Wednesday 12th February 2020
In February 2020, Kew’s 25th annual orchid festival will celebrate the incredible wildlife and vibrant culture of Indonesia - a vast archipelago of more than 17,504 islands, including Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Papua and Bali. Indonesia’s landscape is as diverse as the flora and fauna that inhabit it, from tropical rainforests to spectacular volcanos.
Stepping into the Princess of Wales Conservatory, visitors will find themselves transported to an entrancing paradise evoking some of the sights, smells and sounds of Indonesia. To capture a glimpse of the wonders of this vast region, the orchid festival at Kew will be an immersive journey through the different zones of the glasshouse, where visitors will find spectacularly beautiful orchid displays which each represent a different aspect of Indonesian wildlife and culture.
As they explore the festival, visitors will encounter bright orange orangutans and many other life-sized animals, in celebration of Indonesia’s rich diversity of fauna. An erupting volcano, created from orchids and other tropical flowers, will form a dramatic central pond display; Indonesia has over 100 active volcanos. Elsewhere, an impressive archway made up of hundreds of carnivorous pitcher plants will delight and intrigue visitors in equal measure.
Indonesia boasts a hugely diverse range of societies and cultures with over 300 languages spoken across its many islands. This is matched by its staggering biodiversity, including at least 4,000 species of orchid, as well as many other plants that can be found only on certain islands in the archipelago. For instance, the island of Sumatra is the only place you’ll find the infamous Titan Arum, Amorphophallus titanium, otherwise known as the ‘corpse flower’ thanks to the unbearable smell of rotting flesh it produces when in bloom.