Former first lady Laura Bush meets Virginia grower who named her orchid

Former first lady Laura Bush meets Virginia grower who named her orchid

The orchid-naming tradition for first ladies began in 1929 with Herbert Hoover's wife.

February 28, 2018
Press Release

DALLAS, Texas – Former first lady Laura Bush finally met the grower who named an orchid after her in 2002. Art Chadwick of Chadwick & Son Orchids in Richmond, Virginia, named the Bush hybrid while she was first lady in keeping with a horticultural tradition that dates back to 1929. Every first lady since Herbert Hoover’s wife has had a namesake orchid.

Laura Bush’s orchid has a patriotic look, a white flower with a purple starburst pattern, and has received several flower quality awards from the American Orchid Society.

The Chadwicks wrote an article for each of the fifteen consecutive “First Ladies and their Orchids” for the American Orchid Society magazine and Art Jr travels the country giving lectures on the subject.

The 2017 World Orchid Conference in Ecuador featured “First Ladies and their Orchids.”

As first lady, Mrs. Bush was presented with her namesake orchid at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C. Since moving back to Dallas, she has enjoyed them at her home.

“It was a thrill to talk to Mrs. Bush about orchids as she is well versed in flowers and plants,” said Art Chadwick. “Her namesake hybrid is unlike anything on the market today.”

The technical name for her orchid is Brassolaeliocattleya Laura Bush ‘First Lady’ AM/AOS (Good News x C walkeriana) and is in the cattleya family, the type that was worn as corsages during the 1940s.

The Laura Bush Orchid as well as the entire First Lady orchid collection is on permanent public display at the U.S. Botanical Garden.