|Marta: Sophronitis cernua, Sophronitis mantiqueriae,C. polyphyllum, Encyclia cordigera, Prosthechea fragrans e vespa, Epidendrum warasii, , Epidendrum densiflorum, Epidendrum hololeucum, Epidendrum ciliare, Epidendrum ellipticum, Epidendrum vesicatum, Maxillaria chrysantha, Maxillaria desvauxiana, Maxillaria phoenicanthera, Maxillaria consaguinea, Maxillaria camaridii, Maxillaria alba, Maxillaria cerifera, Maxillaria spirito sanctenses, Maxillaria valenzuelana, Maxillaria tenuifolia, Maxillaria ubatubana, Maxillaria pachyphyla, Maxillaria madida, Bifrenaria racemosa, Bifrenaria vittelina, Bifrenaria stefanae, Bifrenaria aureofulva,|
E.Lückel & G.J.Braem,
Constancia rupestris Barb. Rodr.
Schomburghia crispa Lindl.,
Cyrtopodium cardiochilum Lindl.
(Salzm)Salzm. ex Lindl.
Koellensteinia graminea (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
|Vanilla chamissonis, Leptotes bicolor, Leptotes unicolor, Brassavola tuberculata, Ornithophora radicans, Brassia chloroleuca, Aspasia lunata, Miltonia clowesii, Miltonia regnelli, Miltonia flavescens, Miltonia cuneata, Pleurothallis pubescens, Pleurothallis punctatifolia, Pleurothallis binotii, Pleurothallis nectarifera, Pleurothallis recurva, Octomeria grandiflora, Octomeria tricolor, Octomeria robusta, Phragmipedium caudatum, Mesadenella cuspidata, Sarcoglottis fasciculata, Prescottia stachyodes, Eltroplectris triloba, Cirrhaea saccata, Catasetum saccatum, Catasetum purum, Catasetum cernum, Isochilus linearis,|
Lodd. ex Lindl
Trigonidium latifolium Lindl
Pleurothallis glumacea Lindl
exasperatus, Myoxanthus punctatus, Pleurothallis strupifolia, Dendrobium
ON: What do you think about people who declare that the glass greenhouse is a cemetery of orchids. Is this commentary correct? Don't you think that this list of species and blooming finishes with this legend once and for all?
Soon after arriving here I listened that many commercial nurseries and private collectors had sent many plants and that the most part of them had died discrediting the Botanical Garden Orchid Houses as a result it would be difficult to get another orchid plantas to the re-opening.
By this time, I have heard about cemetery of orchids.
No wonder, it was completely abandoned here.
In fact, in the glass greenhouse, I did not find any orchid, just fern and anthurium. I thought that it would be difficult to cultivate any plant there.
Meantime, I realize that people, especially foreign people, suffer much more with the glass greenhouse, not the plants, it is enough to water them well.
How is the collection, nowadays?
Marta: Nowadays, we have 2693 registers and 2439 accesses. Access is any botanical material that arrives at the Botanical Garden, it can be alive plant, herbarized, conserved in alcohol, seeds, sample, etc. If the access gives three cutting scions, those take the same number as the mother as /1, /2, /3, and there are three new registers.
ON: How many species you have?
Marta: We have 590 different species and/or hybrids, 350 flowers conserved in alcohol and 185 species photographed.
ON: What is the proportion of native plants?
Marta: At about 70%. Considering that the Brazilian orchidaceous flora has about 2.300, 2.500 species, and we just have 420, it is too little. Just 590 species between hybrids and species.
Marta: Because we do not have a program to do our own collecting. It should be done officially. This is a point that makes things go slowly.
ON: Doesn't the Botanical Garden have an official collector?
Marta: There is a general collector, not specially to collect orchids. In general, people who collect, bring plants of families, which have an expert researcher in the Botanical Garden. As there is no expert in orchids, people are not concerned about them so they do not bring them.
ON: However the Botanical Garden or the Orchid Houses could not nominate someone to do a specific collecting? For example, to build a collection, couldn't you do it?
Marta: Of course, I could, however I should form a group but it is a bureaucracy. This is one of the things that Toscano intended to do but he needed a company to sponsor it as the Bromeliad House did. Gustavo got a sponsorship from Coca-Cola and spent two years collecting. He went to all Brazilian parks from Oiapoque to Chuí (From north to south). He wrote to every unity of conservation that he would visit; he got a permission to collect. It has been an amazing work.
