Archive for the 'In the News' Category

Artificial Intelligence Can Help Protect Orchids and Other Species

Friday, November 6th, 2020

Scientists have developed a new way to figure out which orchids are at risk of extinction. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive catalog of endangered plants and animals in the world. To be assessed, each species needs a thorough scientific study of its […]

Is That Rare Plant Illegal?

Monday, September 28th, 2020

In The Guardian, British botanist James Wong offers tips on figuring out if that rare plant you’re buying is illegal. Rare plants, including endangered orchids, are taken from the wild by unscrupulous sellers. It’s illegal, and contributes to extinctions. In addition, wild plants are unlikely to survive in cultivation. So how can responsible gardeners know […]

Orchid Species New to Science

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

Orchids are one of the largest plant families in existence, and that family is still growing. There’s always a steady stream of orchids which are new to science. Recent discoveries include a Vanilla species from Vietnam, a Palmorchis from the Amazon, and a bright orange Dendrochilum from the Philippines. There’s also a fascinating little Corybas, […]

Enduring Beauty – Orchid Portraits of the RHS

Monday, September 7th, 2020

For over 120 years, the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has employed an official artist to render portraits of award-winning orchids. This stunning art is not only beautiful, but also precise in its botanical elements, making it better than photographs for discerning floral details. Since 1897, there have been nine official artists who have painted […]

New Guinea’s Plants Are ‘Majestic, Stunning, Intriguing and Bizarre’

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

As the world’s largest tropical island, New Guinea has over 13,000 plant species, more than even Madagascar or Borneo. With varied habitats, like coastal jungles, tropical rainforests, high cloud forests, and alpine grasslands, there’s incredible biodiversity. Two-thirds of the island’s species are found nowhere else. Using their botanical riches, ancient New Guineans domesticated two of […]

Fallen Flowers: Restoring Wild Orchids in India’s Western Ghats

Friday, August 14th, 2020

Orchid conservation takes many forms. In the Western Ghats, tropical mountain forests hold almost a third of India’s flora and fauna species. That includes hundreds of native orchid varieties, like Dendrobiums, Bulbophyllums, Habenarias, and Aerides. As deforestation threatens these species, Indian conservationists have enlisted local students to rescue orchids. Within the region’s tea, coffee, and […]

An ‘Orchid Thief’ Sequel in Coral Gables

Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Chalk this one up to the fact that some orchid lovers behave poorly. The Miami Herald reports on orchid thefts in Coral Gables. Somebody stole $4,000 worth of orchids that residents had attached to trees. Several years ago, a few people started planting Moth Orchids and Dendrobiums to beautify their neighborhood. They were stolen in […]

Taiwan’s Conservationists Trying to Save Its Orchid Species

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Taiwan is trying to save its native Moth Orchids. The tropical island nation has two Moth Orchid species, Phalaenopsis aphrodite, with white flowers, and Phalaenopsis equestris, with pink or red flowers. Taiwan also has one of the biggest orchid industries in the world. The mass-grown hybrids which begin life in Taiwanese greenhouses are sold around […]

Scientists Warn That Traders and Traffickers Are Winning the Orchid Battle

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Orchids sell by the billions, and 99% of known sales are legal. They’re usually human-made hybrids, not wild plants. But there’s also a vast illegal trade in wild orchids. The buyers include unscrupulous orchid collectors whose demand can cause extinctions. Newly discovered species can be quickly stripped from the wild. Scientists often find new varieties […]

Orchid Species, Lost and Found

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Orchids come and go. Scientists frequently find new orchids, and also raise warnings about orchid extinctions. Recent finds include two new Aerides from the Philippines, and a natural Laelia hybrid from Oaxaca, Mexico (article in Spanish.) In the Philippines, Aerides turma and Aerides turma forma anniversarius are two more orchid species to add to that […]