The Gore Orchid Conservatory, like so many other commercial orchid collections, grew out of my small, private collection in Fort Collins, Colorado. My interest began with tropical plants in general, not just orchids. Quickly, though, I became infatuated with the slipper orchids. After purchasing numerous plants and flasks, it became apparent that the collection was getting out of control, and I started to consider thinning my collection by offering some of my plants for public auction. At the same time, I began experimenting with breeding and creating hybrids, but did not shake my love for the natural beauty of the species plants.

It is no secret that many of the slipper orchids are endangered or extinct in their native habitats, due in part to over-collection, but mostly to habitat destruction. As our name suggests, one of our goals is to assist in the conservation of rare orchid species. Our work does this in several ways. First, we attempt to propagate all of our species in the laboratory. In the wild, orchid seeds make use of a symbiotic relationship with fungus in order to germinate, a process that produces very poor returns in new plant production; most of the tens of thousands of seeds from each seed pod never germinate, and many of those that begin to grow die within the first years of life. With modern laboratory techniques, however, orchid seeds sown in a sterile flask have a very high rate of success. For many species, it would not be impossible for 10,000 seedlings to be produced from a single seed pod. Propagation of orchids in this manner helps to ensure that all of the known species of orchids will exist for future generations to study and enjoy.

Furthermore, laboratory production of orchids has beneficial side effects. When orchids become available to the public through legal, public outlets at a reasonable cost, the motivation for illegal collection of wild orchids is greatly diminished. As such, our efforts can help protect endangered orchid species in their native habitats. Of course, we can not stop the destruction of orchid habitats in other nations, which is probably the greatest threat to their survival. For more information on protecting orchids in their native lands, click HERE.

Our growing areas and laboratory are still located in Fort Collins, Colorado, but are unfortunately closed to the public at this time. When, in the future, we can ensure the health and safety of our plants in a more open environment, visits or visiting hours may be established.

Thank you for your interest! We hope that you enjoy your orchids as much as we do.