Taiwan’s Conservationists Trying to Save Its Orchid Species

Taiwan is trying to save its native Moth Orchids. The tropical island nation has two Moth Orchid species, Phalaenopsis aphrodite, with white flowers, and Phalaenopsis equestris, with pink or red flowers. Taiwan also has one of the biggest orchid industries in the world. The mass-grown hybrids which begin life in Taiwanese greenhouses are sold around the globe. Unfortunately, indigenous species in the wild have been “mercilessly picked” and over-collected, and they’re close to extinction. “Bringing Moth Orchids Back Home” is a conservation program launched by the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center. Scientists there are hoping to use their plant expertise to rescue the endangered species. Their goal is to grow enough of them to replenish wild populations, and also meet commercial demands.

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