Archive for the 'Conservation' Category

Protecting Vanilla, One of Our Favorite Flavors

Monday, March 27th, 2023

Vanilla is a very delicious orchid, and the most important orchid crop. The Crop Trust, a non-profit group which works to safeguard crop diversity, wants to protect vanilla. Native to Central and South America, it was cultivated for millennia by Mayans and Aztecs. Nowadays, most beans come from Madagascar, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, India, and […]

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

Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

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 […]

Illegal Trade Threatens Nepal’s Orchids

Sunday, January 22nd, 2023

Nestled in the towering Himalayas between India and China, Nepal is an orchid hotspot. Sadly, its orchids are declining. Even though Nepal is only slightly bigger than Arkansas, it’s home to about 500 orchid species (for comparison, the USA and Canada combined have about 200 species.) People collect wild orchids to sell for use in […]

Have a Terrific Adventure with Orchids in the Wild Ecotours

Sunday, January 15th, 2023

Take a mind-blowing vacation and help endangered orchids at the same time! The Orchid Conservation Alliance (OCA) offers Orchids in the Wild Ecotours, expert-led trips to see orchids in their native homes. They range as far away as Madagascar, and as close as Ohio. This year’s itinerary also includes Italy, Brazil, and South Africa. The […]

New Zealanders Can Help Unravel a 250-Year-Old Orchid Mystery

Tuesday, December 27th, 2022

Massey University student Hayden Jones and Botany Curator Carlos Lehnebach are launching a citizen-science project to solve an orchid mystery. Maikuku, also known as the White Sun Orchid or Thelymitra longifolia, is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most common orchids. Although it was scientifically discovered 250 years ago, botanists wonder if its beautiful white blooms […]

Dogs Are Helping to Save Rare Orchids

Friday, October 21st, 2022

Dogs are helping orchids. The North American Orchid Conservation Center has two projects where dogs are working to save endangered species (the article is in the middle of their newsletter.) With their keen sense of smell, specially trained hounds have learned to identify the orchids from dried specimens. They can locate wild plants when they’re […]

New Poster Highlights Protected Orchids of India

Friday, October 14th, 2022

India is home to over 1,250 native orchid species. As is the case in many countries, those orchids are threatened by overharvesting of wild plants. To improve enforcement of India’s laws, a new poster has been created by the World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC, a registered UK charity which works to stop illegal wildlife trade. […]

Scientists Join Forces to Prevent Extinction of New Zealand’s Rarest Orchid

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

The Swamp Helmet Orchid, Corybas carsei, is the tiniest and rarest Corybas orchid in New Zealand. There are only a few hundred remaining in a very small patch of land within their wetland homes. Fortunately, scientists have joined forces to save them. The Department of Conservation has been working for decades to protect the endangered […]

Orchids for Lehigh Acres: Restoring Florida’s Native Species

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Florida’s ongoing Million Orchid Project has been succeeding. Community groups, schools, and businesses, like the Lehigh Acres company highlighted in the news story below, are tying native orchids to trees. They hope to restore some of the state’s lost natural beauty, missing due to decades of habitat destruction and poaching. Run by Fairchild Tropical Botanic […]

Rhapsody in Blue – Spectacular Rare Orchid Found During Surveys in West Papua

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

The tropical forests on Waigeo Island, which is off the western end of New Guinea, are famous for Wilson’s Bird of Paradise and other extraordinary plants and animals. Recently, a scientific expedition there cataloged 80 rare plants, including the deep sky-blue flowers of Dendrobium azureum. The species was scientifically discovered in 2013, after a dried […]