The two-day orchid show at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens was a treat for nature lovers

They resembled moths (Phalaenopsis), butterflies (Oncidium), slippers (Paphiopedilum), tiger skins (Tiger Orchids) and from excited murmers, it could be gathered, nuns.

Whatever the variety, each of the orchids in the recent two-day orchid exhibition organized by The Orchid Society of Karnataka (TOSKAR) at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, was a visual delight. With over 1,250 species of orchids, India is considered to be one of the world’s orchid hotspots, with the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalayan region, accounting for most of the species. Karnataka meanwhile, being home to a part of the Western Ghats, is known to host over 120 species of orchids, a sizeable number.

“But in spite of the richness and diversity of orchids, India has not made much of a dent in the orchid industry,” said Santosh Hegde, President of TOSKAR.

“The aim of the exhibition was to create awareness about orchid cultivation, popularize orchid growing, promote the conservation of wild orchids and promote the orchid industry, based on scientific principles,” he explained, adding that this was the first time an exclusive orchid exhibition was being organized in Bangalore. The exhibition featured a select range of species, largely from the Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Paphiopedilum, Oncidium, Cymbidium, and Vanda species.

To a layman, the room was a burst of purples, maroons, pinks and whites, though there was an occasional yellow or red.

On a closer inspection, the flowers took on a unique shade, design and shape with such exquisite detail that, clichéd though it may seem, one could not help but marvel at the sheer perfection of nature’s creation.

Many of these orchids displayed were grown by the members of TOSKAR. “The point of the exhibition was to let people know that they too can grow orchids because earlier people believed it wasn’t possible to grow orchids at home. Orchid exhibitions always happen abroad, and we wanted to have an exhibition in India too, since these varieties are all available here,” added Sabitha N.Reddy, executive committee member of TOSKAR.

To this effect, the ceremony also included a book launch, of Beginner’s Guide to Grow Orchids by K. S. Shashidhar. The book was launched by Manmohan Attavar, Chairman of Indo-American Hybrid Seeds. For copies of the book, contact Shashidhar on 9448351170.

Keywords: orchid showTOSKAR