Behind the Scenes of Its 20th Orchid Show, the New York Botanical Garden Toils to Rescue Endangered Plants

The Guardian reports on the New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) latest big exhibition, and also its efforts to rescue endangered orchids. Behind the scenes, there are orchids salvaged from the illegal plant trade. When stolen species are confiscated by customs officials, they are sent to botanical gardens like NYBG to be saved. The plants are often near death. Garden staff treat their pests and diseases, and try to bring them back to life. They don’t all survive, but many do. Other illegally-traded plants like cycads and succulents regularly arrive at the garden, too. Social media has amplified the problem, making it easier for poachers and buyers to find one another. It’s hoped that the beauty and charisma of these amazing orchids encourages people to support conservation, and to never buy illegally collected plants.

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