Orchids: Lure and Legend

Orchids have fascinated people since the time of Confucius more than 2500 years ago. Orchid lore permeates Greek and Roman mythology. Wealthy Europeans of the 17th through the 19th century paid fortunes for exotic, tropical specimens. Plant explorers risked their lives finding new specimens. Found from the equator to the poles, orchids are one of the largest plant families, comprising 30,000 species. Possessing a unique flower structure, they depend on insects and fungi to reproduce. They are magnificent and mysterious, yet not difficult to grow.


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Carol Gravens

Carol Gravens retired from a professional career as a microbiologist and is an Advanced Level St. Louis Master Gardener. She became a Master Naturalist in 2007 and has an AAS in Horticulture from STLCC, Meramec.
Carol gives talks and teaches classes on orchids to various groups in the community and at Missouri Botanical Garden as part of the Master Gardener Speakers’ Bureau. She volunteers one day a week in the orchid greenhouses at the Garden and grows orchids in her home in Glendale, Missouri. She also is a Kemper Center Plant Doctor volunteer.
She loves everything about horticulture and has a passion for orchids.