Sunday, July 29, 2007

The World Orchid Conference - January 23 to 27 in Miami, Florida

The World Orchid, sale and symposium... Jan. 23 to 27 in Miami.
For $300... access to the show and... lectures, a ticket to the PremiereParty and the opening ceremony, and a commemorative goody bag. You canbring a companion for $150, minus the bag [smile...].
Single-day fees are... available.
To register or learn more, visit <>

Steve Peralta

Friday, July 27, 2007

scientist jailed for smuggling more than 100... orchids into Britain

scientist jailed for smuggling more than 100... orchids into Britain hasbeen ordered to pay up more than ?100,000.
Pharmaceutical researcher... Sian Lim, 33, was caught smuggling...species... into Britain from his native Malaysia....Amongst the flowers [orchids]... one species that only grows in smallnumbers in a remote area of a national park in Sarawak in Malaysia....Six of the flowers [species]... are on the brink of extinction and can onlybe found on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu on the island of Borneo.
Two of the flowers [species] were... discovered in 1997 in the remoteIndonesian island of Sulawesi and are believed to be extinct because ofillegal collection...
126 specimens seized from... Lim fall into the CITES' "Category A"... theyare banned from all trade.
... Lim grows rare orchids in two greenhouses in the garden of his home inPutney, south west London, and exhibits at international shows.
He admitted 13 charges of smuggling rare orchids into Heathrow Airportalthough he claimed it was not for commercial gain.
... The orchids found by customs officers in Lim's luggage at Heathrow whenhe flew in from Malaysia on June 2nd, 2004...
Lim was jailed for four months in January last year at Isleworth Crown Court.
He was ordered to pay ?110,331 - the proceeds of his trade - when hereturned to court. He was also ordered to pay ?15,000 in costs, includingtowards research by experts at Kew Gardens.
If the money is not paid he will have to serve a further three year prisonsentence"

Steve Peralta

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cymbidium cyperifolium - Oliver Sparrow replies

It is very widespread, from East Nepal to Viet Nam. It was named by Lindley in1833. It likes shaded semi-terrestrial locations, typically where leaf mouldhas heaped up against tree trunks or rocks. The Himalayas have dense Quercusand Castanopsis woodlands at 1200-1600m (oak and chestnut-ish rough barked,slow growing plants) and this is where it thrives, in patches of sun-litfairly open ground. It flowers late in the year, usually as the cold sets inaround November. Not the loveliest of Cymbidiums, but quite pleasing.
The Chinese prize this and C. ensifolium for abstract reasons to do withpurity and Dao, and some of the rarer cultivars sell for enormous sums. (Bythat I mean in excess of US$1 million, according to Nature a few weeks ago.)
Snake in the glasshouse.As a PS: about a year ago, I noted that I found a 20 cm snake skin in a sealedUK glasshouse when cleaning it out.( Australian commentators asked whether"you could call that a snake?") However, last weekend, when fertilising, alarge (easily 4 cm diameter) body slid from one bark plaque to another. I haveno idea what it is or where it comes from (or indeed, what it eats!) By itsdrab grey scales, it could be a UK grass snake that somehow strayed in, but itis very much on the large (and short) side for that.
The resident frogs (red, foreign, presumably entered in a plant) areapparently undisturbed by it. I am not much bothered by snakes, but it doesslow one down when repotting large plants! Thoughts?
Roots love AstroturfIn the same post, I also mentioned that I had backed an orchid house withAstroturf, into which roots had eagerly grown. This provoked skepticalcomment. I can now tell you that Astroturf is much favoured by Vandas,Trichoglottis, Aerides, Phalaenopsis and pretty much anything with extensiveaerial roots. Coelogyne mayeriana has scrambled up it to hit the roof in ahuge patch. Roots tend to grow in straight lines, following the weave, givingan oddly rectilinear effect. Vanillas like to grow up the outside of rolledAstroturf tubes. However, don't fertilise onto it or you get black A/turf.______________________________
Oliver Sparrow+44 (0)20 7736

