Orchid House, Botanical Gardens, Calcutta.
Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of an interior view of the Orchid House at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Calcutta, from the Elgin Collection: 'Spring Tours 1894-98', taken by Bourne and Shepherd in the 1890s. The gardens, situated on the west bank of the Hooghly River, Calcutta were founded in 1786 by Colonel Robert Kyd. The objective was to collect plants indigenous to the country and for introduction and acclimatisation of plants from foreign parts. The gardens were the leading centre for botanical investigation and it was here the varieties of Assam and Darjeeling tea were developed. The gardens were also an important source for the cultivation of orchids, bamboos and palms, supplying plants to Kew and other European gardens.