The New World Orchid Collection of the Royal Botanical Gardens
The New World Orchid Species and Display Collection was founded in 1983 as a joint venture between the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Orchid Society of the Royal Botanical Gardens. The purpose of the venture was to collect as many species of the New World as possible, catalogue them, maintain them in a well-ordered greenhouse and make them available for education, display and research. Donations were received from private individuals, Canadian and United States growers, the Smithsonian collection, Longwood Gardens, the Montreal Botanical Gardens, the Wheeler Collection at Ball State University and the Los Angeles Arboretum.
At present, the collection is not open to the public; however a selection of flowering orchid plants are displayed in an enclosed case in the main lobby of the headquarters building of the RBG and elsewhere in the public areas. Visiting scholars may make arrangements to view the collection by appointment.
The collection is the property of the Royal Botanical Gardens and under the general supervision of the Director of Horticulture. Maintenance of the collection is under the jurisdiction of the RBG. A “greenhouse auxiliary” made up of members of the Orchid Society assists the horticulturists of the RBG in caring for the collection.
In the future, it is hoped that propagation programs, research projects, visitations to native orchid habitats, virus identification programs and collecting trips will expand the already substantial program of the Orchid Society of the Royal Botanical Gardens.