Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 16 News List

[HORTICULTURE] An orchid by any other name ...

Showcasing one of the country’s most important and beautiful horticultural products, the annual Taiwan International Orchid Show is in full bloom



The world’s leading exporter of orchids, Taiwan is showing off its floral assets to the public at the annual Taiwan International Orchid Show (台灣國際蘭展), which is currently underway at the Taiwan Orchid Plantation (台灣蘭花生物科技園區) in Houpi Township (後壁), Tainan County.

With 29 participating countries, the 10-day event ends on Monday and is expected by organizers to attract more than 200,000 visitors as well as some 2,000 overseas buyers and floral industry professionals.

The show’s four main exhibition halls house varieties of orchids, flower arrangements, handicrafts and large-scale landscape designs made using orchids.

The Sales Booth Hall (風華館) features over 100 stalls that highlight Taiwan’s commercial breeds, patented strains and local growers and breeders’ new varieties.

“The aim is to bring both international and local buyers face-to-face with growers, and also give a platform to breeders looking for commercial explorations of their new breeds,” said Jia Yi-chiang (賈益強), vice secretary general of the Taiwan Orchid Growers Association (台灣蘭花產銷發展協會), the event’s organizer.

The orchids that were entered in this year’s international competition are on display at the Orchid Exhibition Hall (競豔館). The grand prize was awarded to Chen Chih-ming’s (陳志明) hybridized paphiopedilums named JW-Dragon. The flowers have slender, red petals that measure between 50cm to 60cm long.

The top prize in the cattleyas category went to Hsiang Yu Leopard, which has 48 large, showy golden flowers, and was produced by Hsiang Yu Orchid Garden (祥玉蘭園).

The International Commercial Orchid Growers Organization from the US won top prize in the display category with its landscape design that uses white dendrobiums.

Export orders secured at the orchid show totaled NT$2.4 billions last year, a 65 percent increase from the year before. Despite the economic downturn, the show’s organizer expects a moderate increase this year. “We remain optimistic … After all, the export of butterfly orchids [or phalaenopsis] alone enjoyed an 11 percent increase year-on-year in January,” Jia said.

According to the organizer, around half the world’s butterfly orchid varieties are grown in Taiwan with 40 percent of the country’s butterfly orchid plantations located in Tainan County.

For those interested in visiting, commuter buses run between Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Chiayi Station and the venue during the exhibition period. A one-way bus fare costs NT$100 per person.

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