Australian Scientists Finally Unlock Queen of Sheba Orchid’s Secret

In Australia, a country full of extraordinary plants, the Queen of Sheba Orchids stand out. Their brilliant displays of purples, pinks, and gold make them Australian orchid royalty, and their admirers refer to them simply as “Queens.” The Sydney Morning Herald reports that this rare and endangered native of Western Australia may be making a comeback. After years of difficulties starting them from seed, scientists have finally cracked the tricky formula. In addition to precise soil conditions, the seeds need extra nutrients, unlike most orchids which only draw food from fungal partners. That breakthrough means they can now grow Queens in large numbers, and someday return them to the wild.

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