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Orchid Show Returns to Riverbanks Botanical Garden

For Immediate Release: January 25, 2011

6th Annual Orchids on the Riverbanks Festival Set for Valentine’s Weekend

[Columbia, SC] — Riverbanks has once again teamed up with the South Carolina Orchid Society and Ikebana International Chapter 182 to produce a captivating exhibition of living orchid plants and arrangements for the sixth annual Orchids on the Riverbanks Festival, February 11 — 13 at Riverbanks Botanical Garden.

"You don’t need a green thumb to enjoy this show,” said Andy Cabe, botanical garden director at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "Just seeing the array of color and shapes alone is spectacular.”

The exhibition opens at 1:00pm on Friday, February 11, and runs throughout the Valentine’s weekend. Participants can ask the experts questions, learn the art of ikebana design, attend informative sessions and purchase an orchid from one of the many vendors.

This year’s show features several sessions on Saturday, February 12. For those who want to know which orchids will grow best in their homes, Linda Thorne from Seagrove Orchids will present "Growing Phalaenopsis” at 11:00am; Carter & Holmes will present ”Growing Orchids for Beginners” at noon; and Tom Nasser of Carolina Orchids will lead an interactive tour of the exhibit hall displays and arrangements at 1:00pm.

Closed judging for the exhibition will take place Friday morning, before the show opens to the public later that afternoon. Orchids will be judged by two methods: ribbon judging and American Orchid Society (AOS) accredited judging. Orchids that will be judged in the ribbon category do not have to be certified by AOS. The AOS accredited competition will present awards to plants that are recognized as breaking precedence for their inflorescence, size, fullness, color and presentation. Scoring is based on a 100-point scale with the highest possible prize being a First Class Certificate, of which only a dozen are awarded worldwide annually.

Several members of the orchid family call Riverbanks Botanical Garden home, including Bletilla, Calanthe, Cymbidium and Spiranthes. Bletilla, one of the most typical "orchid looking” flowers, is one of the easiest to grow in the Midlands. In addition to the orchids grown in the Botanical Garden, native orchids such as the Cranefly orchid can be seen blooming on the trails that go down to the Saluda River.

Admission to the Orchids on the Riverbanks Festival is free with paid admission to Riverbanks Botanical Garden. To learn more about orchids, visit the American Orchid Society at