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Cleveland Botanical Garden's Orchid Mania will thrill your senses

Orchids in bloom
Orchids in bloom
Evelyn Kiefer

A delight for your senses awaits you at the Cleveland Botanical Garden's 11th annual Orchid Mania running from now through March 9.

Cleveland Botanical Garden's Orchid Mania
courtesy Cleveland Botanical Garden

Orchid Mania Hundreds of fragrant, vibrant, brilliantly colored orchids with thousands of blooms are everywhere at the Cleveland Botanical Garden's Orchid Mania exhibit throughout the entire building. Visitors will be able to see a multitude of these breathtaking exotic flowers that come in a variety of shapes and sizes, many of which have unique and surprising aromas.

The orchid has often been associated with opulence, luxury and even sensuality.

This year's theme revolves around an Interior Design Showcase. The Cleveland Botanical Garden has partnered with local interior designers to create unique and dazzling room designs, each paired with the integral placement of orchids within the rooms. Among the sights, an artist's retreat in France, an Urbane Urban Cleveland living room in a renovated warehouse building and the "Cabinet of Curiosities" featuring a home library setting filled with Asian motif items like vases, pottery and shelving showcasing elephant heads all surrounded by a variety of vibrant multi-colored orchids.

Visitors can also expect to learn trivia tidbits along the way about orchids. Did you know that the most popular orchid for people to grow at home is the Moth Orchid, know to be long blooming and resilient? Or did you know that the Boat Orchid is cultivated mostly in China?

Don't miss the orchids in the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse (in addition to colorful songbirds and tortoises) and especially in the Cloud Forest where the wide variety and awe-inspiring collection of orchids of multiple shapes, sizes and spectacular color combinations will enthrall you. The Costa Rican rainforest setting also has free-flying butterflies and exotic, tropical plants to enjoy.

Some of the variety of orchids to be found at Orchid Mania include Slipper orchids, Moth orchids, Kite orchids, Foxtail orchids (the mini flowers grow in small bunches), "Dancing Ladies" orchids, Bulldog Slipper orchids, Boat orchids and Cattleya orchids often called "Queen of the Orchids."

Also be sure to check out the Chocolate orchids (which do indeed smell like the food they are named after) and the Pansy orchids which do resemble pansies.

For those visitors who can't make the show during the day, there is Orchids After Dark where on Wednesdays and Fridays they can enjoy the Garden's extended hours (until 9 p.m.). Orchids After Dark will also feature a meet & greet with select interior designers who are participating in the Interior Design Showcase. Visitors can also enjoy a featured cocktail which can be purchased at the Garden Cafe.

For those visitors wishing to purchase orchids from top area retailers, the Greater Cleveland Orchid Society Show and Sale will take place on Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16 from noon - 5 p.m.

For you orchid lovers who already have your own orchids, you might want to attend "Ask the Orchid Doctor" on Saturdays, March 1 and March 8 (from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.) when experts will be able to answer any of your questions about orchid growing.

Admission to Orchid Mania is included with regular admission to the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Cost is $11 for adults and $6 for children. Children 2 and under are free. Admission is free for Cleveland Botanical Garden members.

Hours for the Cleveland Botanical Garden (during Orchid Mania) are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and noon - 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Botanical Garden is closed on Mondays.

For more information about Orchid Mania or about the Cleveland Botanical Garden call 216-721-1600 or get online at www.cbgarden.com.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden is located at 11030 East Blvd. in Cleveland.