Rare Hawaiian Orchids Going Home

Illinois College biologists are bringing some rare orchids home to Hawaii. Like I blogged last May, this Platanthera species, also known as the Fringed Orchid, is one of the few true island natives, and it’s endangered. Habitat destruction, invasive plants and animals, and theft from the wild have severely reduced the wild population. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki almost wiped out all the Fringed Orchids on Kauai. Only one remains there, with a few dozen more on Maui and Molokai. Illinois College and the National Tropical Botanical Garden have been collaborating to grow them and return them to the wild. This weekend, they’ll plant about 90 seedlings from an Illinois lab back in their native Hawaiian habitats. While celebrating this success, Chipper Wichman, director of Kauai’s National Tropical Botanical Garden, added that “This does not ensure the survival of this species. What this does is it gives us a huge step forward.”

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4 Comments on “Rare Hawaiian Orchids Going Home”

  1. nancy Says:

    pretty good picture in the second thumbnail in the article. this news is making me feel very chipper.

  2. Karla Says:

    Hurray for good news! I hope those seedlings survive and give them the big step forward they want. Maybe someday they will not be rare any more.

  3. elise L Says:

    Hi, Wow!, this was a real quality post.

  4. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Saving Hawaii’s Rarest Orchids Says:

    […] It has an update on attempts to rescue the rarest variety from extinction, which I’ve blogged about before.[…]