My recent stay in Johannesburg fortunately coincided with the World Orchid Conference and Show, sometimes called the Olympics of Orchids, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

World Orchid show

The Theme was “Gold in the Green Age”, reflecting the natural riches of southern Africa and the need to balance the exploitation of these riches with the preservation of the natural environment.

South Africa has almost 500 wild orchids, many only growing in SA. In Gauteng,the home province, there are 54 recorded wild orchid species, mostly terrestrial grassland orchids much threatened now by urban development.

World Orchid Show

I loved the Cape Orchid Society’s Stand which recreated a botanist’s study, complete with microscope and small reference library.

Botanist's study, World Orchid Show, Johannesburg Botanist’s study, World Orchid Show, Johannesburg

There were representatives from the orchid societies across South Africa, including the local Witwatersrand Orchid Society, whose emblem is the spring-flowering Leopard orchid (Ansellia africana).

Leopard orchid Leopard orchid

There were participants from Denmark, Ecuador…

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