Archive for the 'Conservation' Category

Florida’s Million Orchid Project Is Growing

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

The Million Orchid Project continues to return rare native plants to Florida’s cities. While earlier efforts have focused on Miami-Dade County, volunteers recently attached 250 endangered species to trees, or planted them in the ground, in Boynton Beach, making them the first in Palm Beach County. This ambitious experiment is based on a wildly successful […]

Canada Has Lots of Lady Slippers

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

The Ram’s Head Lady Slipper is very rare. Typically, this small orchid species grows in isolated patches with only a few dozen plants. Cypripedium arietinum is native to alvar forests in the northeastern USA, the Great Lakes region, and from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan. Recently, an Ontario quarry, wanting to expand, hired field ecologist Dan […]

Madagascar’s Plants Are Running Out of Time

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Scientists at RBG Kew in London are warning that Madagascar’s native plants are in grave danger of extinction. The fourth largest island in the world is a biodiversity hot spot, home to over 11,000 plant species, most of which are found nowhere else. That includes almost 1000 orchid species like Angraecums, Jumelleas, and Oeoniellas. Habitat destruction, […]

Rare Orchid Discovery Halts Aussie Racers

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Rare orchid populations have stopped plans for an Australian race park. Orchid lovers found Leafless Tongue Orchids near the planned track. That’s pitted nature lovers against racing fans, but local officials have stated that the building plans had many flaws, including the fact that the area is home to lots of endangered species. The Leafless […]

Hawaii’s Native Species Face Uncertain Future

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Among the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is the last refuge for many of the state’s endangered native flora and fauna. They face threats from invasive species, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. With human help, however, some are recovering and rebounding. During our recent visit, it was a joy to see that many people on the […]

McBryde Garden

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

There’s much more to Kauai’s wondrous McBryde Garden than its orchids. Here are some more photos from our recent visit, starting with Dave’s incredible picture of two rare Hawaiian Moorhens looking for lunch in a stream. We were told that they are normally very shy birds, but these two didn’t seem to mind us snapping […]

Orchids at McBryde Garden

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

McBryde Garden on the island of Kauai is one of Hawaii’s extraordinary places. Set in a verdant valley, it’s part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, with a mission of conservation and research, especially for Hawaii’s endangered native flora. Dave and I were lucky enough to visit recently and enjoy its amazing sights. The garden […]

The World’s Favorite Flavor at Risk

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Wild vanilla is disappearing. On top of that bad news, farmers in Madagascar have had poor harvests.

Poaching Orchids

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Orchid poaching is a global problem, as plants are torn from the wild for profit, or as a selfish person’s trophy. Around the Great Lakes, poaching is threatening many native plants, including orchids. True orchid lovers know that they need to keep locations secret when they find native species. If word gets out, the plants […]

An Orchid Revival in South Florida

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

The Miami Herald reports on the Million Orchid Project, which is returning native orchid species to South Florida. After years of growing seedlings in labs, scientists and volunteers are transplanting young orchids into urban areas around Miami-Dade County. It’s a big experiment in orchid conservation and citizen science. So far, over 30,000 plants from several […]