Thematic walks will showcase the blooming tropical orchids of the Botanical Garden of the University of Szeged (SZTE) on Sunday, 10 February and on 24 February.
In the first days of February, nearly a hundred specimens of various species and varieties of orchids from the garden‘s orchid collection are blooming simultaneously. These can be thoroughly explored during guided tours starting after prior registration, this Sunday and then on 24 February.
Orchids, or orchidaceae, are remarkable not only for their formal diversity but also for their special reproductive biology and lifestyle, making them the largest family of flowering plants. Up to 30,000 naturally occurring species may belong to the family, alongside approximately 150,000 hybrid varieties. With the exception of deserts and glaciers, orchids are found on almost every terrestrial habitat on all continents. In the Carpathian Basin, over fifty native species, all terrestrial, are present.
Tropical orchids cultivated in greenhouses in temperate regions often display their spectacular and exotic flowers in autumn and winter. The orchid house of the SZTE Botanical Garden also reveals its splendour during this time. The garden‘s collection showcases over 250 specimens from more than fifty genera, including both botanical species and hybrids.
Most tropical orchids lead epiphytic lives, dwelling in warm climates and often on trees. However, some are terrestrial, like the strikingly exotic slipper orchids, named for the intriguing shape of their flowers. Among the orchid species requiring cooler conditions, boat orchids, popular for their long-lasting flowers originating from Southeast Asia, begin to unfold their petals in the middle of winter.
For those unable to attend the thematic walks, the orchid collection of the botanical garden can be viewed from March onwards on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/SZTE/MTI