Archive for the 'In the News' Category

Stinky Orchid Shuts Down Smithsonian Greenhouse

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Its flowers resemble maggot-infested meat, and its scent has been compared to “a thousand dead elephants rotting in the sun.” Meet the orchid species Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis, which attracts carrion flies as pollinators.

Rare Orchid Discovery Halts Aussie Racers

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Rare orchid populations have stopped plans for an Australian race park. Orchid lovers found Leafless Tongue Orchids near the planned track. That’s pitted nature lovers against racing fans, but local officials have stated that the building plans had many flaws, including the fact that the area is home to lots of endangered species. The Leafless […]

How to Photograph an Orchid

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Enjoy this beautiful National Geographic article with expert photography advice. Photojournalist Christian Ziegler, whose work includes Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids, shares tips for taking great pictures. Don’t miss the photo gallery with his stunning orchid shots.

New Orchid Species Discovered in Vietnam

Monday, March 13th, 2017

New orchid species are discovered all the time. One of the latest, a tiny Podochilus species from Vietnam, adds to the tens of thousands already known to science.

An Imperiled, Hidden Orchid Waits Out the Cold

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

The New York Times reports on one of New York City’s hidden jewels, a native orchid species called the Downy Rattlesnake Plantain. This remarkable jewel orchid keeps its leaves over winter. Despite many threats, a few still survive in the city’s green patches.

The World’s Favorite Flavor at Risk

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Wild vanilla is disappearing. On top of that bad news, farmers in Madagascar have had poor harvests.

Poaching Orchids

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Orchid poaching is a global problem, as plants are torn from the wild for profit, or as a selfish person’s trophy. Around the Great Lakes, poaching is threatening many native plants, including orchids. True orchid lovers know that they need to keep locations secret when they find native species. If word gets out, the plants […]

A Mystery of Hiding Orchids, Solved

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Scientists have long wondered what awakens orchids, like the Small-Whirled Pogonia, after they’ve hidden underground for extended dormant periods. Smithsonian.com reports that a soil fungus holds the answer.

An Orchid Revival in South Florida

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

The Miami Herald reports on the Million Orchid Project, which is returning native orchid species to South Florida. After years of growing seedlings in labs, scientists and volunteers are transplanting young orchids into urban areas around Miami-Dade County. It’s a big experiment in orchid conservation and citizen science. So far, over 30,000 plants from several […]

Orchids: Masters of Disguise

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Orchids are the opening act in this Smithsonian podcast about trickery. Many different orchids have become masters of disguise to attract pollinators. These include Hammer Orchids and Bulbophyllums, which mess with some insect minds to improve their pollination odds. Just as importantly, orchids have enlisted human help. Listen to learn more — https://rss.art19.com/episodes/380430f6-c088-4200-a323-5ef3a9b58f87.mp3