Orchid Species, Lost and Found

Orchids come and go. Scientists frequently find new orchids, and also raise warnings about orchid extinctions. Recent finds include two new Aerides from the Philippines, and a natural Laelia hybrid from Oaxaca, Mexico (article in Spanish.)

In the Philippines, Aerides turma and Aerides turma forma anniversarius are two more orchid species to add to that country’s “luxuriant mega-biodiversity.” One of their discoverers, Dr. Miguel De Leon from the Cootes Orchid Research Group, describes them as “the living jewels of the Archipelago.”

In southern Mexico, Laelia × tlaxiacoensis has been scientifically described as a natural hybrid between Laelia albida and Laelia furfuracea. Although most orchid hybrids are human creations, there are naturally occurring ones, too. Studies of this orchid include examining its trade in markets of the city of Tlaxiaco, and its medicinal uses in local communities.

Bangladesh has been losing orchids. Habitat destruction and the illegal plant trade have resulted in the disappearance of 32 orchid varieties. Some haven’t been seen in the tropical country for over a century. Researchers point out that Bangladesh’s problems mirror what’s happening around the world. They’re now assessing the nation’s 155 remaining orchid species to help prevent any more biodiversity loss.

Explore posts in the same categories: Conservation, In the News

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