Archive for the 'Conservation' Category

How Orchids Act as Climate Indicators

Sunday, August 15th, 2021

Ecologist Jis Sebastian explains how orchids are useful tools to study climate change. Sebastian works in India’s Western Ghat Mountains. Many orchids live as air plants, or epiphytes, growing on tree trunks and branches. They thrive in mature, healthy forests. In the tree canopy, climate variations affect them quickly. The presence, or absence, of orchids […]

Good Practices and Bad Habits of Nature Photography

Monday, July 26th, 2021

There have always been irresponsible or criminal people who destroy the nature that they claim to love. Social media seems to have worsened that trend. Some are so focused on getting a popular photo that they trample over rare plants. Others rip out surrounding greenery to take a clearer shot. I’ve watched in horror as […]

Colombia’s Orchids for Peace

Saturday, June 26th, 2021

Colombia is a land of orchids, home to over 4000 native species. Cattleya trianae is the beloved national flower. Sadly, the country has suffered decades of violence and political instability. A fragile peace accord has started to heal the nation. Now, Colombians like María Luisa Hincapié and her family are hoping that orchids can help […]

Million Orchid Project Restoration Kits

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

Looking for a special gift? How about kits that help save Florida’s endangered native orchid species? Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is offering rare orchids seedlings for sale for local residents. They’re all part of Florida’s Million Orchid Project, modeled after Singapore’s success at restoring its endangered species by planting lots of them everywhere, even in […]

Saving the Treasure Trove of Nepal’s Orchids

Saturday, April 24th, 2021

The Nepali Times lays out the perils facing orchids in the Himalayan country. Nepal’s mountain valleys are full of cloud forests with rich orchid life. The country is home to over 500 different kinds. (By comparison, the USA and Canada have about 250 native species.) Many varieties are part of traditional medicines, and are legally […]

Life Lessons from North American Orchids

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center explains the life lessons offered by North American orchids. If the Queen’s Lady Slipper can take 16 years to bloom, certainly we humans can learn to take our time. When Three Bird Orchids bloom en masse to better attract pollinators, they are exemplifying the importance of teamwork. For all that […]

‘Like Finding Life on Mars’: Why the Underground Orchid is Australia’s Strangest, Most Mysterious Flower

Friday, February 19th, 2021

If we find life on Mars, will it be as strange as Australia’s Underground Orchids? These bizarre plants, also known as Rhizanthellas, live their whole lives below ground. They even bloom underground, and smell like vanilla. Known to science since 1928, there are now five identified species around the continent. All five are endangered, and […]

Villagers and Forest Officials Breathe New Life into India’s Only Orchid Sanctuary

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

In the Himalayan foothills of northeastern India, the country’s only orchid sanctuary has had a facelift. Founded in 1989, Sessa Orchid Sanctuary covers 39 square miles (100 square km) in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, a biodiversity hotspot which is known as the “Orchid State of India.” Sessa villagers and government forest officials have installed a […]

Online Orchid Fever Raises Alarm in Southeast Asia

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Malaysian researchers are exposing the illegal plant trade on social media. Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar have thousands of native orchid species, many sought out by collectors. There has always been an orchid trade, but online sellers have a wider reach than ever before. Sites like Facebook and eBay are […]

The Ugliest Orchid in the World

Sunday, December 27th, 2020

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the discovery of the ugliest orchid in the world has been big news. The newly identified Madagascan Gastrodia agnicellus has small, brown blooms that look like little pieces of rotting fruit. Like other members of the Gastrodia genus, this species is leafless, and takes its energy […]