Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Kew Gardens hosts tropical orchid festival

Worker with Kew Gardens' blooms
The exhibition took an entire year to prepare

Kew Gardens is hosting a month-long festival to showcase thousands of exotic orchids and tropical plants.

The Tropical Extravaganza festival is being held in the Princess of Wales Conservatory and will open on Saturday.

It features a tiered "biodiversity" island, decorated with hundreds of varieties of orchids, bromeliads and anthuriums.

"It looks stunning, especially when it's lit up," head of glasshouses at Kew Gardens, Phil Griffiths, said.

"The natural orchids are great. And it's fragrant - the smell is quite a knock-out."

Mr Griffiths added: "Plants take up to a year to prepare. As soon as this exhibition finishes we start getting ready for the next one."

Some of the plants were bought fresh from Denmark, two weeks before the start of the festival.

It runs from Saturday 6 February to Sunday 7 March.

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