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Rare Orchids Donated to Edison and Ford Winter Estates

FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 10, 2022) — At the “Grow Fort Myers” event on April 9, Robert Riefer with the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) presented several rare Florida native orchids to Mike Flanders, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates CEO. The orchids donated include the Trichocentrum undulatum (Spotted Mule Ear), Vanilla dilloniana (Leafless Orchid), and Oncidium ensatum (Dancing Lady). These orchids are now part of the Estates’ collection in conjunction with the Million Orchid Project (MOP) and will be propagated to conserve the endangered species.

The MOP is the nation’s largest educational outreach program dedicated to orchid conservation. The project’s goal is to eventually re-establish one million native orchids. This conservation program is necessary because orchids were among Florida’s first natural resources to be exploited. In the late 1880s, orchids were removed from the wild and sold as potted plants throughout northern flower shops. Today, the native orchids exist in such small numbers that many are endangered.

The Estates are home to hundreds of orchids, some of which have been growing on the property since Mina and Thomas Edison called the place home. The orchid was Mina Edison’s favorite flower; she attached the plants to trees so that they could grow as they did in the wild. Today, horticulturists continue to attach orchids to trees throughout the site. Tours are offered daily and specialty garden tours are available by appointment through the horticulture department. For more information, visit

Edison and Ford Winter Estates
Edison and Ford Winter Estates is the internationally known winter home site of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. More than 220,000 visitors walk through the location each year from all around the globe. The organization has received many awards, including the National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Garden Clubs’ Historic Preservation Award. The property is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures,” a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. The Edison Botanic Laboratory is a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The site is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during the month of December for Holiday Nights.
We’re located at:
2350 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Copyright (C) *2022* *Edison & Ford Winter Estates * All rights reserved.

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