Archive for the 'In the News' Category

World’s Largest Glasshouse Reopens at Kew

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

The world’s largest glasshouse is open for business again!  Plant lovers can once again lose themselves in the newly refurbished Temperate Greenhouse at Kew Gardens in London. The 1863 building has been repaired many times, but this time it was thoroughly modernized. The Temperate Greenhouse dwarfs the nearby Palm House and Princess of Wales Conservatory. Thousands […]

Vanilla Fever in Madagascar

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

South Africa’s Mail & Guardian details the problems of soaring vanilla prices in Madagascar. Vanilla is the orchid that we all love to eat, and the cost of vanilla beans has been rising for years. Droughts and cyclones have contributed to increases. But what might be a boon for the economy also brings a lot […]

Fermilab Plants Rare Native Orchids

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

What do rare orchids and particle physics have in common? The folks at Fermilab are in the business of subatomic discoveries, but they’re also part of a project to restore native prairie. On their campus outside of Chicago, they’ve been bringing back native plants like the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid. This species is endangered throughout […]

Why the Conservation of Orchids Is No Simple Matter

Monday, March 12th, 2018

The Smithsonian illustrates why orchid conservation is tricky. Orchid seeds require a symbiotic fungus to grow, so saving seeds isn’t enough. Experts need to understand each orchid species’ relation to its essential fungi. “First you have to find the fungus,” says Smithsonian botanist Melissa McCormick, “then you have to figure out what it is, and […]

Two New Orchids Found in Western Australia

Monday, December 18th, 2017

Botanists in Western Australia discovered two new orchid species while out for a walk. At first, they thought that they were seeing color variations of known orchids. But Caladenia lateritica and Caladenia rosea are new to science. Both are fragrant, and both were found south of Perth near Dwellingup. The area is known as a […]

Are Traders and Traffickers Winning the Orchid Battle?

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

National Geographic reports alarming news about the disappearance of wild orchids. Many species are disappearing from their native habitats because wild plants are being poached. In fact, illegal traffickers are so good at hunting rare orchids that scientists often discover new species for sale in a market before finding them in the wild. Some varieties are […]

Rare Orchid Reappears After 79 Years

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

An endangered orchid has reappeared for the first time since 1938!  The rare species, Liparis hostifolia, is known as shimakumokiriso in Japanese, and is only found on the Ogasawara Islands bordering the tropics, 620 miles (1000 km) south of Tokyo. It hadn’t been seen in decades, but a specimen was found over the summer, and […]

Diversity As Natural Pesticide

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Scientists have published a study in Nature that explains why plant diversity discourages insect pests. Damaging insects love monocultures, large areas planted with a single crop, because they conveniently concentrate nutrients in one place. Diverse plantings have less of what they like, so bugs need to work harder in search of food. As a result, […]

New Orchids Discovered in Madagascar

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Madagascar is the home of so many fascinating plants and animals, and scientists have discovered even more orchids. Ten new Cynorkis species have been found in a remote area of northern Madagascar, including one with a champagne fragrance. Check out the story and great photos at The English Garden.

Orchid Gives up the Secrets of Its Success

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Chinese scientists have studied an orchid’s genetics to learn the secrets of its success. They’ve sequenced the genes of the species Apostasia shenzhenica, which is an early offshoot of the orchid family tree. Their study shows that important orchid traits, like massed pollen, tiny seeds, and the ability to live as air plants, emerged at […]