Orchids of Latin America

January 26 – April 21, 2013

National Museum of Natural History, Exhibit Gallery, 1st Floor, West Wing

Want to stroll through a tropical rainforest on a cold winter's day? Drink in a fragrant orchid? The 2013 orchid exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History, Orchids of Latin America, will explore the rich crossroads where orchid botany, horticulture, and Latin American cultures meet. Featuring orchids from the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection and the United States Botanic Garden Orchid Collection, the exhibit looks at the importance of orchids in Latin American folklore and cultural traditions, explores how that region is a hotbed for scientific research on orchid biology and evolution, and highlights conservation efforts to preserve orchids and their habitats for future generations. Take Our Virtual Tour (Click a Map detail icon to find out more):

3 Important Questions About Orchid Conservation

The Experts

Tom Mirenda

Smithsonian Gardens' Orchid Specialist

Lou Jost

Botanist, Orchid Hunter

Lorena Endara

Research Assistant, FLAS Project

Passport to Orchids Of Latin America

On your journey through this exhibit learn about the richness of orchid botany, horticulture, and preservation efforts in unique habitats where orchids have existed and for thousands of years.

Did you know that orchids are prized as the national flower of Belize, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Venezula? What’s your state or national flower?

Look for the passport stamps in the exhibit to see the Latin American orchids on display. Or click the map to see examples from our collection.

Orchid Interpreters will be on-site to help you learn more during the exhibition.

Exhibition Events

¡Fiesta de las Or-KID-eas!
Orchid Family Day (Details +)

February 23rd, 10 am - 2 pm

The Smithsonian Associates Tours with Tom Mirenda, Orchid Expert

March 19th, 21st and 27th, 8:30 - 10 am

Connect With Us

Shares stories and pictures of your "Orchids of Latin America" experience on Twitter, Instagram, or Flickr with the hashtag #orchids2013. We'd love to hear from you!

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SmithsonianGardens
to see what plants have special meaning to our visitors then post a photo and tell us what plants are special to you.

Orchid Education

Our Orchids Around Us page has educational resources and activities built around orchids like Have You Eaten an Orchid, What is an Orchid?, and Every Color of The Rainbow among others.

Explore The Resources »

This exhibit is presented by Smithsonian Gardens in partnership with the United States Botanic Garden and the National Museum of Natural History.

Smithsonian Institution United States Botanic Garden

This program received Federal support from the Latino Iniatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.