Sunday, July 22, 2007

Orchid news: "wasp" orchids, ghost orchids, rare Norweigan orchid, new Yosemite species discovered, and research grants

Lots of interesting orchid news this month, including new Australian species, sighting of a large cluster of ghost orchids in Florida, the rediscovery of a rare orchid species in Norway, the discovery of a rare Yosemite orchid that smells like sweaty feet, and a large research grant awarded by the National Science Foundation.

National Geographic News reported last week that hammer orchids have "a flower that has evolved to resemble the body of a female wasp. Hapless male wasps are lured to land on—and thus pollinate—the flower." Moreover, this orchid is "one of six new species found in the biologically rich region of southwestern Australia."

In North American orchid news, "a pair of bird watchers discovered an unusually large cluster of nine of the rare and endangered [ghost orchids / Polyrrhiza lindenii] while searching the [Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary] for owls" earlier this month, reports the Naples Daily News. According to this news report, these orchids normally only bloom in clusters of one to three. The Miami Herald also reported on this story.

The Norway Post is reporting that a "rare orchid, Cephalanthera rubra (Rød Skogsfrue), has been rediscovered in Aust-Agder. It had not been seen for 56 years, before now."

The Mercury News is reporting the discovery of a new orchid species in Yosemite National Park that apparently smells like sweaty feet. The plant is "the only known orchid species endemic to California’s Sierra Nevada range."

In orchid research news, a John Cushman, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Nevada Reno "along with researchers from the University of Florida and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, was awarded a three-year grant of $750,000 from the National Science Foundation to study the evolution of plants with a form of photosynthesis called crassulacean acid metabolism or CAM." This research looks at "plants with the metabolic ability to use less water than other plants," reports the UNR NevadaNews.

9 Comments:

At 7:29 AM, Blogger cem said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Cody Sontag said...

You folks are really impressive in your knowledge and dedicartion to orchids.

If in the Puerto Vallata area please come visit our Botanical Gardens. Cody

Your comment section is having a problem: see comment before mine.

 
At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vallarta Botanical Gardens, AC is just south of Puerto Vallarta Mexico. We have about 150 orchid species. Our staff is dedicated to orchid and orchid habitat conservation. We are a not-for-profit in the U.S. and Mexico
Cody

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger Rhys Burchill said...

Is there a way that I can share a picture of an orchid plant that I believe is rare and, hopefully, someone familiar with rare orchids
will be able to identify this orchid plant? Thank you most kindly for any assistance.

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger West Coast said...

Hi Rhys,

Thanks for your note. If you send the picture to westcoastorchids@gmail.com we can likely post it on the blog to see if anyone can identify it.

Naomi

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger Prem Subrahmanyam said...

You can find out even more about the ghost orchid (including photos from the Corkscrew Swamp Ghost Orchid) at the following site:

Ghost Orchid Information Page

---Prem

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Naomi @ WCOE said...

Hi Prem,

Thanks very much for this link. I had no idea the ghost orchid was also called frog orchid, but I can definitely see why!

Great pictures on this page as well.

Naomi

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Naomi @ WCOE said...

Here is another resource on the Ghost Orchid:
http://www.ghostorchid.info/

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Cialis said...

I have never seen these wasps!

 

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