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Display of Costa Rican orchids opens at Gardens by the Bay

Costa Rica Ambassador Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez and Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development, Sim Ann taking a closer look at the Costa Rican orchids on display.

For two weeks from June 28, 2022, Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest will showcase more than 30 interesting Costa Rican orchid species in its first display themed on the country’s orchids.

Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty is presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Costa Rica in Singapore and the country’s prestigious Lankester Botanical Garden, whose mission includes studying orchids and other epiphytes for their conservation.

The orchid display also commemorates 35 years of diplomatic relations between Costa Rica and Singapore.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development Sim Ann officially opened Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty on June 28. It will run till July 11.

Ms Sim Ann opens Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty  by placing an orchid (Prosthechea radiata) in the display, while Ambassador Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez looks on.

Among the orchids of note in the display are Acianthera decipiens, which has flowers that gradually change colour over time, from dark purple in the initial days of blooming to red and finally orangey-yellow. And Ornithocephalus inflexus, which produces spikes of dainty, crystalline green to white flower that resemble birds in flight.

Lankester Botanical Garden has also donated orchids for the display, such as Specklinia pfavii, an endangered orchid bearing striking yellow flowers covered in nectar-secreting warts, which feed the fruit flies that pollinate them, and Scaphyglottis micrantha, which is commonly called Small Flowered Scaphyglottis because of the tiny white flowers that measure just 4mm.

Costa Rica boasts about 6 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and the richness is reflected in its orchid diversity, with over 1,600 orchid species found in the country. It is also among the countries in the world with the largest orchid density.

Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said: “This year is Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary, and our goal to bring the world of plants to Singapore and present Singapore to the world has not changed. In cloud forests around the world, including in Costa Rica, orchids are among the endemic plants vulnerable to the threat of climate change. We share a common purpose with Lankester Botanical Garden in educating the public on the beauty and diversity found in cloud forests of the world, and in turn why conservation efforts are so crucial.”

Director of Lankester Botanical Garden Dr Adam P. Karremans (right) shares about CostaRica’s national flower Guarianthe skinneri with Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh, Ms Sim Ann and Ambassador Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez.

Costa Rica’s Ambassador Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez said: “Both Singapore and Costa Rica share the orchid as the national flower, perhaps because we find beauty and resilience in them. They are so resilient that when the Spanish settled in Costa Rica 500 years ago, they crossed with species of orchids that are found today in our forests. And today, that same resilience can be found in the profound relations between Costa Rica and Singapore.”

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was also signed between Gardens by the Bay and Lankester Botanical Garden to deepen research efforts and contribute to the global conservation efforts of Costa Rican orchids by covering:
* Collaborative long-term research projects
* Exchange of plant germplasm
* Exchange in technical expertise and research interest
* Knowledge sharing and collaborative scientific publications.

Ms Sim Ann and Ambassador Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez tour the Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty display with Gardens by the Bay’s Deputy Director of Research & Horticulture Andrea Kee.

Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty
Date: Tuesday, 28 June to Monday, 11 July
Time: 9am to 9pm
Location: Cloud Forest
Details:
*Admission charge to Cloud Forest applies
*Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/orchidsofcostarica for details.

Highlights

Acianthera decipiens

Native to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panamá and Venezuela, Acianthera decipiens has flowers that gradually change colour over time, from dark purple in the initial days of blooming to red and finally orangey-yellow.

Brassavola nodosa

In Costa Rica, Brassavola nodosa is found in humid and seasonally dry lowland forests, where it grows as an epiphyte on trees and rocks. Commonly known as Lady of the Night, its heart-shaped white flower emits a jasmine-like fragrance in the evening to entice its nocturnal moth pollinators to visit.

Ornithocephalus inflexus

The genus Ornitocephalus means Bird’s Head in Greek and the Ornithocephalus inflexus produces spikes of dainty, crystalline green to white flowers that resemble birds in flight. This miniature orchid is native to Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Panama and found on twigs of old citrus trees and shrubs in montane rain forests at elevations between 15 metres and 1,800 metres.

Prosthechea radiata

The Prosthechea radiata is found in oak, pine or evergreen tropical forests at elevations of 150 metres to 2,000 metres. It is a very fragrant species which emits a spicy floral scent that is similar to hyacinth flowers. An interesting point to note about this plant is that the flowers are non-resupinate, which means the lip of the orchid is facing upward and not downward like most species of orchids.

Scaphyglottis micrantha
Often called Small Flowered Scaphyglottis because of its tiny white flowers that measure just 4mm in size, the Scaphyglottis micrantha can be found growing on trees in forests at elevations up to 1,200 metres. It is rare in Guatemala and Honduras, but commonly found in Costa Rica.

Specklinia pfavii

Specklinia pfavii is an epiphyte endemic to Southern Costa Rica and Panama, where it is rare and very few natural populations are known to survive. This endangered orchid bears striking yellow flowers covered in nectar secreting warts, which feed the fruit-flies that pollinate them.

Gardens by the Bay
An integral part of Singapore’s “City in Nature” vision, Gardens by the Bay is a national garden and premier horticultural attraction that showcases the best of garden and floral artistry for all to enjoy.

Spanning 101 hectares in the heart of Singapore’s downtown Marina Bay, it comprises three waterfront gardens – Bay South, Bay East, and Bay Central. Bay South, the largest at 54 hectares, officially opened on 29 June 2012.

Guided by the vision to be a world of gardens for all to own, enjoy and cherish, the Gardens’ extensive plant collection, ever-changing floral displays, and myriad of engaging programmes have captured the imagination of many, while its Gift of Gardens community initiative, with Madam Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore as Patron, reaches out to people from all walks of life.

Since opening, Gardens by the Bay has welcomed more than 80 million visitors and garnered numerous international awards including a silver for Destinations Building Back Better Post-Covid at the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021, Best Attraction Experience at the Singapore Tourism Awards 2019, and ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award presented by ASEAN Tourism in 2018.

The Gardens continues to refresh and refine its offerings, to be a place that everyone can enjoy – a garden where wonder blooms. For more information, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg.

 

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