Orchids

Currently, single-use plastics lose 95 percent of their value after use, causing a $110 billion loss to global markets every year.

Innovation for Good

Plastic Waste Can Be Transformed Into Vanilla Flavoring

Researchers used microbes to convert plastic waste into the chemical additive

The southern African orchid Disa forficaria attracts male longhorn beetles.

Extremely Rare Orchid Tricks Horny Beetles Into Carrying Its Pollen

The flower found in southern Africa releases a chemical so irresistible to longhorn beetles that they attempt to mate with it

Unlike seeds of other plants, orchid seeds (above, a seed packet) do not contain the nutrition they need to sprout. They get it from fungi.

Why the Conservation of Orchids Is No Simple Matter

Smithsonian's Sidedoor podcast visits with researchers working to understand the conditions these threatened plants need to grow

Michelle Obama is the 14th consecutive First Lady to have a cattleya orchid named in her honor (above). Last year, the Melania Trump orchid was earning acclaim in the plant world.

Here’s How Horticulturalists Made the Michelle Obama Orchid

This year’s orchid show takes over the cavernous naturally-lit Kogod Courtyard with thousands on view

“Bucky’ and its large leaves

Meet Stinky ‘Bucky,’ the Bulbophyllum Orchid that Shutdown a Smithsonian Greenhouse

Orchid expert Tom Mirenda says history records the stench of this plant as reminiscent of a thousand dead elephants rotting in the sun

“The Hirshhorn’s unique modernist architecture offers a striking backdrop for the orchids’ brilliant color,” says the museum's director Melissa Chiu.

Why Orchids Belong in an Art Museum

Washington's much-anticipated annual flower show moves to the Hirshhorn for the flora that loves to perform

One of the rarest orchids east of the Mississippi, the small-whorled pogonia, emerges from a long dormancy when there is an abundance of specific fungi in the soil.

A Mystery of Hiding Orchids, Solved

Smithsonian scientists have discovered what triggers the rare small-whorled pogonia to awaken from dormancy

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