Enter the Cloud Forest, a mysterious world veiled in mist. Take in breath-taking mountain views surrounded by diverse vegetation and hidden floral gems. And learn about rare plants and their fast-disappearing environment.
Exotic epiphytic orchids from the faraway Amazon region are brought closer to Singapore in Cloud Forest’s Orchids of the Amazon, where 50 varieties are showcased amidst a lush green landscape of ferns, aroids and bromeliads that bring to mind the dense foliage of the rainforest. The Amazon rainforest has unparalleled biodiversity, which includes over 700 orchid species. Cloud Forest’s Orchids of the Amazon offers visitors the rare opportunity to experience a tiny sample of this incredible range. With the Amazon Rainforest being home to a wide variety of biodiversity, the display also includes replicas of animals of the region such as capybaras, sloths and macaws.
A part of the biannual changing orchid displays in Cloud Forest, Orchids of the Amazon is the second orchid display for this year.
Check out the highlights of Orchids of the Amazon
‘Jack of Diamonds’
An outstanding hybrid produced from two showy, large flower parents – Catasetum pileatum, a native to the northern parts of South America and Catasetum expansum, which is from Ecuador. Catasetum pileatum is known for having the largest lip among all the catasetums as well as its floriferous nature, while Catasetum expansum has a large flat ‘spread out’ lip with dark red callus. Catasetum Orchidglade ‘Jack of Diamonds’ is one of the most popular and best form of the breed because it has inherited the flatness, large-sized lip and rich coloration from its parents.
Cattleya lawrenceana f. coerulea
This species can be found in the Amazon rainforest and is native to the North of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. Growing at elevations between 250m and 1,200m, it is a hot to cool-growing epiphyte. It is named after Sir Trevor Lawrence, who was the president of The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) from 1885 to 1914. He helped to turn RHS into one of the greatest horticultural societies in the world. The orchid fraternity named two orchid species, this one and Paphiopedilum lawrenceana in Sir Lawrence’s honour.
This species with small flowers of only 1.5cm grows in the Amazon rainforest, and is named after the Amazon. It is a hot-to-warm growing epiphyte that can be found at elevations between 100m and 1,000m at sea level.
As its name suggests, this species produces fragrant flowers. It is a warm to cool-growing epiphyte found in the rainforests of Mexico, Central and South America, at an elevation of up to 2,000m. The inflorescence is erect and few flowered, and flowers are white, cream or greenish-white with purple-veined lips. The lip of the flower points upwards instead of downwards like most orchids.
This species, which is also named after the Amazon, has lightly-scented white flowers that are regarded as the largest in the Warczewiczella genus. It grows in the Amazon rainforest and is native to North Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It is a hot to warm-growing epiphyte, found at elevations between 150m and 1,000m.
Catasetum pileatum var. album
Otherwise known as the “Felt-capped Catasetum”, this species grows in the Amazon rainforest, and is native to North Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. It is a hot-growing epiphyte that can be found at elevations between 100 and 200 metres. It was once the national flower of Venezuela until 1921, and was also featured on Venezuela's 500 bolivar currency note. This is the white flower form.
Commonly known as the “Light Fox-Red Maxillaria”, the blooms of this species which arise from mature pseudobulbs are small. Ranging between 2.2cm and 5cm, these small flowers smell strongly of vanilla. A hot to cool-growing epiphyte, it is found at elevations between 200m and 1,700m in both the Amazon rainforest and Atlantic rainforest, and is native to countries in Tropical America.
The numerous flowers of this species have arching columns that resemble the necks of graceful swans, hence its name Polycycnis silvana. “Polycycnis” is derived from the Greek word for “many swans”. Found in the Atlantic rainforest of Northeast Brazil, it is also native to Bolivia and Peru. It resides in humid, shaded, low-to-mid elevation montane forests. The scented flowers are creamy white with brownish-pink blotches, and the lip is densely hairy. Its pollinator, the male Euglossine bee, uses scent derived from the flowers to attract females and battle rivals.
The flowers of this miniature species are yellow with striped red throats. They grow easily to a large size and can be a stunning sight when flowering occurs en masse. Native to the countries in Tropical America, this is a cold to hot-growing species that can be found in the Amazon rainforest. It grows at elevations between 60m and 3,200m.
Portraits of a Miniverse
Alongside the Orchids of the Amazon display is the Portraits of a Miniverse photo exhibition by Singaporean photographer Shannon Heng. In this exhibition, 24 photographs of miniature orchids from the Amazon region showcase the unexpected beauty of such tiny blooms, the smallest of which only measures 3 mm.
Tree allows visitors to “be” a rainforest tree through the use of virtual reality. Feel what it is like growing from a seedling to a full-fledged tree, then meeting a fate determined by the callous acts of mankind.
This unique empathetic experience, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, is in Singapore for the first time. Cloud Forest’s Crystal Mountain will house two booths where you can experience Tree.
Find out more about the unique habitat in Cloud Forest by joining a free “ASK Me!” guided tour of selected areas in the conservatory. Pick up amazing facts about the plants on display and be inspired to play a part in protecting the environment!