Tropical Winter Blooms at Bristol Aquarium

If you come in to the Aquarium’s Botanical House, you might be surprised to find lots of plants flowering, despite the chilly temperatures just outside!

Bristol Aquarium works with Writhlington School Orchid Project to maintain a collection of rare warm and cool climate orchids from around the world. The Orchid Project promotes education and conservation efforts all around the world.

Strolling along our Amazon Rainforest canopy walkway you will spot these unusual orchid collections growing up the walls below you. Right at the very top near our fast-flowing waterfall, our gorgeous Laelia anceps is currently blooming for the first time this year. This Mexican orchid produces brilliant pink flowers on giant flower spikes which can be nearly 1 metre long! It is a type of plant called an epiphyte, which means it grows on the surfaces of other plants or rocks, and it seems to be very at home on the rocks in our botanical house!

In its native habitat it flowers in late October making it the perfect flower to use in the Mexican festival Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)! Locals will collect the flowers and plant them on their roofs or make them part of their costumes and altar displays to celebrate their ancestors.

It blooms for us at Christmas time as we have cooler temperatures, so pop by over the holiday period to see some festive seasonal colour!