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February 20, 2014

ODU's Kaplan Conservatory Lends Orchids for Norfolk Botanical Garden Display

feature1-lgOrchids displayed at the Norfolk Botanical Garden
By Jim Raper

Orchids selected from the Arthur and Phyllis Kaplan Orchid Conservatory and Research Greenhouse on the Old Dominion campus will be on loan through March 30 to the Norfolk Botanical Garden (NBG).

Entrance to the Winter Orchid Display in the NBG's tropical house is included in regular admission (free for garden members; $11 for adults; discounts for military, seniors and children). The display will feature more than 150 plants in bloom and be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

"I especially love the hybrid varieties with all of the stunning color and unique detail," said Brian O'Neill, the NBG's director of horticulture. "This is a special exhibit and we are thrilled to have a special partnership with ODU and the Tidewater Orchid Society."

Tatyana Lobova, the lecturer in the ODU Department of Biological Sciences who is director of science at NBG, said that the Kaplan Conservatory is pleased to be sharing its orchids so that they can be seen by a larger audience. "I hope that our collaboration with the Norfolk Botanical Garden will continue to grow and bloom and this Winter Orchid Display will become an annual tradition for everyone to visit and enjoy during the cold months," she added.

Marcus Jones, the conservatory curator, is selecting the best blooming orchids every week for the NBG display.

But he and Lobova noted that even with some orchids on loan the ODU conservatory will continue to have enough flowers on display to create a tropical paradise for visitors. The Kaplan display greenhouse is open to the public 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and at other times by special arrangement (contact Jones at m1jones@odu.edu).

The $2.1 million conservatory structure houses the orchid collection of the late Norfolk physician Arthur Kaplan. This is the largest orchid collection in Hampton Roads.