Why the Conservation of Orchids Is No Simple Matter

The Smithsonian illustrates why orchid conservation is tricky. Orchid seeds require a symbiotic fungus to grow, so saving seeds isn’t enough. Experts need to understand each orchid species’ relation to its essential fungi. “First you have to find the fungus,” says Smithsonian botanist Melissa McCormick, “then you have to figure out what it is, and what it needs to survive, which is of course, what the orchid needs to survive.” In addition, scientists have to study growing conditions and pollinator relationships. Read more about the challenges and successes of orchid┬áconservation, and enjoy great orchid photos, at Smithsonian.com.

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