It may be hard to believe that the delicate looking orchids are one of the most resilient plant species in the world that are adaptive enough to live in all sorts of environment from the hot tropics to cold Arctic and dry deserts. They are also difficult to grow as compared to other flowering plants and the fact that they are slow bloomers, with some rare species taking as long as 15 years to bloom has made the plant species a novelty among enthusiasts.
Every year thousands of people visit orchid festivals and shows around the world to immerse themselves in a world of orchids, to see and learn about orchid varieties – from around the world and maybe acquire a few species for themselves. One such festival is Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Festival that is held in Mid-February in Tokyo every year where some thousand species of orchids are displayed.
Orchids are prized for their color, beauty, diversity, and rarity. Rarer the orchid, higher its value. For example, Rothschild’s Slipper (Paphiopedilum rothschildianum), an orchid endemic to the rainforests around Mount Kinabalu in Borneo is an endangered species of orchid that can fetch a price up to $5,000 in the international market. Although the exact number is unknown with new species being discovered every year, there are around 30 thousand known species of orchids in the world.
More than 400 species of orchids are found in Nepal alone that are scattered throughout the country, its forests, and Himalayan ranges. Every year during March/April and July/August, the orchids of Godawari Botanical garden bloom to create a spectacular sight that attracts large crowds of visitors and orchid enthusiasts.