News / Science & Technology

Project to Save Endangered Orchids Blossoms in Florida

Project to Save Endangered Orchids Blossoms in Floridai
X
George Putic
April 25, 2014 8:30 PM
Many gardeners around the world consider orchids among the most beautiful flowering plants. There are more than 20 thousand species of orchids, and some of them are in danger of extinction. Botanists in Florida have embarked on a 5-year project to save some of the local species. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Project to Save Endangered Orchids Blossoms in Florida

George Putic
Many gardeners around the world consider orchids among the most beautiful flowering plants. There are more than 20,000 species of orchids, and some of them are in danger of extinction. Botanists in Florida have embarked on a five-year project to save some of the local species.

Orchids grow almost everywhere in the world, although they are mostly associated with the warm and humid tropics, including South Florida.

The 'Sunshine State' is home to about 50 native species, but many of them are critically endangered by urban expansion and orchid hunters, says the director of Miami's Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, Carl Lewis.

“Most of those orchids are very difficult to find now. They have been hunted almost to extinction in the wild, so, really, we launched this project just as an effort to bring those orchids back,” said Lewis.

The project - to grow and plant 1 million orchid seedlings - began two years ago.

Orchids primarily grow on trees, but because their seedlings are so delicate, they start their life in the lab.

Tiny seeds, no bigger than a grain of dust, grow in sterile bottles with appropriate nutrients. After they germinate, the young plants are transferred to an incubator with LED lights.

The next phase is the nursery. It may take up to two years before the plants are strong enough to be attached to trees.

Lewis said it is important to transplant enough mature orchids so they can continue to reproduce without help from his volunteers.

“This is supposed to be an infusion, just to get so many out there that they start to reproduce on their own,” he said.

Scientists hope that once they are reintroduced in their natural habitat, the orchids will attract insects and micro-organisms not seen in South Florida in decades.

They also count on help from local students, to keep an eye on the transplanted orchids in their neighborhoods. A number of plants also will be given away to try to reduce the chance people will steal them off the trees.

The conservation and study of endangered native plants across the United States is coordinated by the Center for Plant Conservation, based in St. Louis, Missouri.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid