Orchids in the Luxembourg Gardens

Celebrating 150 years of existence, the Orchid Collection of the Luxembourg Gardens will be available for viewing to the public from February 5-14, 2010.   This exceptional exhibit, nestled among the magical plants of the Orangerie du Senat, pays tribute to the largest Orchid Collection in France and allows the visitor a privileged look at a site normally closed to the public.

The history of the collection began in 1838, when the Emperor of Brazil’s doctor sent a sample of plants to the Botanical Garden of the Paris School of Medecin, located just south of the Luxembourg Gardens.   At the time, the West knew almost nothing about the culture or the reproduction of these mysterious tropical plants.  In time, the botanical exchange gave rise to a collection of 1200 different species of Orchids.

In 1860, the Paris School of Medecin decided to do away with the garden, but fortunately the Senate accepted to take over the conservation and built a giant greenhouse in the Luxembourg Gardens to house the precious collection.   Though no one knows for sure the exact origin of the number or type of plants that were originally sent from Brazil, the Senate Conservatory has today identified over 13,000 plants with over 150 different genus represented.   The collection boasts 1300 distinct plants, including the extremely rare and barely pronounceable Lycaste Skinneri, Peristeria Elata (Dove Orchid or Holy Ghost Orchid), Schomburgkia Superbiens, Stenorrhynchus Speciosus and the National Collection from Guyana.  Free entry.

Orchids in the Luxumbourg Gardens – February 5 -14, 2010
(Open everyday from 10 am – 5 pm)

Orangerie of the Luxembourg Gardens   5 rue Guynemer    75006   Paris   M Rennes
http://www.senat.fr

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