Archive for the 'In the News' Category

Gardening Could Be the Hobby That Helps You Live to 100

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Want to live longer? Try gardening! Many of the world’s oldest living people are gardeners. In Earth’s “blue zones” where people live the longest, many of them garden into their 80’s and 90’s. Of course, fresh air and exercise are very beneficial, and homegrown fruits and vegetables can improve diets, too. Scientific studies have shown […]

Battling to Save Orchids in Assam, India

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

The state of Assam in northeastern India is full of hundreds of orchid species. In fact, Assam’s official flower is the Foxtail Orchid, a Rhynchostylis known in Assamese as kopou phool. Sadly, native orchids have been disappearing, destroyed by deforestation, erosion, overgrazing, and the illegal plant trade. Some native orchid species cannot be found in […]

How to Identify Native British Orchids

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

British orchid lovers will enjoy this guide from BBC Wildlife Magazine to help identify native orchids. It shows 10 different species, ranging from Common Spotted Orchids to Lizard Orchids to Bee Orchids. There are details about where each is found, and their key distinguishing features.

Why ‘Plant Blindness’ Matters

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

“Plant blindness” is a tendency not to notice plants. People are generally much better at noticing animals. With increased urbanization, and more time spent looking at screens, the problem has worsened. Most don’t appreciate how important plants are, and that weakens support for plant conservation. As orchids and other plants face extinction, protecting them is […]

Everything You Need to Know About Orchid Pots

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Perfectly timed for spring repotting, Better Homes & Gardens explains Everything You Need to Know About Orchid Pots. The helpful advice includes the importance of great drainage, and that most orchids prefer small pots. Terra cotta, plastic, ceramic, and mesh pots all have advantages and disadvantages to consider. The article also contains this clever tip: […]

The Secret Orchids of Palau

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Smithsonian magazine reveals the secret orchids of Palau. The tiny South Pacific nation is spread across 344 small islands. With sun-drenched beaches and coral reefs full of vibrant fish, it’s known as one of the best dive sites in the world. But Palau is more than a biodiversity hotspot for fish. It’s also a hotspot […]

A Craze for a Traditional Treat Is Endangering Wild African Orchids

Monday, March 4th, 2019

There are lots of edible orchids besides vanilla. I’ve blogged about chikanda before, a traditional African dish made from orchid tubers. The tubers are ground up with peanuts and chilies, and cooked into a savory loaf. Over the past few decades, chikanda has gone from being a rural famine food to a trendy urban staple. […]

An Orchid Phantasm in a Pennsylvania Forest

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Why is a weird, parasitic orchid from Japan growing near Philadelphia? The Asian species, Cyrtosia septentrionalis, has popped up on the grounds of Longwood Gardens, and nobody really knows why. This strange orchid is a parasite on a soil fungus, and is considered impossible to cultivate. It could be that some seeds hitchhiked with other […]

Florida’s Million Orchid Project Shows How to Attach Them to Trees

Friday, December 28th, 2018

Check out the video below for expert tips on how to attach orchids to trees. As part of Florida’s Million Orchid Project, biologists are trying to teach the public how to mount orchids. Whether it’s a native species, or a favorite non-native variety, growers can mount them using the techniques explained in the video. In […]

New Species of Vanilla Discovered

Monday, November 26th, 2018

A new species of vanilla orchid has been discovered in the Amazon. Vanilla denshikoira appears to be closely related to the Vanilla planifolia we all love to eat. The new species was recently found in the northwest Amazon in Colombia, within the Guyana Shield, one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. Only two […]