Orchid show kicks off at Lalbagh

Orchid show kicks off at Lalbagh

Orchids, the flowers elite, were a huge crowd-puller on the opening day of the three-day Orchid Show-2014 at Lalbagh Botanical Gardens in the City on Friday.

People thronged to take photographs, buy the various species on display and compared notes with other growers.

Visitors, irrespective of their age and profession were seen making a beeline at the stalls to buy the native Western Ghat and hybrid flowering and non-flowering species.

The show was inaugurated by the Chairman of Bangalore Environment Trust S P Prabha and President of The Orchid Society of Karnataka (TOSKAR) K S Shashidhar. A souvenir was also released on the occasion.

Speaking to the media, Shashidhar said, “This is the third consecutive year of the show and it is not supported by the government. The aim is to make people aware of the species and educate them on how to grow and manage them. Orchid rearing is normally considered as a hobby for the elite. But now it has become popular as people gift them and also use them for decorations especially in weddings. They are preferred as they live longer. Orchids are normally found in Western Ghats but now face a threat. We want to make people aware of its importance in the wild and of the multi-million dollar trade of the hybrid species.” Last year the show received around 6,000 people, this year over 8,000 people are expected.

For the first time this year an Orchid competition is being held. So far 64 entries were received, of which 24 have been short listed and results will be announced on Sunday.

Avid orchid rearers

Nageshwar M, TOSKAR member and participant at the exhibition said, “I participate every year and have been growing orchids at home for the past 25 years and I have over 1,300 plants and 300 varieties. This is my passion and I spend around Rs 25,000 a month to take care of my plants. I have also made a green house on my terrace.”

The star attraction at the show was the Mantapa style mini forest made of 125 white Phalaenoposis orchid plants, 220 branches of Dendrobium orchids and Gypsophila. “Some of the Dendrobium orchids on display were rescued from being cut off for road widening on the Mysore-Kannur Road. I took six of them and reared them. They have grown well and are being displayed here,” said Ram Kumar, TOSKAR Secretary.

Sharlene Das, an avid orchid rearer from Shillong, visited the show for the first with her relative.

She has over 200 plants of about 40 local varieties in Shillong and wanted to purchase some of the local species from Bangalore. She pointed out that most local species need seasonal rainfalls and humidity, this is the reason why they do not grow well in other places. But the training sessions for growers, also part of the show, will give insights on how to grow the local species in differents climates.

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