Do you love flowers? We do, and orchids especially. The Prague Botanical Garden in Troja makes an exhibition of orchids every year, and this time they have really outdone themselves. They attract visitors with the smallest flowers that can literally be seen only under a magnifying glass. But don't worry, you won't be deprived of an exotic garden experience! There are also huge, colorful flowers...
"This year's theme is twofold, firstly it's miniatures and giants, which aims to illustrate the variability of orchids, that it is a diverse group where you can find very tiny plants as well as gigantic plants with huge blooms,"
explained orchid curator Jan Bonert, adding that the second part of the theme was Ecuador, the richest country in the world by number of orchids. It is where you'll find real extremes, from the smallest to the largest ones.
There are about 2,500 orchid species in the greenhouses of the botanical garden. Visitors can admire even unique species, such as the collection of miniature orchids, including the supert tiny Lepanthes calodictyon.
Seen through the magnifying glass
"Its homeland are the misty forests of Ecuador. The orchid grows on trees, using them for support. It wouldn't survive on the ground,"
explained another curator, Romana Rybková, adding that the orchid's leaves were no larger than 1 to 2 centimeters.
The size of an orchid depends on how you evaluate it, whether by the size of the plant or by the size of the blossom.
"If you measure it by the size of the plant, then we consider certain plants from Asia to be the smallest orchids, where the whole plant can measure about half a centimeter. If we evaluate it by the size of the blossom, then the orchid from America wins - its blossoms can measure less than a millimeter,"
Giants and the others
Of course, large plants are also on display at the exhibition. Including the most colorful ones that visitors like best. You'll find here a great number of large-flowered hybrids in contrasting flowers, complemented with interesting facts about plants from Ecuador. The exhibition was designed and created by leading Czech florist Klára Franc Vavříková.