The International Orchid Show and sale

April 11, 2013 4:20:02 AM PDT
March began with flowers by the thousands adorning the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This year's Philadelphia Flower Show may be a memory, but there's another breathtaking event coming your way this weekend in Center City.

The Academy of Natural Sciences is hosting an International Orchid Show and Sale. The American Orchid Society had been hoping for years to have an event like this in Center City for quite some time.

As much as possible, the Ben Franklin Parkway landmark is making space for the plants, growers, enthusiasts, and its own team of experts.

It's expected that so many people will attend that the Academy cafeteria won't be able to serve them all. So there'll be a dining tent out on the square in front of the building.

If you love orchids but aren't sure how to care for them, you'll be able to quiz experts one-on-one, or attend a number of lectures.

Some of the region's top orchid growers will be offering plants for sale. But there's no obligation to buy. You may just come to the museum and enjoy the color and diversity of one of nature's favorite flowers.

Experts estimate that there are some 30,000 unique species of orchids, not counting hybrids which are being developed all the time.

Some common varieties are inexpensive while others cost quite a bit. Some need specialized care while others are pretty forgiving. Orchids are found in one form or another in just about every climate.

So if you like orchids, there's bound to be one or more right for your home. Montgomery County's Lois and Jim Duffin exhibited their orchids at the Flower Show, and they'll be back in Center City for this event.

Most of the orchids raised in their Lois Duffin Orchids greenhouses are sold to individuals who, like them, are in love with the plants.

Hours for this show are 12:00 Noon to 8:00pm on Friday, then 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. It's free with your regular admission but buying a plant or a meal will cost extra.

There's more information online at the Academy of Natural Sciences, or phone the Academy at 215-299-1000.

Lois Duffin Orchids is online .

Their greenhouses are located on Mermaid Lane in Springfield Township, Pa., just outside Chestnut Hill. You may contact them at 215-248-3626, or via email at

It's hoped the orchid show will become an annual event at the Academy.