Wild Orchids Are Being ‘Loved to Death’

The allure of orchids inspires bad behavior from some, and sadly, the problem seems to be growing worse. In Australia, orchid lovers are sharing info online, causing lots of people to search for the flowers in real life. Social media has expanded sharing of location information, which leads to a crush of visitors. Plants are being trampled, and others are being stolen from the wild.

Orchid hunter Mark Wapstra from Tasmania suggests that the best way to collect orchids is with a camera, unless you have a special scientific permit. Be careful where you tread, don’t share locations on social media, and never trespass on private property. As for plant theft, he adds “Most, if not all of them, will not survive. They don’t survive being dug up and put in a pot on your windowsill. You’ll get a day of joy out of it and then hopefully weeks and months of guilt about what you’ve done.”

Learn more about how to enjoy wild orchids responsibly with photography tips.

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