Arctic Orchids

From Canada, the Ottawa Citizen tells of Arctic Orchids and Other Delights. If the phrase “Arctic orchids” sounds like a joke, keep in mind that orchids are the world’s largest flower family, and live on every continent but Antarctica. We know tropical orchids best, but Canada is home to dozens of species, like those celebrated at the annual Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival. Further north, the Northern Bog Orchid doesn’t have the prettiest flowers, but it does have the ability to survive on the tundra of Baffin Island, which is better known for polar bears and glaciers. Scientists have just discovered it there on a recent expedition during this summer’s short growing season. It joins the Northern Coralroot Orchid which was already known from Baffin Island. “When people think of the Arctic they think of ice,” says Jeff Saarela, a botanist on the trek. “They don’t even think that there’s much life up there. But the Arctic is incredibly diverse. There are hundreds of species of plants and other organisms.”

Orchid aficionado

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4 Comments on “Arctic Orchids”

  1. Hillary Pizzigati Says:

    Very interesting. Really superb information can be found on web site. Nevver imagined orchids and polar bear can live in the same place.

  2. Jenny Haasini Says:

    Really worthwhile article. I think most people will realize that all the plants and animals of the arctic are in danger of extinction. So sad that is all in danger.

  3. willyo Says:

    It seems that the polar bear is a threat to those small orchids! I thought polar bears eat seals, not orchids.

  4. Marc Says:

    Willyo, that’s a photo of a polar bear in the San Francisco Zoo, not in the arctic. I think it’s playing with a tree branch, so it’s not endangering any orchids in this picture, at least.