About Us

History of Carolina Orchids

In Clemson, SC, where Tom completed his Ph.D. in Textile Chemistry, Shan and Tom got their first greenhouse in 1979. Their business began in 1980 as Clemson Orchids. For more than 20 years, Tom taught and Shan worked in the chemical industry. They live in Fort Mill, SC and their occupation is Carolina Orchids.  The name Clemson Orchids was changed to Carolina Orchids to avoid the assumption that Clemson Orchids must be in Clemson rather than in Fort Mill, SC.  Located on Pleasant Road (which runs parallel to I-77), the greenhouses are less than two miles from Carowinds Amusement Park and the Charlotte, NC city limit. (No, the CAROLINA Orchids sign is NOT printed with blue letters…)

Tom, whose specialty is bulbophyllums and angraecums, gives presentations to many societies. Every talk uses PowerPoint with up to date pictures.  Shan gives a talk about her 2006 trip to Ecuador which shows orchids in their natural habitats.  Since Carolina Orchids specializes in species, a new talk is being put together featuring species not often seen.

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