Rhapsody in Blue – Spectacular Rare Orchid Found During Surveys in West Papua

The tropical forests on Waigeo Island, which is off the western end of New Guinea, are famous for Wilson’s Bird of Paradise and other extraordinary plants and animals. Recently, a scientific expedition there cataloged 80 rare plants, including the deep sky-blue flowers of Dendrobium azureum. The species was scientifically discovered in 2013, after a dried specimen sent to the Natural History Museum in London nearly a century ago was re-found and finally identified. This stunning Dendrobium is one of only a few true-blue orchids. It will turn a lot of heads, and hopefully encourage the protection of this extraordinary area.

To learn more about Dendrobium azureum, check out Kew.org. It includes the story of British entomologist Lucy Evelyn Cheesman, who collected the original specimen sent to London.

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