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Spring Flowering Orchids in the Appalachians

orchids in the Southern Appalachians...
spring-flowering pink and yellow lady's slippers...
numerous orchid species flower in the area, beginning in early springthrough late fall. Summer seems to be the heyday for some of the lesserknown... varieties...
The.. magenta flowers of grass pink, Calopogon tuberosus, first appear inlate spring, but the plants continue blooming well into summer. The commonname refers to the grass-like leaves... "calopogon" means "beautifulbeard"... referring to the yellow bristles on the end of the flower lip,and "tuberosus" describes the... structure on the roots...
Unlike most orchids, the lip is located at the top of the bloom. Itcontains yellow hairs (beard) which attract the pollinator. When apollinator, such as a bee, of sufficient weight lands on the lip, thishinged structure drops down, bringing the bee into contact with thepollen-bearing structures resulting in pollen exchange. Grass pink growsprimarily along the coastal plain, but also occurs in and around themountains.
A close relative, pale grass pink, Calopogon pallidus, is restricted mainlyto the coastal plain.
Rosebud orchid, Cleistes divaricata, was given the generic name meaning"closed" because the tube-like flower is open only on one end. Anothercommon name, spreading pogonia, refers to the bronze-coloredupward-reaching sepals.Two white or pale-pink upper petals sit atop a third protruding lip-petalwhich is decorated in dark pink with deep purple veining.
... Rosebuds grow in the mountains and coastal plain. There is muchscientific debate over distinct speciation between inhabitants of the tworegions...
Mid-summer is the realm of Platanthera. This... genera... is represented bymore than a dozen species in North Carolina, and this number increases whencounting the frequent [natural] hybrids. The group is often referred to asfringed orchids because several members have finely divided (fringed)margins around the lower lip.
... some members lacking this trait are called fringeless. Traits in commoninclude a fused elongated spur protruding from the rear of the lower petalor lip, large anthers which resulted in the scientific name "platanthera"from Greek words meaning "wide anther" and the characteristic floweringarrangement, consisting of a cluster of many small flowers... a raceme.
... the blooms of various species of platanthera present vivid colors,ranging from pure white to cream to green to purple to yellow to orange...
Pollination... by long-tongued butterflies and moths which are able toreach the nectary in the back of the his book Native Orchids of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, StanleyL. Bentley describes in detail 52 species from the... region"

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cephalanthera rubra Orchid Rediscovered in Gjerstad

A rare orchid, Cephalanthera rubra (R?d Skogsfrue), has been rediscoveredin Aust-Agder. It had not been seen for 56 years...
In 1951 it was discovered near the Gjerstad Lake in Aust-Agder by twobotanists, but had not been sighted again since then.
It is on the Norwegian list of endangered plants...
The Directorate for Nature Conservation has allocated NOK 1.8 million forthe protection of the orchid until the year 2010."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

OrchidWiz Special Offer

For a limited time OrchidWiz is giving a discount of 20% to orchid-business users including employees of nurseries and orchid-supply businesses. This offer expires September 30.

Encyclopedia 4.0 was just released. In the past three weeks the program has been installed in almost 500 computers and so far it has received outstanding feedback. To take advantage of the 20% discount please follow these steps:

1) Navigate to
2) Click “Add To Shopping Cart”
3) Select “Check Out”
4) Click “I am a new customer and continue”
5) Enter your name, name of the business, and address information. At the end of this screen enter “BUSINESS” where it says promotion code.
6) The system will take 20% off, reducing the price by $49.

If you have high-speed internet you may also download a PowerPoint demo available at by clicking the respective link on the right hand side above the address.

Over 200 AOS Judges and more than 150 orchid nurseries currently use OrchidWiz Encyclopedia. For this latest release we received 13,000 photos contributed by volunteers including thousands of photos of awarded plants. For the list of sources used in OrchidWiz please consult the web page

New in OrchidWiz Encyclopedia 4.0:

- The user interface has been completely re-written to implement navigation via a tab control and also to resize each analysis window to fit in a 1024 x 768 or greater screen resolution. This allows for more viewing space which was needed to expand functionality.

- About 20,500 orchid images, versus the previous 8,500. The list of images includes over 13,000 contributed by volunteers. Volunteers contributed only photos which they themselves took (every volunteer signed a release form). The list includes 2,500 photos of awarded cultivars which are now featured in the Awards window.

