Archive for the 'In the News' Category

Kilauea Eruption Downsizes Big Island Orchid Growers

Friday, July 13th, 2018

For many people, life has changed on Hawaii’s Big Island since Kilauea’s latest eruption began in May. Among the property damage, the Honolulu Star Advertiser highlights an orchid business which lost greenhouses and plants. Other growers in the area have also been affected. Besides the threat of flowing lava, volcanic gases can be dangerous for […]

The Illegal Orchid Trade And Its Implications for Conservation

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Illegal trade in wild orchids threatens many species with extinction. The first global study of the topic has been conducted by the IUCN Orchid Specialist Group’s Global Trade Programme. Orchids are being over-harvested from the wild for ornamental, medicinal, and food uses. Many are disappearing. In addition, endangered plants don’t receive as much attention as […]

Smithsonian Orchids Go Online

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Explore the spectacular Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection online. Thousands of stunning photos and botanical art pieces reveal this remarkable treasure trove, which includes rare and endangered species from around the world. Don’t miss a visit to the real thing if you’re in Washington DC, but if you can’t make it there, it’s now easy to visit […]

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 […]