Archive for the 'In the News' Category

Smoky Orchids

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Bad wildfires have brought terribly smoky conditions to the San Francisco Bay Area for the past week. Of course, this is nothing compared to the suffering of those who have lost homes and loved ones in the fires, which are over 150 miles (241 km) away. However, it is causing bad air problems. Our daily […]

Orchids Are in Peril

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Check out a colorful infographic explaining how taking plants from the wild endangers orchid survival. Many rare species are openly sold online despite conservation laws. But with limited resources, almost no money is spent to stop it. That same topic is being addressed in light of a recent London conference on the illegal wildlife trade, […]

The Century-Long Scientific Journey of the Affordable Grocery Store Orchid

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

Atlas Obscura delves into a century of scientific advances which brought tropical orchids to your local grocery store. At the start of the 1900’s, growers began to unravel the secrets of how to germinate orchid seed, such as the essential role of fungi. Biologists started to clone orchids in the 1950’s, which would transform the […]

Vanilla Could Spice Up Florida Agriculture

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Now that vanilla beans cost as much as silver, the world’s most delicious orchid is in the news a lot, and scientists are investigating the possibilities of vanilla farms in South Florida. Since vanilla is a vine that climbs trees, it could be “co-cropped” in avocado, citrus, or nut orchards. Farmers could harvest the beans […]

Fighting the Vanilla Thieves of Madagascar

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Vanilla has been in the news a lot lately, with skyrocketing prices contributing to crime problems in Madagascar. The BBC delves into the story, and explains what happens when vanilla costs almost as much as silver.

Rare Australian Orchids Thrive Despite Harsh, Dry Winter

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Western Australia’s south coast is suffering through an exceptionally dry winter, but some rare native orchids are thriving anyway. Local orchid lovers are finding Queen of Sheba Orchids and other fascinating Australian natives despite the drought. With underground tubers to store water, these little terrestrials can handle some adversity. Orchid enthusiast Robert Tozer noted “Only about […]

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 […]