Tropical Montane Orchidetum Opens At National Orchid Garden: “Ascend A Mountain” Through Three Display Houses

Tropical Montane Orchidetum Opens At National Orchid Garden: “Ascend A Mountain” Through Three Display Houses
Image: Adapted from NParks
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Visit a showcase of a wide diversity of orchids at the Tropical Montane Orchidetum, comprising of three display houses and surrounding outdoor areas, at National Orchid Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The Tropical Montane Orchidetum simulates the experience of ascending a tropical mountain forest. Sights located within this section of the National Orchid Garden include The Sembcorp Cool House, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection, a lowland habitat trail and an outdoor area known as the Secret Ravine.

This section of the National Orchid Garden had been under renovation since 2017. It was reopened on 3 April 2021 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at National Orchid Garden with Minister for National Development Desmond Lee in attendance.


Sights within the Tropical Montane Orchidetum

Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection

Sights within the Tropical Montane Orchidetum - Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection
Image: NParks

The Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection display house is designed to emulate a mid-elevation forest environment from 650 metres to 1,000 metres elevation. It has been expanded in size from 350 square metres to 620 square metres. Previously, it displayed a collection of bromeliads, a family of plants which includes the pineapple.

Lady of the Night Orchid
Lady of the Night Orchid. Image: NParks

Now, in addition to bromeliads, showcases a selection of plants such as the Lady of the Night Orchid, and air plants which have the ability to absorb moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere.


Tan Hoon Siang Mist House

Tan Hoon Siang Mist House
Image: NParks

Upgraded in size from 350 square metres to 760 square metres, the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House is also based on a tropical garden from 650 metres to 1,000 metres elevation. It is home to around 50 orchid species and hybrids.

Lady Slipper Orchid
Lady Slipper Orchid. Image: NParks

Amongst those on display at this area of the Orchidetum is the Papilonanda Tan Hoon Siang, with large, pink flowers. There is also the delicate-looking Lady Slipper Orchid.


The Sembcorp Cool House

The Sembcorp Cool House
Image: NParks

The Cool House at National Orchid Garden has been expanded four times in size and renamed The Sembcorp Cool House. The cooled conservatory emulates the tropical mountain forest climate found in Malesia, Continental Southeast Asia and South Asia, Australasia, Afrotropics and the Neotropics of the Americas.

Queen Victoria’s Dendrobium
Queen Victoria’s Dendrobium. Image: NParks

There are about 850 orchid species and hybrids on display at The Sembcorp Cool House. Besides the orchids, other interesting plants in the collection are carnivorous plants and begonias.


Secret Ravine & Lowland Habitat Trail

Tropical Montane Orchidetum
Map of National Orchid Garden including the Tropical Montane Orchidetum. Image: NParks

Connecting the three display houses is the Secret Ravine, a trail that starts off from the Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection to the tropical garden of the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, and finally to the cool of The Sembcorp Cool House.

There is also a lowland habitat trail featuring Neram and riverine forests from the region. Here, where the orchids and other species can be found clinging to the branches of trees such as the native Neram tree.


Community Support

The new Tropical Montane Orchidetum was made possible in part due to contributions by the community. This included a $10 million donation by Sembcorp Industries and a donation made by the family of the late Lady Yuen Peng McNeice. The family of the late Tan Hoon Siang has also been contributing through various means over many years, and the enhancement works includes a donation from Mr Tan Jiew Hoe.