Archive for the 'Conservation' Category

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 […]

Saving Orchids Could Help Keep the Peace in Colombia

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

The orchid-laden nation of Colombia has suffered a violent past. Colombian scientist Tatiana Arias hopes to use the country’s orchids to help keep the peace. In the last few years, a fragile peace treaty has ended six decades of violence between drug cartels and the government. Now, many rural areas need a reliable source of […]

Secret Garden: Unearthing the Mysteries of Orchids

Friday, December 11th, 2020

The Nature Conservancy is working with groups like the North American Orchid Conservation Center to better understand and save endangered orchids. They’re studying orchids, their natural environments, their pollinators, their fungal partners, and the threats they face. With over 25,000 orchid species around the world, it’s a formidable task. In fact, there are more orchid […]

The Cultural and Ecological Implications of the Salep Orchid Trade

Saturday, December 5th, 2020

In Defense of Plants’ podcast explores the salep orchid trade. I’ve blogged before about salep, a traditional drink or dessert made with orchid tubers. It’s popular in Turkey, Greece, around the eastern Mediterranean, and other parts of the Middle East. Orchid tubers are made into flour, which is then turned into hot drinks, cold drinks, […]

A Treasure Trove of Central African Orchids

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

There’s a treasure trove of Central African orchids at This growing database offers a look at some uncommon species, and it features lots of pictures. Central African orchids aren’t as well known as their relatives from Madagascar and South Africa, but they should be. They include captivating members of the Angraecum family, Bulbophyllums, Eulophias, […]

Artificial Intelligence Can Help Protect Orchids and Other Species

Friday, November 6th, 2020

Scientists have developed a new way to figure out which orchids are at risk of extinction. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive catalog of endangered plants and animals in the world. To be assessed, each species needs a thorough scientific study of its […]

Orchids for Biden

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Four years ago, many, including me, predicted that Trump would be a catastrophe for the USA. Certainly, he has been. He has failed to face a worsening pandemic, an economic collapse, and climate change disasters. His blatant corruption, incompetence, nepotism, and immorality are on display every day. His poisonous bigotry will continue to do damage […]

Make Your Own Orchids with Orchid-gami

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Orchid-gami lets everyone to create great orchid art. It’s an educational project from the North American Orchid Conservation Center and the United States Botanic Garden. They’re created templates for 3D models of native North American orchids. Download the files for free, then print, cut, fold, and glue. Teachers, parents, and kids will love assembling orchids. […]