ON: Let's do it?
Marta: Terrific. Terrific. It has been a gigantic bureaucratic work. Two years of travel. Unbelievable! He also sent plants to us. Sometimes, he was in the north of the country and as he would take a long time to come back, he put every thing in a case and sent it. I have many plants he brought.
ON: No one is doing this at this moment?
Marta: No, no one. Besides needing someone with experience in field and a skilled-eye to orchids, we need a well-done project and a sponsor.
ON: And a woodman?
Marta: A woodman, you engage on place, someone who knows the region, not to collect, not to pick up plants but to guide you through the place. You can not ask him to collect, he can just help.
ON: Of course, there are some data that should be registered and he would not be able to do this but he knows exactly where the orchids are. Is it impossible to Botanical Garden to have an authorized collector?
Marta: Yes. Except when someone is prepared for this and becomes an employee of the Botanical Garden. I hope it will happen avec Gabriel. He has all requisites.
ON: Meanwhile you still go on with a lack of 1.600 species?
Marta: As long as we do not form people with this purpose, it will be difficult to enrich our collection.
ON: However, little by little, you are going on forming a collection. In the past, how the collection was formed? Barbosa Rodrigues, for example, brought many plants. Who else?
Marta: I found a work by Campos Porto, done in 1914, which is very nice. The nurseries had no orchids at all and the Botanical Garden contracted him to go to Itatiaia to collect plants. He spent 8 months there, just collecting. He crowded here with them. This is a terrific work. He placed all species he collected by altitude informing where he found them, the period of blooming. We can not be sure but we can presume we still have some plants he collected.
ON: This Botanical Garden is something magic.
Marta: There are people who live in Rio de Janeiro and have never came to the Botanical Garden and when they come, they say to themselves: How could I never come to this place? Nonsense.
There are some that come every year, every month, every Sunday.
Everything happens here include odd things such as people who throw the ashes of their relatives here, who bring crystal stones to energize the plants.
|ON: Which is the relationship between the Botanical Garden and the commercial nurseries of the State of Rio de Janeiro?
Is there some incompatibility between Botanical Garden and them?
Marta: I do not notice any incompatibility between the Botanical Garden and the commercial nurseries, by the way, I always feel welcome when I pay visit to them. In the same way, I think there is no hostility from Botanical Garden toward them. In fact, there is no effective exchange but what could it be?
With Quinta do Lago Orchids, we have a contract of cooperation to instruct about cultivation and the Botanical Garden of RJ allows Maria do Rosario (Quinta do Lago's owner) to participate in the botanical excursions and to have her plants identified. It is a nice partnership but totally unilateral. Only Quinta do Lago does its part, the Orchid Houses just took Rosário to one journey but she does not complain about… in fact it is a fault of both because we have never seated to talk, to evaluate, to suggest ... finally, it is a pity because other experiences could appear from that one and develop, in any way, the relationship between the Botanical Garden and the commercial nurseries even with the collectors. However, it was one of Toscano's assignments, I have never been worried about being ahead. I think it will be good to open this channel and, mainly, to finish with this myth of incompatibility, which does not exist. For example, Roland Cookie from Orchid Castle gave us 110 plants of Laelia purpurata, which are blooming now.
ON: You are greatly concerned about displaying just Brazilian species, aren't you? Would it be the ideal?
Marta: Yes, it would.
ON: When you display a Brazilian species, do you point it out?
Marta: In the lath of the room placed in the end of the glass greenhouse, we try just to exhibit species, preferably Brazilian ones, with a text about them. By this moment, we have Encyclia osmantha, Miltonia flavescens, Laelia tenebrosa and Laelia purpurata with a text about the two last.
ON: And it is place where people always visit.
Marta: Yes, they do. There always are some people who are very hurried and turn back before getting this room. However the most people come and appreciate them a lot.
ON: And concerning the relationship with the orchidists, what could be improve?
Marta: I think the relationship could be closer, do you understand? If they come more frequently, exchange more ideas and even permute plants, it will be very nice.
ON: Permute or give plants?
Marta: Also give but we could permute because we have many exotic plants. Of course, it depends on the bureaucracy but it is possible.
