September 27th, 2011


Orchids were not my favorite flower before coming to Rio de Janeiro. In my prior life I considered them expensive, reminiscent of terrible prom dates from years past and plants that just weren’t suited to Denver. All of that is still true but I have come to absolutely love them.

In Rio they are sold at grocery stores and absolutely thrive in the climate here. Hot and humid may be tough on a ladies’ hair but are the perfect conditions for the health of these diverse plants. I am not remotely botanically knowledgeable so cannot say exactly why these plants can grow without soil but they do. The typical recycle plan for an orchid that has lost its blooms at the end of the season is to tie it to a tree with a clump of mossy material wrapped around the roots. Orchids are perennials and will come back and bloom the following year – after having no tending other than by Mother Nature.

So following are the lovely routine sights from streets in Rio.

The botanic gardens (Jardim Botanico) are another great place to see orchids and get a bit of an education on the wide variety that exists. The orchid house in the Jardim is filled with a wide variety of the plants.

As a kickoff to spring there is an exhibition of orchids and sale of the plants at very reasonable prices. Spring, of course, begins in September here so watch the web site to find out which weekend will bring the exposition. It is well worth it and it turns out that orchids are actually pretty ease to tend.