Each spring, discover the Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Named "one of the top orchid shows in the world" by the Los Angeles Times and featured alongside the U.K.'s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, the Santa Barbara Orchid Show unites a thriving, international community of growers and enthusiasts cultivating an environment of wonder and delight in celebration of the world's most exotic flower.

Explore the fascinating complexity and exquisite beauty of orchids, the largest plant family on the planet, many of which find an ideal home here in the temperate climate of the Southern California coast. Travel through a world of orchid species and hybrids - each a living work of art that contributes to a multi-million dollar industry, garnering Santa Barbara worldwide acclaim among horticulturists and field experts. Learn about orchid caretaking through grower demonstrations and feel inspired by gorgeous works of art that celebrate their beguiling depth and color. Watch as vendors and exhibitors from around the world vie for the titles of "Best Orchid in Show" and "Grand Champion Cymbidium" and other distinctive honors reserved for the show's most outstanding flowers.

The Santa Barbara-area orchid industry now produces more orchids than any other region in the country. Many of the growers introduce their finest blooms at the Santa Barbara International Show before sending them out as potted plants, cut-flower sprays and individual corsages to orchid enthusiasts throughout the world.


Orchids in Santa Barbara took root at the turn of the century, when wealthy industrialists came to the are's burgeoning spas and resorts to escape harsh, eastern winters. Many visitors stayed on, building estates and commissioning world-class horticulturists and landscape architects to design elaborate gardens. Exotic orchids became the rage, with mass plantings of Cymbidiums and other unusual species adding prestige to Montecito and Hope Ranch estates.

The forerunner of the Orchid Show, organized as part of a flower show by the Santa Barbara Horticultural Society took place in 1945 at the Montecito Grange Hall. In 1947, the show moved to the State Armory on Santa Barbara's Eastside. The show moved to its present location, Earl Warren Showgrounds, when the rotunda building opened in the early 1960s. Throughout the years, the rotunda and exhibitor hall have played host to some of the finest orchids in the world.