The 17th October was a historic day for the Trust and in particular for the La Rochelle property when a rare orchid flowered on the 17th October 2106, this is only the fourth time that it has flowered to our knowledge, the last time being in 1973 so this is a cause for celebration.
The orchid has quite a unique history attached to it: it was found by Sir Stephen Courtauld on one of the eastern Java Islands during his travels there sometime before the start of the second world war. It is thought to be a natural hybrid as there have been no others like it found. It is a unique Vanda orchid different to other lombakensis. Sir Stephen named the orchid, Vanda lombakensis Virginia Courtauld after his wife Lady Virginia Courtauld.
The orchid was taken by Sir Stephen back to England where it was kept in a glass house at Eltham Palace. It flowered once then during the second world war and survived when the glass house that it was in was bombed. A small piece of the plant was recovered and re potted. It was then brought to Southern Rhodesia when Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia moved to La Rochelle near Umtali, present day Mutare.
The Trust would like to thank its dedicated and professional ground estate team headed by Mr Kevin Martin for making this piece of history happen. We hope you enjoy the photographs of the rare and beautiful orchid below.
Rare Orchid in Flower
We have some exciting news from the La Rochelle Orchid House. The natural hybrid orchid named after Lady Virginia is in flower!
This is only the 4th time that it has flowered to our knowledge and the last time was in 1973 so this is quite a special occasion.
It is expected to be in flower for the next 3 weeks and we would like to encourage you all to go up to La Rochelle and have a look at it. With that, we are offering a “Lady Virginia Special” of 30% discount on all accommodation booked over the next 3 weeks (ending the 30 October 2016).
Here is a picture of the Lady Virginia Orchid and we will share more with you once they have opened.
We hope to see you over the next 3 weeks and can assure you that the pictures do not do justice to the detail she has in real life.
Every single person has places that are important to them. Places they care about. Places that matter. We want to see and celebrate the places that matter to you in Zimbabwe.
This Place Matters is a campaign that seeks to connect people across the country with the places that are most important to their history, and their future.
- Take photos with the sign at the places that matter most to you and send them to us.
We would also like to invite you to share your experience after you have visited a National Trust property, either in Zimbabwe or globally.
We look forward to receiving your comments and photographs, thank you.
At the 2015 INTO conference held in Cambridge, UK we are pleased to announce that the Africa Regional Forum was established and that NTZ is a full time member. The new INTO Africa group brings together a vibrant network of African Heritage Organisations that will share ideas and resources, develop a continent-wide voice, promote and influence on African cultural heritage matters.
The NTZ have compiled a draft terms of reference for the Africa Forum that is currently being discussed and finalised through a series of webinars being held across the continent. This is a very exciting development for INTO, NTZ and for the other heritage organisations in Africa.