Rare Native Orchids Get a Helping Hand

Door County, Wisconsin cares about its native orchids. Starting in the 1930’s, a 40 acre (16 hectare) sanctuary was preserved to save rare wildflowers. Over the decades, the preserve grew to 1500 acres (607 hectares,) and it’s home to 25 of the 40 orchid species native to Wisconsin. Despite the nature sanctuary, orchid populations have declined due to hungry deer, maturing trees blocking sunlight, and selfish orchid collectors who dig up (and kill) the plants. As a result of the decline, the preserve has begun an orchid restoration project. Volunteers have started collecting seeds from Showy Lady Slippers, Yellow Lady Slippers, Ram’s Head Orchids, and Grass Pink Orchids. The seeds will be sent to nearby orchid farmers to germinate, tend the young seedlings, and then return them to the wild in two to four years. “There’s just a handful of people in the nation doing this work because it’s so complicated,” said Melissa Curran, a botanist who is assisting the restoration project. Their hard work should keep this preserve full of flowers for years to come.

Scroll though the article’s photo gallery to see some of the orchids and their minuscule seeds.

Explore posts in the same categories: Conservation, Cool Growers, In the News, Orchids in the Wild

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One Comment on “Rare Native Orchids Get a Helping Hand”

  1. greenbean Says:

    Nice that they care AboutOrchids…