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Steinhardt Conservatory - BBG

Aquatic House and Orchid Collection:

Two pools are the centerpieces of the house. The large, shallow pool 
features a variety of tropical and subtropical aquatic plants from 
around the world displayed in a naturalistic swamp environment. Its 
emphasis is on demonstrating the range of physical adaptations plants 
have made to live in, on, and near water. Plants include mangroves, 
papyrus, water hyacinth, numerous aroids, and the giant Victoria 
water platter.

The deep pool, or paludarium, displays many other plants of aquatic 
and wet environments. Treeferns, mosses, orchids, and an epiphyte 
tree stand above exposed rockwork, while waterfalls cascade into the 
six-foot-deep pool. Plants growing in and around the pool highlight 
the diversity of the world's submerged and emergent flora. 

Hanging from racks around the perimeter of the Aquatic House are 
numerous orchids, staghorn ferns, and other epiphytes.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a long history of cultivating 
orchids. Indeed, the Garden's seventh plant accession was a native 
ladyslipper, Cypripedium acaule. The main growth and organization of 
the orchid collection occurred from the 1950s through the 1970s under 
the guidance of Dr. Carl Withner. His teaching, writing, and 
expansion of the collection brought the Garden's orchid reputation to 
national prominence.

In 1999, BBG received a generous donation of approximately 800 
orchids from the private collection of widely respected orchid 
growers and hybridizers Dr. Benjamin Berliner and Esther Ann 
Berliner. The Berliners' gift consisted of an encyclopedic range of 
unusual and important species as well as many high quality hybrids in 
a variety of different generamany of them American Orchid Society 
award winners.

The BBG orchid collection now consists of some 2200 plants, 
distributed through 240 genera and representing about 980 species 
from around the world. Our holdings are particularly strong in the 
Cattleya and Lycaste alliances, as well as in Oncidium, Encyclia, 
Schombergkia, and Dendrobium species. There are over 25 cultivars of 
Laelia anceps and more than a dozen each of Laelia purpurata and 
Cattleya skinneri.

Our collection is kept within the Steinhardt Conservatory complex in 
a climate-controlled greenhouse specifically devoted to orchid 
cultivation. As plants bloom, they are rotated into a display case in 
the Robert W. Wilson Aquatic House. Also in this house, visitors can 
see more than 100 Vanda alliance plants blooming throughout the year, 
species orchids naturalized in the displays, and the Garden's giant 
specimen of Grammatophyllum speciosum, the species considered to be 
the largest orchid in the world.


Over the weekend I visited the Steinhardt Conservatory and took many 
photos. I've uploaded them to my briefcase and broke up the 
files as follows:


Please visit my photo album at: http://photos.yahoo.com/gardengrl911 and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

NYC Brooklyn, Zone 6b

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