Enter a tropical paradise at Kew’s 2020 annual orchid festival, which will celebrate the incredible wildlife and vibrant culture of Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,500 beautiful islands. The diverse country boasts over 4,000 species of orchid, as well as many unique plants – the island of Sumatra, for instance, is the only place you’ll find the infamous Titan Arum.
In February 2020, visitors are invited on an immersive journey through the different zones of Kew’s glasshouse, featuring an array of spectacular orchid displays, each representing an aspect of Indonesia. Life-sized animals decorated with hundreds of flowers will be dotted throughout – from orangutans to tigers – celebrating the country’s rich diversity of fauna. Elsewhere: an erupting volcano created from orchids forming a dramatic pond display, and an archway made of hundreds of carnivorous pitcher plants.
Alongside this, a number of events will be taking place showcasing Indonesian music, dance, and cuisine, plus talks from Kew’s orchid experts.
The festival will also demonstrate some of the work Kew does with collaborators in Indonesia to help protect and promote the country’s biodiversity, including aid conservation efforts and sustainable development programmes. Kew’s scientists are also undertaking field trips to Indonesia to discover new plants – just last year André Schuiteman discovered and described a new orchid that was completely unknown to science. It was named Bulbophyllum adolinae after Adolina, the wife of the governor of West Papua.
Speaking about the festival, The Ambassador of Indonesia to the UK, H. E. Rizal Sukma says: ‘Through the orchid festival, I hope that visitors can have a wonderful journey experiencing the magnificent Indonesia. As well as its flora, Indonesia is rich in biodiversity, wildlife, nature and culture which will be beautifully displayed in this festival.’
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE
8 February-8 March 2020
Entry to the festival is included in the standard ticket to the gardens but visitors must book a timed ticket slot online in advance