Gems of the Rainforest opens October 10 in the Conservatory. Amongst the greenery, the rainforest plants in Selby’s public greenhouse will sparkle with the radiance of semi-precious gems. Regal orchids, such as the showy Bowring’s Cattleya and the aptly-named Noble Dendrobium, will hold court through October 28.
Visitors will be tantalized by the colorful majesty on display. The royal horticultural line up will include
· Guarianthe bowringiana (Bowring’s Cattleya) typically makes its home in Belize and Guatemala on rocky cliffs with elevations up to 3,000 feet. Incidentally, the lithophyte is named for an amateur orchid enthusiast who lived in England in the 1800s.
· Dendrobium nobile (Noble Dendrobium) - an immensely popular ornamental, this species occurs largely in deciduous forests in the foothills of the Himalayas and surrounding environs. It is also valued in traditional Chinese medicine. It is used to nourish and stimulate the stomach. A tea made from the stems of this and other Dendrobium species is taken for complaints such as fever, sunstroke and excessive perspiration.
According to Selby’s Director of Horticulture Mike McLaughlin, “The living collections at Selby provide unlimited inspiration for rotating displays throughout the year.” With eight active greenhouses, many visitors never realize the plentiful inventory of blooms that Selby has at its disposal.
While the crown jewels of the tropical plant world will perform a dazzling show for visitors, an impressive array of arts, cultural and educational offerings will complement and enhance the horticultural displays
Promotion for the displays was made possible through a grant from the Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues. Area hospitality partners of the displays include the Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt Sarasota, Hampton Inn at the Sarasota Bradenton Airport, Hotel Indigo and Marina Jack.