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The Botanical gardens are holding an Orchid exhibit this weekend, opening today the 20th of March and finishing Sunday the 22nd of March. The exhibit called ‘Fantasia del Oriente’ or ‘Fantasy of the Orient’ promises to be a beautiful and exotic display of these wonderful flowers. Orchids can be found in almost every habitat on earth and are indigenous to Central America, South America, and Asia, this exhibit will be showing off flowers rarely seen in this part of the world – those found in Asia.
Orchids are beautiful, complex, unique, special and magical and are often associated with romance. They have been cultivated in the Far East since the 11th century and make up the largest flowering plant family in the world, it is estimated that there are more than 30,000 species! Orchids vary in color, fragrance and size, ranging from microscopic plants to long vines, some can even grow up to 20 metres long.
Some interesting (and amusing) facts about orchids:
- The orchid represents love, luxury and beauty
- The word ‘Orchid’ comes from the Greek «orchis» meaning testicle, because of the shape of the bulbous roots
- Orchids are found in every color except blue, there are even black and green orchids
- Greek women thought they could control the sex of their unborn children with orchid roots. If the father ate large, new tubers, the child would be male; if the mother ate small tubers, the child would be female
- The Botanical Gardens are open from 9am until 5pm, everyday and entrance costs RD$ 20.00 for adults, RD$ 10.00, for children and US$ 1.50 for foreigners!
If by some sad tragedy you are unable to make the Orchid show this weekend, the Botanical Gardens are still worth visiting another time! The gardens are made up of three main gardens – the central plaza, which has a beautiful lake and fountain, the Japanese gardens, with exquisite Oriental architecture and plants, and of course the indigenous plant gardens, proudly displaying all of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful plants and flowers. In addition there are two museums – the ‘Herbolario’ which displays and explains the medicinal, aromatic, and toxic properties of plants and flowers and the ‘Museo Ecológico’ – an exploration of the 8 main ecosystems found here in the Domincan Republic. And most exciting of all is the tourist train – which tours around the entire garden, so you can visit everything, including the ‘Palmas’ area, dedicated to the palm tree, the ‘Reserva Natural,’ a completely uncultivated and natural area and the ‘Gran Cañada,’ which has permanently flowing water and thus contains plants characteristic to humid climates.