A symbol of decadence and seduction, sweet smelling orchids have inspired and exemplified a sense of exotic beauty and sophistication as well as celebration and death in many mythologies. Their intoxicating smell and attractive foliage can charm anyone’s heart, making it one-of-a-kind in appearance and medicinal qualities.
According to the Indian Vedic texts, plants under the name vanda have been mentioned as one of the most beautiful groups of orchids. Interestingly, Vanda “Miss Joaquim” variety of orchids has been designated as Singapore’s national flower since 1982 precisely for its vibrant colours, hardiness and resilient-qualities that is said to reflect the country’s true spirit.
Not just in Singapore, but world over these effervescent flowers are known to hold a symbolic sense of stronghold and resolute power. Not considered to be dainty despite its looks, orchids add cheerfulness with a sense of highly developed style.
Each orchid variety has different bloom times. However, it usually sees a good bloom during this time of the year. Taking advantage of the perfect season, orchid festivals are celebrated around the world by different institutions, one being the month-long Orchids Festival 2017 (continuing till 2 March) being celebrated in UK.
Just like every year, this year too, inspired by the colourful plant life and variety found in India, the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew, London, has featured giant floral displays and recreated rickshaws with a slew of exotic orchids adorning the landscape. The exotic foliage forms elephants and peacocks along with a traditional Indian swing, which hangs delicately from the ceilings consisting of Vanda orchids with a floral pond on display beside it. All those showcase typical Indian culture and tradition as it adorns itself with beautiful orchid blooms.
The festival celebrates not just species available in India, but also the use of orchids in religion, medicine and everyday life. Visitors are in for a flavour of India through a vibrant display of exotic horticulture. Considered the largest family of flowering plants, nearly 1,000 variety of orchid species are added to the ever-expanding list. Along with new species, visitors can soak in the pleasant display of inspiring floral arrangements at the festival.
The alluring flower species are perhaps one of the most preferred ones for arrangements and gifts. Although orchids have enjoyed their fair share of popularity, it would not be wrong to say that perhaps, they lost out to rose and lilies and leaned towards the darker popular imagination where they could charm their admirers but could never claim their innocence.
However, the unique thing about orchids is that, with each species and hybrid, it marks a different character. It would not be wrong to say that if orchids were human they would be the prettiest and the strongest kind with a zing of surprise as no two orchids can ever be same!