Archive for the 'Conservation' Category

A Brief History of China’s Wild Cymbidium Trade

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

The IUCN Orchid Specialist Group reports on the history, cultural importance, and trade of China’s Cymbidiums. Recent studies focus on Sichuan Province in southwest China, one of the world’s botanical hotspots. It’s home to many orchids, including Cymbidiums. They’ve been important in Chinese culture for thousands of years, and ornamental varieties have been cultivated for […]

Dogs Are an Orchid’s Best Friend

Friday, February 21st, 2020

In the vast orchid family full of weird plants, Rhizanthellas stand out as among the weirdest. These Australian natives live their whole lives underground, and feed off fungi rather than photosynthesize. Their flowers occasionally break the surface, but usually out of sight in the dirt or leaf litter, so they’re really hard to find. But […]

Missoula’s ‘Best Kept Secret’ Helps Conserve Endangered Orchids

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Most people don’t think of orchids when they think of Montana, but Missoula’s Botanica, Ltd. is a great place for orchids. Brenda Oviatt and Bill Nerison have turned their hobby into a business which is devoted to growing endangered species. They specialize in the African Angraecoid family, which includes threatened varieties like Darwin’s Orchid, Angraecum […]

Rescuing a Delicious Australian Orchid

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on saving the Sunshine Diuris, a rare and delicious Australian orchid species. Diuris fragrantissima is also known as Snow in the Paddocks. Once common in grasslands around Melbourne, this species’ tubers were a favorite food source for Aboriginal peoples. It was so plentiful that European settlers picked its flowers by […]

Orchids at the Center of Cloud Forest Conservation in Ecuador

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

Tune in to In Defense of Plants for an orchid conservation success story. Lou Jost has worked to protect cloud forests in orchid-rich Ecuador for decades, and has helped to create seven nature reserves. The reserves are essential habitats for many endangered plants and animals, including fascinating pleurothallid orchids, like Masdevallias, Draculas, and Stelis. If […]

Stay Cool with the International Odontoglossum Alliance

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

The International Odontoglossum Alliance (IOA) is a great resource for everyone who loves this family of cool growing orchids. Odontoglossums, called Odonts for short, are native to high elevations in the Andes. There are many popular varieties like the species and hybrid in the photos above. Foggy climates, like the San Francisco Bay Area, suit […]

10 Rarest Orchids in the World

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Meet the 10 rarest orchids in the world. Many are Lady Slippers, but there are also others, like the strange Australian Western Underground Orchid. Habitat destruction and over-harvesting of wild plants have been big problems, and now climate change is a growing threat. Since there are almost 30,000 orchid species, and many are highly endangered, […]

Scientific Conference on Andean Orchids Coming in August

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

The Sixth Scientific Conference on Andean Orchids takes place next month from August 6th – 8th. Experts from around the world will gather in MedellĂ­n, Colombia, to discuss the latest advances in orchid science. The conference will offer simultaneous translations between English and Spanish. This event is in conjunction with the Orchids, Flowers and Crafts […]

Battling to Save Orchids in Assam, India

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

The state of Assam in northeastern India is full of hundreds of orchid species. In fact, Assam’s official flower is the Foxtail Orchid, a Rhynchostylis known in Assamese as kopou phool. Sadly, native orchids have been disappearing, destroyed by deforestation, erosion, overgrazing, and the illegal plant trade. Some native orchid species cannot be found in […]

Why ‘Plant Blindness’ Matters

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

“Plant blindness” is a tendency not to notice plants. People are generally much better at noticing animals. With increased urbanization, and more time spent looking at screens, the problem has worsened. Most don’t appreciate how important plants are, and that weakens support for plant conservation. As orchids and other plants face extinction, protecting them is […]