Archive for the 'In the News' Category

Three New Orchid Species Discovered in Ecuador

Saturday, August 28th, 2021

Many orchid species are scientifically discovered each year. For example, botanists have recently named three new Lepanthes from the Ecuadorean Andes, one of the richest orchid habitats on the planet. Lepanthes is a genus of pleurothallids with over 1000 species. They’re miniatures with tiny but colorful flowers. The plants have been named Lepanthes oro-lojaensis, Lepanthes […]

How Orchids Act as Climate Indicators

Sunday, August 15th, 2021

Ecologist Jis Sebastian explains how orchids are useful tools to study climate change. Sebastian works in India’s Western Ghat Mountains. Many orchids live as air plants, or epiphytes, growing on tree trunks and branches. They thrive in mature, healthy forests. In the tree canopy, climate variations affect them quickly. The presence, or absence, of orchids […]

Good Practices and Bad Habits of Nature Photography

Monday, July 26th, 2021

There have always been irresponsible or criminal people who destroy the nature that they claim to love. Social media seems to have worsened that trend. Some are so focused on getting a popular photo that they trample over rare plants. Others rip out surrounding greenery to take a clearer shot. I’ve watched in horror as […]

Cooking up Winning Recipes with Florida-Grown Vanilla

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Vanilla is a very delicious orchid, and it’s one of the most expensive flavorings in the world. The majority of vanilla beans are grown in Madagascar, and the USA imports a lot of them. Scientists are working to establish a vanilla industry in South Florida’s hot, humid climate. A plant geneticist at the University of […]

Colombia’s Orchids for Peace

Saturday, June 26th, 2021

Colombia is a land of orchids, home to over 4000 native species. Cattleya trianae is the beloved national flower. Sadly, the country has suffered decades of violence and political instability. A fragile peace accord has started to heal the nation. Now, Colombians like María Luisa Hincapié and her family are hoping that orchids can help […]

Rare Orchids Found on London Rooftop Garden

Thursday, June 17th, 2021

Eleven stories above London, the Small Flowered Tongue Orchid, Serapias parviflora, has found a home on the roof of a bank. Fifteen of the plants have bloomed on the green rooftop, which boasts 159 plant species living alongside solar panels. This is the first time that the Small Flowered Tongue Orchid has been seen in […]

Fake Orchid Pollen Isn’t All That Bad

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

Some orchids are tricksters. They fool pollinators into thinking they offer rewards like food, or even a mate. But not all their tricks are so devious. Cypripedium wardii, a Lady Slipper native to China and Tibet, tempts bees and hoverflies with fake pollen. This pseudopollen entices insects into visiting the blooms, where they also pick […]

Saving the Treasure Trove of Nepal’s Orchids

Saturday, April 24th, 2021

The Nepali Times lays out the perils facing orchids in the Himalayan country. Nepal’s mountain valleys are full of cloud forests with rich orchid life. The country is home to over 500 different kinds. (By comparison, the USA and Canada have about 250 native species.) Many varieties are part of traditional medicines, and are legally […]

Pollinating Orchids by Foot

Monday, April 12th, 2021

Among many peculiar pollination strategies in the orchid family, some South African species really stand out. The small blooms of Disa chrysostachya offer nectar to entice Malachite Sunbirds to perch on their flower spikes and take a drink. But instead of attaching to their beaks as they feed, the pollen sticks to their claws. Then […]

The Science of Orchids

Saturday, March 13th, 2021

The science of orchids is marching forwards. Taipei Times reports on cutting edge genetic discoveries that will change orchid commerce. Researchers in Taiwan, which has a large orchid industry, have identified genes to control flower color, and to prolong the life of blooms. In time, they will be able to create varieties with new colors, […]