- Comprehensive species taxonomic and culture data from Charles Baker.
- Ability to search the titles of articles in the AOS Orchids and Orchid Digest bulletins.
- Hybridizers’ (Originators’) full names and addresses. Also, users now have the ability to list all other orchids hybridized by the same person.
- The “Gallery” analysis, previously only accessed from the Offspring window, has now been included in several other places throughout the program. For example, the user can now display a gallery of orchids hybridized by a certain person.
- Pronunciations for genera and common species names.
- Compare hybrid photo with photos of top species in the background, all in the same screen.
- Many new reports were added, especially for those analyses called “List Most…” accessed from the top menu.
- Ability to print selected awards only.
- Genealogy pie charts for unregistered hybrids (called from “Find Cross”).
- Information about photo contributors (where provided): name, company, etc.
- Green-pod harvest times.
- Slide show, accessed from the Gallery window or from the Image Search window.
- All awards up to and including the AOS Awards Quarterly March 2007.
All registrations up to and including the March-April 2007 International Register of Orchid Hybrids (Sander’s).

We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity.

Best wishes,

- The team at OrchidWiz

OrchidWiz Encyclopedia 4.0

OrchidWiz... Encyclopedia 4.0...number of orchid images available... nearly 20,500...
orchid species cultivation data sourced from the work of Charles Baker withhis permission...Mr. Baker is a former meteorologist for the National Weather Service...His compilation work done over the last two decades...
You can search the AOS bulletins and AOS magazines [issues of the AOSBulletin and Orchids ?] by author or title....OrchidWiz, LLC, is a software company based in Miami Shores, Florida. Thecompany develops computer programs for the orchid-growing community.OrchidWiz Encyclopedia software is used... in 33 countries. Over 200American Orchid Society judges and more than 150 orchid nurseries currentlyuse OrchidWiz."

Yosemite Bog Orchid Discovered in Yosemite Park

70 years elapsed after George Henry Grinnell collected the first specimens in 1923 before... botanists rediscovered its location in 1993...
two U.S. Geological Survey botanists and a colleague at the New York StateMuseum have identified the orchid as a new species, the Yosemite bog-orchid(Platanthera yosemitensis)... a recent publication in the journal of theCalifornia Botanical Society, Madro?o.
... Peggy Moore, a USGS plant ecologist in El Portal, Calif.... one of thebotanists who identified the orchid....Moore and fellow USGS botanist Alison Colwell... had noticed the anomalousdistribution in the plant guide Flora of North America of a southernRockies bog-orchid that was also reported from Yosemite National Park inCalifornia....Beginning in 2003... Colwell and Moore relocated the site where others hadcollected the orchid, mapped additional sites where they discovered itgrowing, and searched several plant collections (herbaria) to examinebog-orchid specimens. ... in consultation with... Charles Sheviak, Curatorof Botany at the New York State Museum, they determined the orchid was anew, undescribed species.
Sheviak [said]... "I've... have described other new species of Platanthera,so I'm used to being surprised. However, to find such a strikinglydistinctive plant in such a well-known locality is truly astonishing. Thefact that it appears to be confined to such a small geographic area isfurthermore unique among related species."
Yosemite bog-orchid is known currently from only nine sites within YosemiteNational Park, all on the granitic upland south of Yosemite Valley, betweenthe main stem and the South Fork of the Merced River. As the orchid's rangeis understood currently, it is the only orchid species endemic to theSierra Nevada of California....tiny flowers...Yosemite bog-orchids have a strong musk component that, according to theauthors, has been likened by various observers to a "corral of horses,asafetida, strong cheese, human feet, sweaty clothing, or simplydisagreeable."...
in the upland area south of Yosemite Valley... This area, largely free ofice during the most recent glacial events in the last two million years,contains at least seven species of plants known only from the central andsouthern Sierra Nevada


