Kew Gardens hosted the Orchids Festival in February 2017 for its 22nd time, this year celebrating the vibrant plants and culture of India.
The Festival was accompanied by the sounds of Indian streets playing in the background, life-sized sculptures of animals decorated with flowers and elaborate floral displays inspired by a typical Indian market, among others.
I went to explore the world of Orchids with my Canon 70D and Sigma 105mm F/2.8 Macro lens. I discovered how fascinating and beautiful those plants are and their variety of forms and colours gave me an endless source of inspiration when photographing them.
Having done further research I have also found out some interesting facts about those extraordinary flowering plants, which i have shared below.
The Orchidaceae are one of the two largest families of flowering plants and have about 28,000 currently accepted species.
Orchids can grow in almost every habitat, except for glaciers. The most popular areas however, with the most variety and diversity of species, are tropical regions of America, Asia and Africa.
The research suggests that Orchids originated around 76 and 84 million years ago, in the times of the dinosaurs.
Orchids have a variety of uses; due to their beauty they are popular as plants cultivated for trade and by hobbyists; the rare varieties and new hybrids are frequently sought by the collectors. There are also many societies and clubs establish around the world by people who are fascinated by those beautiful plants. Orchids are also used in food (the dried seed pods of Vanilla orchid) and in traditional Chinese medicine. In perfumery their scent is often analysed to get ideas for new fragrances.
Orchids are national flowers of many countries, including Venezuela, Colombia, Singapore, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and Panama.