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Tiger Orchid, Grammatophyllum Speciosum, Blooms At Brooklyn Botanic Garden (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 11/17/11 03:09 PM ET   Updated: 11/17/11 03:15 PM ET

A rare occurrence is taking place right now at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City. The garden's tiger orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum) is blooming for only the third time in 13 years.

The garden's website reports that the current bloom is quite stunning. Their orchid, which weighs 300 pounds, is "producing a magnificent display of 17 flower spikes and hundreds of yellow-and-brown-spotted blossoms."

This year's tiger orchid bloom is expected to produce between 850 and 1,700 flowers in total, hundreds more than the two previous blooms. Brooklyn Daily reports that a new fertilizer is responsible. Orchid curator David Horak said, "The amount and quality of the flowers is more than likely from the new fertilizer."

According to Gothamist, the plant has gained 100 pounds since 2008, and is now 12 feet in diameter. Brooklyn Botanic Garden says that even in the wild in Southeast Asia, tiger orchids only bloom "reportedly once every two to four years."

Check out the pictures below for a glimpse of the tiger orchid's blossoms. If you're in the New York City area, the orchid is expected to remain in bloom for about another month.

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BBG's Grammatophyllum speciosum (tiger orchid) blooms in 2011. Credit: Uli Lorimer, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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Filed by James Gerken  |