On view February-March
Tall, majestic calla lilies surround the Courtyard mosaic set off by unusual orchids, including exotic lady’s slippers with maroon and green flowers; leopard orchids sporting many clusters of yellow flowers with brown spots; and large, showy tankerville or nun’s orchids that have been grown in our greenhouses since Isabella Gardner’s time.
Orchids on display are native to Southeast Asia and Africa. Leopard orchids are epiphytes, which means they grow on other plants, relying on them for physical support, but derive water and nutrients from rain and the air. They can be seen growing in trees throughout Africa. Phaius tankervilleae is known as the nun’s orchid because each bloom has a hood. The variety we grow is 'Rabin’s Raven', which is descended from the original species imported to England in the late 1700s.
The Courtyard features plants that are actively growing and constantly changing. Courtyard images include plants that are representative of each display, but plants will be added or replaced over the life of the display.