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Orchid Show blossoms this weekend

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Compass

07 March, 2007

Springtime in Cayman signals the unique experience of the annual Orchid Show, to be held this weekend on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

Sponsored jointly by the Cayman Islands Orchid Society and the Botanic Park, the show includes educational exhibitions, colourful displays, and a chance to purchase some of the most beautiful and rare flowers in the world, says a press release. ‘Come early for the best selection and to avoid disappointment,’ it advises.

This show is an exhibition of locally grown orchids and a plant sale of specially imported orchids, most of which are in bloom. Not only showcasing beautiful hybrid orchids, the show promotes the conservation of Cayman’s native orchids. The event has also become an occasion for educating gardeners on the techniques of growing orchids. The proceeds from the show are used for orchid conservation efforts to protect Cayman’s native orchids, the release notes.

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is home to 10 of the 26 orchid species recorded from the Cayman Islands, and three of these are found nowhere else on earth. One of these unique three, the most commonly seen by park visitors, is Cayman’s National Flower, the Wild Banana Orchid (Myrmecophila thomsoniana) that is abundant in all natural areas. Other native orchids include: Pleurothallis caymanensis, Encyclia boothiana, Dendrophylax fawcettii, Tolumnia variegata, Cyclopogon elatus and Prescottia oligantha.

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is located in the district of North Side, which is a 40-minute drive east from George Town where the cruise ships dock. Add an extra 10 minutes if you’re travelling from Seven Mile Beach, the release advises.

Tune your television to Channel 27’s DayBreak on Friday, 9 March if you’d like to hear the latest details about the Orchid Show from Andrew Guthrie, the General Manager of the Botanic Park, and from Kirkland Nixon, an Orchid Society officer and one of Cayman’s leading orchid growers.

Show schedule

Saturday and Sunday

8.30am: Show and Orchid Plant Sale open to the public; Orchid Exhibits inside Visitors’ Centre Lobby; Orchid Plant Sale under tent opposite front of Visitors’ Centre.

10.30am: Orchid Potting and Culture Demonstration by Kirkland Nixon and Dr. Sekhar under tent on Visitors’ Centre Patio.

11.30am (Saturday only): Orchids Native to the Cayman Islands – a slide presentation by Frank Roulstone at second floor classroom in Visitors’ Centre.

11am to 2pm: Local food from Zelmalee Ebanks and Marsha of North Side.

1.30pm: Orchid Potting and Culture Demonstration by Kirkland Nixon and Dr. Sekhar under tent on Visitors’ Centre Patio.

2.30pm: What is an Orchid and how do I grow them? – a slide presentation by Kirkland Nixon and Dr. Sekhar at second floor classroom in Visitors’ Centre.

5.30pm: Show Closes for the day

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