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NC Zoo blossoms in May with orchid show featuring more than 300 displays

Posted on 04/28/2010

ASHEBORO, NC - May will be blooming inside and out at the North Carolina Zoo throughout the month during the zoo's 2nd annual orchid show at the African Pavilion.
The Orchidaecae family (to which orchids belong) is currently believed to be the second largest family of flowering plants with about 25,000 accepted species. Since the introduction of tropical orchids into cultivation in the 19th century, more than 100,000 hybrids have been produced, many of which will be featured at the show.

The show will include orchids from genera such as Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Dendrobium, Miltoniopsis, Oncidium and Intergenerics hybrids.

Many of the show's orchids have been placed as epiphytes-those plants that attach themselves to trees, rocks and other plants. Epiphytes have special roots to help them hold on and have special methods for using water. They are not parasitic and only use the host plant for support.
The majority of orchids grow in the tropics, and the beauty of the flowers comes from specialized scents and shapes developed to attract pollinators.

Seagrove Orchids, in Seagrove, N.C., is partnering with the zoo for the show and has provided the orchids along with some of the grower's personal orchid collection.
Orchids used for the show will be offered for sale to the public on June 4 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the zoo's Stedman Education Center.

Along with May's month-long orchid show, an upcoming October show will feature African violets, both part of the Tropical Plant Walk in the Pavilion.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.

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