Ghost Orchids [Dendrophylax lindenii]

ghost orchids [Dendrophylax lindenii] have a habit of walking off in thebags and baskets of orchid enthusiasts. They can be sources of profit orprivate enjoyment....In the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, 20 miles outside of Naples... down aboardwalk that winds through sawgrass marsh and some of the state's lastremaining old-growth cypress forest...
ghost orchids are virtually invisible except when they flower. They do thisinfrequently and irregularly.
They are... difficult to cultivate, and occur naturally only in SouthwestFlorida and Cuba [and the Bahamas ?]... While researching The Orchid Thief,author Susan Orlean spent months tramping the backcountry and didn't see asingle one....a spray of brilliant white on a bald cypress tree 150 feet distant, perhaps60 feet high on the trunk.
The spray turned out to be nine flowers, each as big as a child's palm,with narrow petals and a broad lip from which descended two long taperedtendrils...
A series of frosts in the late 1980s and early 1990s killed many of theCorkscrew orchids. Some survivors were stolen by enthusiasts [poachers !].
... Mike Owen, a botanist from the nearby Fakahatchee Strand... said he'snever seen a ghost orchid taller than 23 feet tall, or with more than threeflowers....the ghost orchid... can be pollinated only by a giant moth that flies onlyat night.
''The survival of the ghost orchid as a species is completely dependent, asfar as we know, on one species of moth, the giant sphinx,'' Owen said.
The giant sphinx moth feeds only on two kinds of flowers, moon flowers andghost orchids, Owen said. 'It has a six-inch wingspan and a six-inchproboscis. It's sometimes dubbed `the flying tongue' . . . and it's flyingaround the swamp at night trying to detect these flowers.''
The flowers emit what Owen... dubbed an ''odoriferous chum slick,''stronger at night, to attract the giant sphinx moth to their nectar. Itsticks its tongue deep inside the flower to reach the nectar, picking up apacket of pollen in process, and then it ``sips up all that high energysugar that fuels its flight to the next flower, like jet fuel.''
Owen has cataloged more than 300 ghost orchids at the Fakahatchee Strand;around 600 are in Big Cypress and about 60 are in the Panther Preserve.Nobody knows how many are growing in the smaller Corkscrew Swamp.
... everything had to go exactly according to plan to cause this particularghost orchid to come into being 30 to 50 years ago (judging by theextensive root system); and at some more recent point a view-obstructingcypress branch had to fall...
[Maryanne Biggar] stared at it for a while. Then -- scared of losing theflower for the forest -- ``I took my shoes off and pointed them in a linewith where I was looking.''...Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary volunteers had trained a telescope on the flowersso that visitors could see them in perfect detail. The number of visitors-- which drops during the sweltering summer months -- has surged....More maddened enthusiasts are on the way, rumored to be flying in from allover. The flowers, up for now, will drop off over the next week."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blooming Ghost Orchid found...

The ghost blooms in June, July and August...Sightings are rare... navigating the swampy wilds of the FakahatcheeStrand, an 85,000-acre linear state preserve in the Everglades.
... the news that a ghost orchid in full flower is perched high in a baldcypress tree just 150 feet off the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp in CollierCounty is... amazing to those who have seen them and those who have soughtthem.
?... I?m surprised to say the least,? said Susan Orlean, who wrote... ?TheOrchid Thief,? published in 1998. The search for the ghost orchid is acentral theme in the book, which detailed the exploits of John Laroche ofNaples, a real-life thief of orchids, including the elusive ghost.
Orlean began researching the book in 1994, but to this day has never seen ablooming ghost orchid...Orlean spent hours tromping through the innards of the Fakahatchee Strandin her search....Her book was the basis for the 2002 movie ?Adaptation,? in which actorChris Cooper portrayed Laroche and Meryl Streep played Orlean. TheFakahatchee Strand was the setting for part of the movie, where park rangerMike Owen has monitored ghost orchids and other protected orchids... foralmost 14 years.
Owen returned three of the ghost orchids ? among the 84 total orchidsLaroche poached Dec. 21, 1993 ? to the Fakahatchee. The next June one ofthem bloomed, marking the first time Owen ever saw a ghost orchid in fullflower.... The ghost has no leaves. ?All it is is a mass of roots withchlorophyll,? he said. The plant takes 15 to 20 years to bloom and its onlypollinator is the giant sphinx moth, he said....Clyde Butcher... black-and-white photographer of the Everglades, went intothe Fakahatchee in 1999 and came out with his now-famous photo of asolitary ghost orchid bloom....The ghost orchid at Corkscrew Swamp is 60 feet in the air...Its height may keep it safe from poachers [hopefully !].
Another ghost orchid that bloomed just 100 feet from the one Butcherphotographed was stolen in 2005, Owen said.The poachers chopped the top 18 inches off the tree, including the bloom."

