Rare Costa Rican orchids on display at Gardens by the Bay's Cloud Forest

The orchids will be put on display for two weeks until July 11, 2022. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Senior MOS for Foreign Affairs Sim Ann and Costa Rica’s Ambassador to Singapore Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez viewing the guaria morada. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - More than 30 species of orchids from Costa Rica - including three that have almost vanished in the wild - were donated to Gardens by the Bay on Tuesday (June 28).

The orchids will be put on display at the horticultural attraction's cooled conservatory, the Cloud Forest, for two weeks until July 11, as part of the Orchids of Costa Rica - Resilient Beauty floral display.

The blooms were from the Lankester Botanical Gardens in Costa Rica, and were donated to Singapore's Gardens by the Bay through a collaboration that aims to deepen research and conservation efforts of Costa Rican orchids.

Dr Adam P. Karremans, director of Lankester Botanical Gardens, said, "Orchids are very delicate, and they can disappear quickly in the face of external threats like climate change.

"But they are also resilient, and orchid populations can be recovered if we take proper measures like setting up protected areas and sustaining the ecosystem they thrive in."

Madam Andrea Kee, deputy director of Gardens by the Bay, said the Cloud Forest in the Gardens is able to replicate the cool, moist climate of Costa Rica's montane forests found in the mountains.

The Costa Rican orchid display also commemorates 35 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the Central American nation.

Speaking at an event on Tuesday to mark the donation of the orchids, Costa Rica Ambassador to Singapore Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez said: "Both Singapore and Costa Rica share the orchid as the national flower, perhaps because we find beauty and resilience in it."

Guarianthe skinneri, also known as guaria morada, is the national flower of Costa Rica and is said to represent hope and good fortune.

The display also features endangered species such as the Specklinia pfavii, which exists in low numbers in the wild.

"Gardens by the Bay hopes that this display will help to raise awareness of the importance of conserving the myriad biodiversity present in cloud forests.

"This is especially important when cloud forests worldwide are threatened by climate change," said Mr Felix Loh, chief executive of Gardens by the Bay.

Guarianthe skinneri, also known as guaria morada, is the national flower of Costa Rica and is said to represent hope and good fortune. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

As the Gardens approaches its 10th anniversary, Mr Loh said its goal to bring the world of plants to Singapore has not changed.

"We share a common purpose with Lankester Botanical Gardens in educating the public on the beauty and diversity found in cloud forests of the world, and, in turn, why conservation efforts are so crucial," he added.

After the floral display ends on July 11, the orchids will be taken back to the nursery for nurturing, said a spokesman for Gardens by the Bay.

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