Orchid oasis

Starting Friday, you can take a trip to the tropics without leaving town. A new exhibit at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, "Passport to Paradise," features orchids grown by local expert Jerry Fischer of Orchids Limited in Plymouth. In addition to displays of exotic-looking plants, there will be an orchidarium (a glass-sided orchid terrarium filled with several specimens) on display.

During the run of the exhibit, which ends March 14, the arboretum gift store will sell orchid plants as well as books, fertilizers and other supplies. And on March 13, Fischer will teach a class called Orchid Culture 101, with tips and techniques for growing orchids. (The class includes a seedling-sized orchid to take home.)

"Passport to Paradise" is free with a gate admission of $9 for adults. For more information, go to www.arboretum.umn.edu or call 952-443-1422.