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Text & photo by Laurel Matthew, Greenhouse Horticulturalist/Orchid Grower, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.”

– Georgia O’Keeffe

Rare Cattleya tenebrosa blooming in the Conservatory.

Rare Cattleya tenebrosa blooming in the Conservatory.

This gorgeous corsage orchid, Cattleya tenebrosa (formerly Laelia tenebrosa), has just been put on display in the Conservatory. This species is native to Brazil, where it would grow on larger trees in dense rain forests. But over-collection and habitat loss have resulted in its near extinction in the wild. Fortunately, this specimen will remain in bloom for two to three more weeks, so visitors to the Garden will be able to enjoy these stunning flowers until July.





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