Ghost Orchid

"For the first time in 12 years a ghost orchid has been found bloomingwithin the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in northern Collier County.
Unfortunately [or fortunately !], the bald cypress tree to which the orchidis attached is 150 feet away from the boardwalk and the orchid is 45 feetabove the ground. It will be difficult for viewers to see, but the parkemployees have set up a viewing area for people to use."

Steve Peralta

Monday, July 09, 2007

Panama Orchids

I translated an article about orchids in Panama using so the translation may not be the greatest but it is an interesting article about orchids of Panama.

Here it is:
Easy to cultivate. The orquídeas are strong plants and in Panama it has more than 1600 native species, of which many are in extinction danger, by the indiscriminate way as they remove them from its natural means. Caesar Cubilla, president of the Association of Orquideología of Panama, explained that to cultivate orquídeas, first that there are to know is if the type of plant is of cold, heat or shade.
After east knowledge is had, the others do not have science, these are strong plants that they do not require of many cares, added the expert.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE CARE OF THE PLANTS According to Mr. Cubilla, the orquídeas require of an installment to foliar weekly of fortification, growth and flowering. As it is known the handling, installments can be used that are specific for the flowering.
Other important elements are: ventilation, illumination, fixation, and transplant.
As far as the fixation, one is due to have well-taken care of of which the plant is well fixed, otherwise, the roots do not adhere to the base where it has been placed.
If the orquídea blooms in January, it is due to begin to feed well from November so that it gives the best flowering.
Although the plant is of sun, does not have to leave long time under this one, because it is probable that it dies.
It is recommended to make a orquideario of three levels, where the orquídeas of sun are placed, above; those of shade, in means, and those of cold, down. In this way, they protect themselves to each other.

First she knows the conditions of his breeding grounds or patios, soon she chooses the adaptable species to these.
She never buys a plant by impulse.
She does not buy plants that you cannot administer or take care of.
She recommends herself to concentrate in some sorts or types of orquídeas.
Finally, she does not forget the space available in his residence.

If you can read Spanish, here's the Spanish article:

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Orchid Species Employ Deceit for Pollination - Like a Man Faking an Accent

Approximately 10 percent of orchid species employ deceit for pollination.
A rare South African orchid, Disa nivea, always grows amid colonies of amember of the foxglove family, whose flower it mimics. It also exploits thetarget plant's pollinator, a fly. Expecting a nectar reward, the fly comesup empty on the orchid, but since there are plenty of genuine nectar plantsaround, it gets fooled again and again.
The spider orchids, Brassia, have evolved showy flowers with spiderycharacteristics to fool the several species of wasps which stuff theirnests with paralyzed spiders. Thinking she has found victims, the femalewasp repeatedly stings the flowers, pollinating the orchid...
pseudocopulation. Each species of Orphrys orchid is pollinated by the maleof a particular bee or wasp. The orchid flower somewhat resembles thefemale, but its velvety texture and the sexual odor it mimics are the mainattractants.The females of these bees and wasps emerge later than the males, and, notcoincidentally, the orchid blooms before females are active. The male landson the flower and goes through the motions of copulation until it realizesit isn't getting anywhere and leaves. In the process it transfers pollen.It never learns, and will continue trying to mate with the orchid until thefemale wasps emerge."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

World Orchid Conference - Miami, Florida January 23-27, 2008

World Orchid Conference, Miami... will bring... an economic impact of about $18 million... according to organizers.
The 19th World Orchid Conference, Jan. 23-27, 2008, is returning to theUnited States after 25 years in locations including Dijon, France; ShahAlam, Malaysia; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The flower gathering is to be at the Sheraton Miami Mart Hotel andConvention Center....Held... every three years in a different international location...
Organizers said they expect nearly 200,000 attendees.

Dendrobium densiflorum

Here is a special orchid that is in bloom right now....

