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Orchids in full bloom for international show

Date Posted: 2006-02-10

Flowers enthusiasts are making plans for a northern Okinawa visit again this weekend as the Okinawa International Orchid Show 2006 goes into its final days.

The 10-day Orchid Festival is hosted by the Tropical Dream Center at the Ocena Exposition Commemorative Park in Motobu, west of Nago City. Orchids are a highly evolved family of special plants, with an estimated 17,000 species in existence.

At Nago, the innocent and dainty Nago Orchid, an endangered species, is on display this week. Orchids are the largest spermatophyte, or seed family, family with more than 450 genera. The Nago orchid species was first found on Mount Nago in 1721, then found to have spread across the Izu Islands, the Kii Peninsula, Shikoku and Kyushu. In its domestic varieties, the Nago orchid is known for having a particularly sweet fragrance.

Admission to this week’s orchid show is Y670 for adults and Y340 for youth ages 6-18. Children under six may enter free. The Show is open daily 8:30am ~ 5:30pm.

Two types orchids are on display, with variances due to the type stalks. The monopodial branching type, where the main stem continues to grow and producing leaves at the tip, and sympodial branching types, whose main stem stops growing after flowering each year in order for new basal shoots to grow. Orchids are typically found in tropical forest environments such as Okinawa.

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