By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An international orchid show has transformed the Academy of Natural Sciences on the Ben Franklin Parkway this weekend.

Experts like organizer Bob Sprague of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Orchid Society are delighted to share their passion:

“They’re the most highly evolved of all plants,” he says. “It’s the largest plant family, with about 30,000 individual species around the world.”

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That includes 49-species that grow naturally in Pennsylvania and New Jersey:

“They’re different in that they grow in the soil like your hostas do, not up in trees like all of these,” says Sprague.

The orchids are displayed for both show and sale, now through Sunday.

“We also have 23 vendors from around the world, including Ecuador, Columbia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan and the rest of the U.S.,” explains Sprague.

(Credit: Steve Tawa)

(Credit: Steve Tawa)

Guided tours will not only help enthusiasts make their own orchids prosper, but also school casual gardeners looking for answers to questions like ‘where they come from’ and ‘can I grow that one at home?’

Because they are so colorful and delicate, another natural question is ‘what is the shelf life of an orchid?’

“It varies from a day to four or five months,” Sprague says.

The displays are spread throughout the halls of the museum, with the exception of Dinosaur Hall. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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