Phipps Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show Offers Cure for the Winter Blues

The Shaker

Premier Pittsburgh public garden provides perfect cold weather escape.

Pittsburgh, Pa.—Opening on Jan. 18, the annual Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will provide a welcome escape from the cold, chasing away the winter blues with a healthy dose of color, inspiration and beauty. Featuring elegant orchids planted in garden beds and hanging baskets, and offering a chance to view the public garden’s permanent collection of tropical bonsai, this treat-of-a-show is not to be missed.

Celebrated for their stunning appearance and delightful diversity (more than 25,000 species exist around the globe), orchids are truly special. The Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show features hundreds of these beloved flowers, and the Barbara Tisherman Slipper Orchid collection, curated in collaboration with the Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania to be one of the world’s definitive slipper orchid resources, will also be on display for guests to explore and enjoy.

Offering a striking contrast, Phipps’ tropical bonsai — dwarfed trees trained to take on the shapes of their larger counterparts in nature — will also be showcased in many forms, from the iconic formal upright bonsai to the more dramatic slant bonsai that resemble windswept trees. Said to give those who practice the art a sense of well-being, this time-honored Japanese tradition classifies specimens by size and style based upon the shapes of their trunks, roots and branches.

For anyone looking to start their own orchid and bonsai collections at home, public programs, held free with paid admission throughout the duration of the show, will also be held on select Saturdays and  Sundays at 1:30 p.m. in the Tropical Forest Conservatory. Additionally, bonsai classes on a variety of topics for all skill levels are available through Phipps’ adult education program throughout the year.

Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show, designed by Phipps staff, runs from Jan. 18 – March 9 and is open daily from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $11 for children (ages two-18). Members and kids under two enter for free.

About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more:

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