ON: Could it be done by anyone or it should be done by an institution?
||Marta: I think it could be done with a private collector. I already received wonderful plants, from other states, such as Laelia grandis, which is blooming now, Laelia alaori, Cattleya amethystoglossa. We know their origin, which is another thing that we should have in collection. It's no use to have a collection if we don't know where the plants come from.||
So this permutation can be possible, if someone is interested, can't it ?
We should finish with this idea that the institutions, sponsors are supposed to pay for everything they are asked for. There is that mentality, as they have money and the associations and people don't, they have the obligation of paying everything. It is easy to manage everything in this way: I need to do something, I ask the sponsor and get the money.
ON: I would love to have a bench here in the Arboretum sponsored by my studio of photography, with the name inscribed on it because I passionately fond of this Botanical Garden and I can't understand why people who deal with plants, orchids, don't have the same point of view, this same passion for this space that I wouldn't say is the unique, but it is...
Marta: A gift.
ON: ...a gift to Rio de Janeiro.
I think it is question of talking, discussing and arising questions, subjects. I think it is a pity, things don't work because of silly questions.
ON: How was the Brazilian Congress of Botany which took place in João Pessoa, in the state of Paraíba? Were the participants concerned about discussing orchids? Because one of the criticism we make to orchidists in Rio de Janeiro is to think less and less about orchids.
Marta: No, the Congress was not concerned about orchids.
Except for Fábio de Barros, from São Paulo, who gave a view of the orchids research nowadays in Brazil, there was nothing. It is an amazing thing, so gigantesque family and the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro does not have an expert in orchids, I don't know, it is not something which exclusively happens with OrquidaRio, there is something more. We should think about to understand what is going on.
ON: No, of course not, it is not restricted to OrquidaRio, it is general. Had this congress a good publicity, was this event well known?
Marta: In the world of Botany, yes, everybody goes. The student of Botany goes. The president of Margareth Mee Foundation was there.
ON: And how does work the interchange between the botanical gardens? Which is the relationship between the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro and the others in the world? Does it exist or not?
Marta: It does and always did, mainly the research field. In general, a botanical garden is associated to a research institution, which has a herbarium (collection of dried plats) that is the base of the botanical studies. The permutation of those plants, by donation of the duplicate or lending the typus is usual in the world enriching and keeping alive the patrimony of the institutions, besides to be the memory of botanical patrimony of the planet. As you know, naturalists and botanists coming with the Colonists brought our plants, cultivated, studied and named them in their own countries. That is why, many typus, the plant that has been used to describe the species, are in foreign herbariums. I don't see happen it with live plants, it is more difficult to do permutation and I don't have the mechanisms and the degree of permutation between the botanical gardens, mainly since Rio 92 when the question of preserving the biodiversity has been arose. The countries have been followed the Biodiversity Convention which delineated the politic and reserve of germ plasm of each country. The botanical gardens had to get united and with the BGCI - Botanic Gardens Conservation International, produce the basic data for thinking this convention.
The National network of Botanical Garden has been created and is presided by Dr. Sergio Bruni, also president "Institut of Research of the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro" (the new name of the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro). This network, together with the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, has published in Portuguese, the " The Darwin Technical Manual for Botanic Gardens" and " International Norms for Conserving the Botanical Gardens" elaborated by BGCI. With the draft directives, the Network has been working in the creation of new botanical gardens in Brazil, preferably one in each state. The president of the Network is a member of the Council for the Latin-American Network of Botanical Garden and has been working with the Ibero Macaronesian Networks of Botanical Garden. He has just arrived from China, where he went invited by the Botanical Garden of Peking. The union of the Botanical Gardens is happening through those Networks and Dr. Sergio has been encouraging it. Two months ago, he promoted in the Solar da Imperatriz, today National School of Tropical Botany a course to the employees of the Botanical Gardens of Brazil. I have been invited to participate. The mainly talker was Dr. Prance and old director of the Kew Gardens for many years and nowadays manages the Botanical Garden of Hawaii. He brought a lot of information result all those years of experience, with great enthusiasm. Another talker was a director of the Botanical Garden of Madeira Island, who is the President of the Ibero Macaronesian Network. We had some participants of all country who brought their experience, difficulties and realizations. It has been five days of exchanges and encouragements to those who are already set to overcome their problems or to those who face the challenge of creating new botanical gardens. Between the botanical gardens, which sent a representative, only the Botanical Garden of São Paulo has Orchid Houses. I talked with the director and with Fabio de Barros, expert in Orchidaceae and we intend to change visits. As already said, the Network has been working for creating new botanical gardens in Brazil, preferably one in each state.