The 200 varieties of Dendrobium orchids push in a wild state in the vast triangle formed by the Himalayas, the South of Japan and the Zealand News. Dendron comes from the Greek and means “tree”, “organic” means life - its name points out its way of pushing in nature: preferably on trees (épiphyte), but sometimes also on rocks (lithophyte).

The varieties coming from cold areas are acclimatized very well in our apartments. The dendrobium orchid is an easy joint tenant who does not ask too many care and constitutes with him only a work of art in each part. It is not for only in English this plant is called “fart seedling”, so much its presence is comparable with that of a pet.

When they are in nature, the orchises open out thanks to the differences in temperature that there is between the day and the night. It is thus necessary to take care to place your orchid plant in a place where the temperature is fresher the night than the day. You can for example place your orchis in front of a window. This precaution to be taken has all its importance because it is in fact the variations in temperature which induce the flowering of your orchises.

Place it in at a place which you air regularly. The orchids like to have a little air. But attention, their stem is fragile! It is also necessary to take care that it is not in full cold air draft, especially the winter.
Some is the Dendrobium to which you will succumb, this orchis will always surprise you: initially by its form, a such torch with the spangled flowers, supported by a green foliage, and also by its petals with the splendid reasons, of a color gradation blades or on the contrary very contrasted, such as for example of the yellow petals to the labelle pink, or of the white flowers in the middle purple.

The labellum one hangs the glance: sensual, corrugated, powerful and arousing, very “Girl Power”.
Chinese medicine concocts infusions starting from certain varieties of Dendrobium orchid to support digestion and to nourish the “yin” (female) of the man. Over there, this house plant is most beautiful of the gifts which one can offer to a woman.

The dendrobium - of which there exists more than 1200 cultivated varieties - became, around 1900, a house plant. When a man offered this orchis to a woman, it was to express passion that it inspired to him…. even if that were sometimes regarded as improper because of the erotic aspect of the plant due to its voluptuous “lip”.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

NEW orchid species discovered in Western Australia

Orchids are truly amazing - they are highly evolved plants!

For example, to encourage pollination, the flowers of many orchids have evolved to resemble female insects to encourage the male insect to pollinate the flower. The referenced article is short but it is exciting first of all to know that a new orchid species has been discovered and second, that an orchid flower can evolve to resemble an insect thus encouraging pollination. Not only does the flower resemble the female insect, it emits a scent, much like a pheramone, to dupe the male insect in believing it is copulating with an actual female insect. Amazing! Here is the link to the article. Enjoy!,23599,22012555-1702,00.html

Steve Peralta

Monday, July 02, 2007

Importing Orchid Plants - New CITES Rules

To all interested in the subject of Orchid species and hybrids as imports or exports,
Recent changes in CITES requirements have made itdifficult for nurseries, and hobbyists alike tonot only import plants from foreign countriesdirectly but even acquire them from nurseries inthe country in which hobbyists and professional growers live.
In the US for example the requirements are that anursery must now have a master permit. Everyplant to be exported whether it is a species orhybrid must be approved by the US Fish andWildlife authorities with information on thepropagation methods (whether from seed, cuttingsor cloning techniques) if not then whom theplants were purchased from with receipts, potsizes of plants in stock, annual production,number of plants to be exported each year,whether parental stock is maintained and howmany, from seed or cuttings etc. and number of years in production.
Imagine filling out such a permit (in my case ittook 250 hours) and then imagine it taking 9months to a year to get it. The idea is that onceyou get this permit single issue copies arepurchased in advance and the nursery owner canfill them out when orders are received and shipthem out rather quickly compared to the oldsystem of waiting 3-6 months for a single usepermit. In the mean time orders cannot beprocessed and commercial growers are put insituation of economic hardship. Adding any newplants to your permit requires all the samedetailed information, costs a lot and there is noguarantee that the permits will arrive in atimely manner. Several US growers have given upon exports and many more will follow suit.
Hybrids have become another problem, as one hasto either be approved for specific hybrids on themaster permit or have to be approved for specificspecies that make up the hybrid. At the momentyou have to list on your permit the species thatmake up the hybrids that you want to export. Thistakes a great deal of time and is reallycounterproductive. It often requires 20 to 35hours to complete a permit. The US Fish andWildlife service has come up with a way ofamending your permit to accept hybrids but itstill requires reporting and is limited to certain hybrids.
The various countries management authorities andCITES officials are, I believe unaware of thegreat advances in the laboratory production oforchids that have taken place within the past fewyears. Nurseries are now able to reproduce inreasonable numbers those plants that were onceconsidered difficult or even impossible toproduce. The continued over-regulation ofartificially propagated plants and the nurseriesthat produce them is in my opinion a completewaste of CITES resources. The entire reason CITESwas created in the first place was to protectwild populations of living organisms that werethreatened by trade. This is what it says in thefirst paragraph on<> home page,?CITES (the Convention on International Trade inEndangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is aninternational agreement between governments. Itsaim is to ensure that international trade inspecimens of wild animals and plants does notthreaten their survival.? If anything the rapidartificial production and propagation of orchidplants helps to ensure that wild stock willremain where it is. Many of our nurseries arereally no longer trading in wild stock at all. Why over-regulate it?
Recent examples of how things have changed can befound in PERU where no wild collecting for exportis allowed. All plants must now be produced atthe approved nurseries from seed or division ofestablished stock. Phragmipedium kovachii wouldnever have been allowed for export legally exceptfor the work of serious nursery owners and thePeruvian government. By allowing a few plants tobe collected and used for seed propagation viatissue culture these plants are now all over theworld and the demand for wild plants no longerexists. Other countries like Ecuador and Brazil are following suit.

