Orchid House

Sun shines through glass and a metal trellis filled with orchids and green plants
Style
Colorful, Fragrant, Lush
Best Seasons to Visit
Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn

About This Garden

Transformed into an open, gallery-like space—boasting a new glass roof to restored interior and exterior concrete—our Orchid House provides an immersive orchid-viewing experience like never before. Hundreds of orchids lovingly displayed in custom frame trellises and our restored bronze case dazzle and delight, showcasing the beauty and diversity of our renowned orchid collection. With our curated orchids hand-selected five times per week for rotating display, there’s always something new—and something breathtakingly beautiful—to see.

Our restored Orchid House also sheds light on our dedication to save endangered orchid species both near and far. Through our Orchid Conservation Program, we have developed the technology to grow large seedling populations of native orchids for the purpose of restoring native orchid populations, in our backyard and far beyond.

Download Our Orchid House Restoration Gallery Guide
Visit the History and Artistry of Our Orchid House

Our Orchid Collection

Orchids have long held a prominent place at Longwood, as they were a passion of our founder Pierre S. du Pont and his wife, Alice, who were both charter members of the American Orchid Society. Started in the early 1920s, our orchid collection first consisted of plants the du Ponts purchased extensively from American growers, as well as imported from growers in India, Thailand, and the Caribbean to England, France, and Belgium, and has grown throughout the years as many orchid enthusiasts have added to the original collection.

What started with the passion of two people, and was then skillfully cared for and enhanced by our expert orchid growers over the last hundred years, has grown into our current orchid collection of 5,000 plants representing 2,000 different taxa.

Our Orchid Collection

Highlighted Genera in Our Orchid Collection

Research & Conservation

Longwood not only shares the beauty of orchids but is also working to ensure that local to international endangered species are saved. Since 1956, we have partnered with horticulturists from all over the world to find, obtain, and trial new plants each year through plant exploration. Over the years, this program has evolved from plant-finding expeditions to homing in on specific plant targets as well as advocating for conservation of plant resources in the countries explored.

Learn more about our dedication to orchid conservation.

Conservation of Pennsylvania Native Lady’s Slippers

A Bit of History 

An original feature of our Conservatory, our historic Orchid House has long showcased not only our exceptional orchid collection, but also our long-standing dedication to enhancing and displaying one of our oldest plant collections.

Designed for display, the original Orchid House was constructed more than 100 years ago as one of two classically styled glasshouses that flank the Main Conservatory. and first equipped for growing orchids in 1928. The Orchid House’s bronze display case was added in 1929 and then restored in 1966.

In 2021, we began a meticulous year-long Orchid House restoration that included extensive work on all aspects of its exterior and interior, drawing on a cadre of restoration experts, artisans, and craftspeople to bring this ambitious vision to life. With the reopening of our Orchid House, its original bronze cases have been restored and relocated, and its bronze windows and interior and exterior concrete also restored— honoring the legacy of Pierre S. and Alice du Pont and providing an exquisite setting to showcase the art, science, and beauty of orchid breeding, research, and conservation.

From its beginnings through its meticulous restoration, the Orchid House truly represents Longwood’s unwavering standard of excellence, our commitment to upholding the legacy of our founders, and our dedication to displaying beauty in the best possible way for our guests.

Free Online Open Courses

Everything About Orchids

Through video lectures, recorded presentations, discussion forums, and more, we invite you to join our free online course Everything About Orchids. Learn about our collection and how to enjoy orchids in your own home.