ON: Which too little.
Marta: Too little, too little. Nevertheless, I heard, in this meeting, someone saying: "I am great worried since we will have one for state, how many states we have? Collecting plants for all this? It will affect the environment a lot".
ON: Is there an exchange of knowledge between the institutions of the Federal Government, private enterprises and the botanical gardens? Does it always work, the flux is continuous?
Marta: It works. Now, we are introducing the collection in a system database and we hope it will make the exchange of information easier.
ON: Who does detain this knowledge? How is it conserved?
Marta: This is scientific investigation. Each researcher has to public some articles. There is the magazine Rodriguezia here and many other magazines that concern exactly this subject.
ON: And the magazines have also the exchange?
ON: How those learnings are preserved?
Marta: As usual in scientific institution. Here there is an editorial committee, which analyzes the articles, and the researchers ought to have a scientific production, otherwise, they don't get their grant. Every researcher complements his salary with a grant by CNPq (National Council of Scientific Researches). He should have a number of trainee and a number of publications.
ON: And do you have it here?
Marta: No, there is a dichotomy between the Arboretum and the Research. Arboretum, as the name means, takes care of the park and the Research Department, of course, concerns the research. There is a little interaction between them. It happened all along the history of the Botanical Garden, by the time of Barbosa Rodrigues, when the Arboretum and the Research were just one thing but because he was one thing. In most part of the history, it did not happen. I was tired of seeing researchers who study plants that they have never seen them alive, in field. As I have always been participating in projects, traveling, collecting, they asked me to bring plants. You already knew who studied what, so you said: " I will bring it to John Doe ". That is what a good collector does in general. However the fact that the Research is studying Atlantic Forest does not mean that the plants are being managed here in the Arboretum, do you understand this? Now, since few years ago, the interaction between the Research and the Arboretum started concerning conservation, seeds bank, they study the re-vegetation.
ON: Is this, in any moment, displayed in the Garden or not?
Marta: Dispayed, how?
ON: Are the plants cultivated here so that every body can see them?
Marta: In general, the exceeding of seed goes to the plant nursery. In the ecological reserve of Mico Leão Dourado, which is the biggest, the group who study re-vegetation stayed there. The study about Atlantic Forest is already finished but a group stayed there to re-forest.
ON: We come here, see the blooming of the month in the newspaper of the Friends Association of Botanical Garden and follow this. However, in a moment, we know already everything and want to see new things. How is done this replacement since there is this research?
Marta: The transmission of the knowledge is very difficult although we have a department of environmental education here. It does not succeed in promoting the transmission of all knowledge. I think the main purpose of the Botanical Garden should be the generation and the transmissions of this knowledge.
ON: : And concerning, specifically, the Orchid Houses how does the exchange with the institutions work?
Marta: Very weak, even with the Department of Research of Botanical Garden, we have just started to participate in the excursions to collect plants. We have been going to Macaé de Cima regularly to herbarize orchids, asked by the Atlantic Forest Program of the Botanical Garden. Since years ago, we have the technical cooperation of Quinta do Lago Orchids and we are participating in OrquidaRio Group of Conservation not only to learn how to seed but also to back them up, symbolically, of course! But I succeeded in helping the Group too.
Opening the doors, that is, in general, what I have been doing here:
Courses given by Malena Barreto (Botanical illustration) and Hélio Maurício (cultivation) organized by the Friends Association of Botanical Garden, have been happening here.
Paulo Ormindo (Botanical illustrator) and Malena have already a drawing-board in my room.
OrquidaRio is also totally welcome here, not only to promote shows but else to use our space to give courses or meetings (I have already offered),
David Miller gave a Laminar Flow Unit to the OrquidaRio or to the Botanical Garden.
I got the authorization to use the magnifying glass of the Botany Structural Laboratory of the Botanical Garden of RJ so that Carlos Manuel (OrquidaRio associate) can prepare his work about orchids diseases.
Besides maintaining the place beautifully and the plants healthy (my commitment with the sponsor) and the Data Base up to dated (my "obligation" regarding to the Botanical Garden).
