IN BLOOM: Ron Campbell, from the Alstonville Orchid Society, admires one of the entries in this year’s Alstonville Orchid Society Autumn Show.
IN BLOOM: Ron Campbell, from the Alstonville Orchid Society, admires one of the entries in this year’s Alstonville Orchid Society Autumn Show. Marnie Johnston

Orchid Society transforms Alstonville Plaza with 160 flowers

ALSTONVILLE Shopping Plaza has been doused in pretty petals this week for the annual Alstonville Orchid Society Autumn Show.

Kicking off yesterday, the show has seen the centre of the Plaza transform into a colourful garden for the rest of the week.

With about 160 entries from across the region, there's certainly more than enough orchids to take a look at (or take home), Ron Campbell from the Alstonville Orchid Society said.

Having a high number of entries is usual at their shows, he said, simply because it's the North Coast.

"We have the best climate in the world for growing orchids," Mr Campbell said, with our warm weather yet plenty of rainfall.

Maybe that's why there are so many orchid lovers in our area - the Alstonville Orchid Society has more than 100 members.

Mr Campbell has spent 40 years growing orchids and said many people were drawn to the variety of orchids - from colour and perfumes to species.

     About Orchids

  • Orchids are the largest family of flowering plants
  • There are more than 25,000 documented orchid species throughout the world and more are being discovered every day.
  • Vanilla comes from an orchid (Vanilla planifolia)
  • Orchids have the tiniest seeds in the world. There can be up to three million seeds in a single seedpod
  • Orchid plants can live up to 100 years
  • Orchids have a symmetry similar to human faces. If a line is drawn vertically down the middle of the flower, the two halves are mirror images of each other

     SOURCES: www.fairchildgarden.org & www.livescience.com

There is certainly a variety on display at Alstonville, from cattleyas to dendrobiums, pinks and purples to yellows and reds.

Mr Campbell has a soft spot for native hybrids, he said - hybridising, whether native or not, is rising among orchid lovers across the country.

"They're doing some wonderful things at the moment (with hybridising)," he said.

If you're looking to add a bit of colour in your life, the Alstonville Orchid Society Autumn Show is open for viewing and sales today and tomorrow during Plaza opening hours, plus Saturday morning, before an awards ceremony is held about noon Saturday.

If you didn't get the chance to enter into the Autumn Show, don't despair - the Alstonville Orchid Society will be holding their Spring Show in September.


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