Centrally located within the lush settings of Singapore Botanic Gardens is the National Orchid Garden, with some of the most exotic orchid collections on the planet. Even though the National Orchid Garden was opened in 1995, beautiful and rare orchids have been a part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens since its founding in 1859. As a result of an orchid collection programme instigated by Henry Ridley – the first director of the gardens – an orchid house was opened in 1899 whose further expansion was initiated by successive directors such as I H Burkill and R E Holttum.
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In 1929, the garden developed the first hybrid orchid as part of an orchid-breeding programme pioneered by Holttum. Since then, this unique breeding programme has been instrumental in producing an array of striking hybrids. Later in 1980s when the garden got a grant for its redevelopment, the new plan was on the basis of a three-core concept with three different zones such as Bukit Timah Core, Tanglin Core and Central Core. The Central Core now holds the expansive National Orchid Garden.
Spread over three hectares of land on the highest hills of Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Orchid Garden is purported to have the largest display of tropical orchids in the world, with over 60,000 orchids from 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids. Most noteworthy about this garden is its distinctive design concept that arranges orchids on the basis of a colour system to suit the four different seasons. For instance, cream and yellow orchids stand for the spring with pink and red orchids for summer. An astounding collection of white orchids form part of the winter display and purple as well as red orchids grace the autumn section.
One of the most important segments of the National Orchid Garden is Burkill Hall that once served as the residence of the garden’s directors. A colonial-style structure, Burkill Hall’s focal point is the VIP Orchid Garden boasting of an outstanding range of hybrid orchids that are named after some of the world’s renowned personalities, occasions and organisations. Asocenda Kwa Geok Choo, Dendrobium Jackie Chan, Paravanda Nelson Mandela and Dendrobium World Peace are just a few.
Another key highlight of the garden is Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, where you’ll come across a fine selection of fragrant orchids. Adjacent to the mist house is the Yuen-Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection with about 1,000 varieties of Bromeliads donated by Lady Yuen-Peng McNeice. The garden’s attractions also include Cool House that has been exclusively developed to serve as a haven for over 500 orchid species – mostly endangered in their natural habitation. Occupying an area of about 600sqm, Cool House is a glass structure controlled by computerized chillers that keep the temperature way below Singapore’s usual mugginess.
National Orchid Garden
- Opening Hours: Daily from 08:30 - 19:00
- Remarks: Admission fee is free for kids under 12 years.
The Garden Refreshment Kiosk close to the garden’s entrance sells refreshments. Souvenirs and orchid plantlets can be bought from the Entrance Pavilions.
- Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
- Tel: +65 6471 7361