If continued restriction and over-regulationcontinues in its present state there will be lessand less plants available and eventually thehobby itself will be threatened. Orchid Societiesmemberships would begin to decline, as therewould be no new plant material for hobbyists tobe interested in. Nurseries interested in growingand exporting species or hybrids have alreadydeclined in The US and other parts of the globe.The process or acquiring export permits hasbecome so onerous that some nurseries have chosento give up their export business. Many withoutthe ability to export will not survive.
There is an important synergy between OrchidSocieties, hobbyists and commercial growers.Without commercial growers there would be fewhobbyists. Without hobbyists there would be noorchid societies. The articles written about neworchid species or hybrids would fall on deaf earsif the plants being written about were notavailable to hobbyists in a legal, artificiallypropagated manner. We are all interdependent onone another and it would be good if we spoke with one harmonized voice.
Nurseries (world-wide) are experiencingtightening restrictions and it would seem thatCITES officials want a reduction in trade of any kind.
No one can argue with the good intentions ofCITES namely the protection of species in thewild. No one can argue that each country?sdepartment of agriculture has the important jobof controlling the introduction of new pests anddiseases through the importation of plants. Theseare not issues that nursery owners havecontentions with. What we are concerned about andwhat we hope Orchid Societies and hobbyists wouldshow their concern with is a movement withinCITES in what many growers feel is the wrongdirection and that is the increasing regulationand control in the trade of truly artificially propagated plants.It is time for change regarding trade of Orchidsand other plants that are truly artificiallypropagated. The direction of this reform wouldinclude a radical change in the way that Orchids are regulated in trade.
My proposal is simple in concept:
1.Protect all wild orchids by elevating the wholegroup to appendix 1 status. 100 years ago therewere 1.5 billion people on the planet. Todaythere are some 6.5 billion and in a little morethan 40 years that number will grow to over 9billion people demanding land and timber.Tropical rainforests are now estimated to befalling at the rate of 5 acres per 2.4 seconds.Protecting all orchids to the highest level willbe required sooner or later. Why not make the change now?
2.Certify nurseries that are truly growing, orbuying for resale orchids that are artificiallypropagated. Let those certified nurseries tradefreely with a certification number or stamp whichwould be recognized and accepted by all signatorymembers of the CITES treaty. Nurseries that arealready certified for export would automaticallybe given the Certification stamp or number toallow free trade of the plants they produce or trade in.
These changes include not allowing any wildcollection for export of any Orchid plants unless for the following reasons:
1. A nursery in the country of origin wouldwant to add a small number of wild plants totheir breeding stock say 5 ?12 plants of anygiven species. These wild collected plants wouldhave to have approval and supervision from thecountry of origin management authorities and thatthe collection of said plants would not provedetrimental to the wild population. These plantscould not be exported but used only for breedingstock. Only seedlings or mature plants derived from seed could be exported.
2. In the case of a rescue operation whereorchid plants are going to be destroyed due todevelopment the plants could be collected withgovernment permission given to approved nurseriesin the country of origin. Once the plants arecollected they could not be sold for a period of2-3 years when the plant would then becomeestablished and would have grown out of thejungle growth. These plants would then trade on aCITES permit as rescued and would require thatdistinction on the plant labels and any CITES orPHYTO paperwork with actual import permit numbersand dates along with the ?rescued? designation.These requirements would only apply to theoriginal export from the country of origin, afterthat the plants could be traded without permitsbut would require that only CITES certifiednurseries could trade or re-export them.
3. Appendix I, or Appendix II? Why have 2 permits? Giving all wildorchid plants (only) Appendix 1 status wouldeliminate the need for export permits for artprop plants at all as wild plants would becompletely protected from collecting andreselling except by the processes outlined above.This would in effect remove truly art prop plantsfrom the treaty except for the certification ofthe nursery in question and the plants itproduces or trades in from other certified nurseries.
Flasked seedlings:
There is a lot of confusion about flasked Orchidseedlings and what is legal and what is not. TheCITES treaty clearly states that any and allorchid seedlings traded in vitro are exempt fromCITES regulations as long as a phyto accompaniesthem. Different countries have differentinterpretations as to what this means. The US forinstance will allow flasked seedlings of anyorchids into the country but once they come outof flasks one must be able to prove that theparents were legal. This is an impossible taskand flawed in terms of legality. If illegalaliens come into the US and have a child thatchild is an automatic US citizen. Plants IN VITROshould be considered in the same light. They arein the final definition of the treatyArtificially propagated plants. I am notcondoning the illegal collecting of wild orchidplants for the purpose of exporting seedlings inflask, I am just saying that it is impossible tocontrol or regulate the movement of seedlings inflask under the present definitions of the treaty.