My longing as botanist is open the way to the young people who are interested in this universe that I love so much. After fighting a lot trying to open a space to official trainees, with grants, remuneration and recognition of their work, I gave up and engaged Gabriel as gardener. Besides him, I also engaged Melissa, who is finished the course of Biology in Santa Ursula University and was a trainee here at the very beginning of our administration. She is interested in reproduction. For the present, she stays as "volunteer trainee", without salary and without legal recognition of apprenticeship. But I think my effort as well her is worth. She is also a promise of a good career. And, recently, Claudio brought me another volunteer trainee.
They all are 24 years old and very interested, isn't good?
If Claudio Nicoletti de Fraga (the curator of the live collections of the Botanical Garden) and me join our forces, as I would like to have done with Toscano, where I guide the base of the study of Botany, the organization of the bibliography, the collecting and herbarizing, the database and the cultivation and Claudio guides the taxonomy, floristic, phyto-sociology, I hope that with those five thinking-heads in the Orchid Houses, we will be able to propose exchanges with other institutions.
ON: I see some exsicatas showing Atlantic Forest Program/Petrobrás. Which is this program?
Marta: Since Rio 92, doing much noise around the "environment", it has been settled that the institutions of researches in each state would study, with priority, its more representative ecosystem. BGRJ gave priority to the study of the Atlantic Forest, at first supported by Shell and MacArthur Foundation, nowadays by Petrobras. The first studied area has been Macaé de Cima. As David Miller had already studied the species of orchids there and as there wasn't an expert in this family to herbarize and identify the Orchidaceae flora, David's list has been used by Atlantic Forest Program without scientific confirmation, it means without herbarized confirmation. And this is one of the work I am doing, collecting, herbarizing and identifying (with the help of the experts, of course!) .
ON: Have you finished this work about Macaé de Cima (mountainous region of the state of Rio de Janeiro)?
Marta: No, Davis' list has 270 species and I only have 74 collected.
ON: Since when?
Marta: Since August.
ON: Not too long.
Marta: There is something already collected by some people. There are plants that have been identified by Maria da Penha Fagnani (OrquidaRio) pelo Ruy Alves, from the National Museum, by Toscano, by Carl Luer (expert in Pleurothallis) who came here twice and recently, I asked Carlos Eduardo de Britto Pereira (see Orchid News # ) to help us with Oncidum.
ON: Well, let's back to the exchange between botanical gardens.
Marta: This exchange always exists because, if I want to study a plant and want to know its geographical distribution, I will start for looking in the herbariums to know in which places it has already been collected because I can't collect this plant in all area of its distribution. So, we do it in the herbariums.
ON: Do they send material? What a responsibility!
Marta: Yes, they do, it is really a great responsibility. In general there is an exchange of the duplicate. I am not doing this because I don't have time nor I want to stay collecting in Macaé de Cima. I just pick up one, with great respect however the correct is to collect 2, 3, 4 in order to do duplicates to be sent to other herbariums because if the herbarium here gets fire, we will lose everything. A herbarium is a memory of the nature. The herbarium of the Botanical Garden has 300.000 plants. It is a great archive of plants, plants from everywhere due to the exchanges. This is a memory of was the vegetation in some places that don't exist any more. There is a plant from Copacabana, collected in 1800, it is memory. So this exchange between botanical gardens always exists in the departments of research but concerning alive plants, just this habit of sending a plant, for example, an yellow ipê which is the representative of Brazilian flora to be planted by a president. The Botanical Garden has not a planning, it is starting now. The first plan of control is being elaborated now by Claudio Nicoletti.
ON: Is this good or bad?
Marta: I think it is good.
Regarding to the Botanical Garden, I meant, there is no preoccupation with the market, as we can say, regarding to the non-expert public? To this public it is enough to keep benches clean from birds' dejections?
Marta: Yes, because the Botanical Garden has a charisma, a natural attraction, an assured visitation.
But it is still small.
Of course, it will be possible.
The Orchid Houses became self-sufficient in the production of flowers to show to the public.
- With the help of the sponsor (Antônio Bernardo) we are independent in cultivation, with gardeners and implements that guarantee the required proceedings to cultivate and to get the good results told above.
request, some convocation?
the address of the Botanical Garden is:
rua Jardim Botânico, 1008, Rio de Janeiro.
Thank you , Marta.
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