Orchid, artwork shows at Botanic Gardens

Orchid, artwork shows at Botanic Gardens
Mr Simon Tan (left), assistant director of the National Orchid Garden, and Mr Lawrence Wong looking at the Aranda Lee Kuan Yew (centre) and Vanda Kwa Geok Choo (right) at the orchid exhibition in the Botanic Gardens yesterday.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

About 150 varieties of orchids, including many named after VIPs, are on display at an exhibition in the Botanic Gardens until Aug 10.

The exhibition at the Botany Centre function hall is to mark the 20th anniversary of the National Orchid Garden, as well as the Botanic Gardens becoming Singapore's first Unesco World Heritage Site.

It includes more than 16,000 orchid plants, including "heritage orchids" whose origins can be traced back to the early days of the Gardens' orchid breeding programme from 1928 to the 1970s.

The exhibition also features orchids named after figures like celebrities and world leaders - including two named after founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his wife - the Aranda Lee Kuan Yew and the Vanda Kwa Geok Choo.

These unexpectedly flowered simultaneously soon after the Botanic Gardens was listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site on July 4. Staff said this was the first time the orchids had flowered at the same time.

The Gardens is also holding an exhibition featuring 55 artworks of tropical plants, which runs till Nov 1 at the Heritage Museum.

Both exhibitions were opened yesterday by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who said recognition by Unesco was a "unique chance for Singaporeans to see the Gardens through fresh eyes".

Entry to both exhibitions is free.

Separately, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra will hold a free concert at the Gardens today to mark The Straits Times' 170th anniversary.

It will begin at 6pm.

This article was first published on July 11, 2015.
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