Certified nursery proposal in need of your help.
The biggest change I would like to propose isthat nurseries be certified for export ofArtificially propagated plants and that thisCertification would allow Orchid plants soproduced to be traded without a formalcomplicated, highly detailed permit but justrequire a CITES nursery certificate number orstamp in a CITES permits place. The program wouldstill be under CITES control but the need forlengthy accounting for any of the plants producedshould be greatly reduced or better yeteliminated. Nurseries that have been dealing withmanagement authorities for many years should havean easy transition into the new process.Nurseries that are applying for a newcertification would have to go through acertification process in the beginning but as anursery?s inventory grows by propagation oracquisition (this would be for art prop materialonly as wild collecting would no longer beallowed) there would be no need to keep reportingall of the art prop stock acquired, bred ordivided to the management authorities.
My worldwide goal is for interested orchidgrowers whether hobbyist or commercial and Orchidsocieties to consider these proposed changes inthe treaty, make adjustments if necessary, gain aconsensus, sign documents of support for thechanges and petition the CITES managementauthorities within each regulated country as wellas the responsible CITES officials inSwitzerland. If we can do this in significantnumbers than the CITES officials should respondand help create positive change.
I would appreciate it very much if interestedparties would comment on my ideas and at somepoint I would like to present the proposal to theproper officials here in the US and Switzerland.
If you agree with the above plan I need a letterof support by e-mail. If you would like to debatethese ideas it is best done on the forums where I have posted this proposal.

President of the Orchid Society of Pakistan

President of the Orchid Society of Pakistan, Razia Aizazuddin...started growing orchids 40 years ago...She once picked up a small pot of an apparently withered plant...she... repotted it, crushed Naphthalene (Camphor balls) and placed a fewpinches of these in the pot along with water for a few days. Within fivedays, her experiment resulted in the plant's miraculous recovery and shesucceeded in learning a new way to save dying orchids....The society holds meetings every second month, arranges seminars,excursions and takes part in the annual flower show after which it takesout its annual newsletter...Aizazuddin believes that coco chip and charcoal suit orchids best...the Orchid Society of Pakistan was formed in 1997... it now has more than100 members"