Orchid Seeds – Nature’s Tiny Treasures

In the UK, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) is saving orchid seeds. As protection against extinction, the MSB stores seeds from thousands of plant species. Since orchid seeds are so tiny, they can be difficult to conserve. Orchids have the smallest seeds of any flowering plants. Some are only as big as specks of dust, 0.002 inch (0.05 mm,) while others are as “large” as ¼ inch (6 mm.) These minuscule seeds have evolved to blow in the wind. Out of millions of seeds, only a few may land in good spots with the correct growing conditions and the right fungal partners. Vanillas spread their seeds differently than other orchids. They are not dispersed by the wind, but have a sticky oil. This oil probably helps Vanilla seeds affix to visiting insects and hitch a ride. By studying orchid seeds and their conservation, the MSB is advancing knowledge of these tiny treasures.

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2 Comments on “Orchid Seeds – Nature’s Tiny Treasures”

  1. Alyssa Godino Says:

    You could definitely see the writer’s enthusiasm in the news article you write about. The seeds are very interesting. I love the super-close-up of the vanilla seed!

  2. Lynn J. Logan Says:

    Way cool! Some very interesting seeds! I appreciate
    you penning this and also the rest of the
    site is really good.