will be a ‘carnival of animals’ depicting a toucan in flight, a hanging sloth and swimming turtle, all composed of orchids, bromeliads and other tropical plants.

Colombia’s famous rainbow river, Caño Cristales, will be represented through a cascade of hundreds of colourful hanging vandas, and visitors can see a forest scene, complete with life-sized jaguars.

A display of hundreds of colourful butterflies will be suspended from the glasshouse ceiling and the legend of El Dorado will be depicted through a golden floating display of orchids in the glasshouse pond.

The festival will also showcase some of Kew’s scientific work with Colombia to help identify, protect and promote the country’s biodiversity.

There will also be a programme of weekend and evening events and activities featuring Colombian music, dance and cuisine, as well as a series of talks from orchid experts at the Surrey attraction.

Elisa Biondi, Princess of Wales Conservatory supervisor, said: “The Princess of Wales Conservatory will be transformed by awe-inspiring orchid displays that will showcase Colombia’s biodiversity and Kew’s work in the country to help to protect, conserve and study its plants.”

Entry to the Orchids Festival is included in the standard ticket to the gardens.

Home page image of Yasmin Akorofi-Rollock and orchid arches by RBG Kew.