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.
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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 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.
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.
Wild vanilla is disappearing. On top of that bad news, farmers in Madagascar have had poor harvests.
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.
New Zealand’s native orchids are not big and showy like their tropical cousins, but they sure can inspire an orchid obsession. The article includes half a dozen photos of native species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that tens of thousands of wild orchids have bloomed around Canberra. After a very wet winter across the Australian Capital Territory, dozens of different orchid species are putting on a show. With common names like Donkey Orchids, Beard Orchids, and Helmet Orchids, they have a myriad of fascinating sizes and […]
Japanese scientists have discovered a new parasitic orchid species whose flowers never open. This strange new Gastrodia species doesn’t photosynthesize, instead stealing nutrients from fungi in the soil. In addition, its peculiar flowers stay closed, and pollinate themselves.
Australia is home to many unusual plants, including some orchids which hide in plain sight. They grow leaves year after year, but rarely flower, until there’s a bushfire. Pyrorchis nigricans, also known as the Fire Orchid or Red Beak, bursts into bloom in the year after a fire. Learn more about these scorched orchids in […]