Miniature Orchids – Good Things Come In Small Packages
By Dr Cordelia Head - J & L Orchids - USA


Orchid lovers looking for more variety will find unending fascination and beauty in miniature orchids. Small, compact plants far outnumber the large kinds. In an area required for half a dozen large orchids, dozens of miniatures may be grown. They are ideal for growers with limited space, such as apartment dwellers or home owners with no greenhouse. Even those fortunate to have a greenhouse soon run out of room and miniatures can fill many an empty niche.
Miniature orchids are very appealing in a variety of ways, such as plant shape, colors, and weird unusual flowers. Their growth habit can range from the little grass-like tufts of Trisetella triglochin to the beautifully patterned leaves of Lepanthes calodictyon. They can cover a pot with moss-like growth like Barbrodria miersii or trickle over a branch with chains of leaves, as in Lepanthes pilosella. Some miniatures, like the genus Chilochista, are completely leafless and consist of only a twisted nest of silver roots, others have thick, succulent leaves that clasp and wrap around a branch, as in Sophronitis cernua.
Orchids are known for their beautiful array of color and miniatures have every possible range and combination. The brilliant fluorescent pink and red of Masdevallia eumeliae or the vivid white, orange and yellow of Dendrobium bellatulum are just two examples. Miniatures have a fantastic array of flower shapes, triangles with long twisted tails, bowl-shaped flowers lined with hairs and knobby purple flowers trimmed with white fringe. They can bloom in a flush of hundreds of flowers or bloom several times a year. Many miniatures are fragrant, some strongly, others more delicately. Pleurothallis pterophora with its attractive spotted paddle-shaped leaves, twice a year blooming habit, crystalline white flowers and heavenly fragrance typifies what makes miniatures a joy and delight to grow for all orchid lovers.



Diversity and threats on orchid’s resources from Guadeloupe, West Indies
By Philippe Feldmann - France


Map and photo by P Feldmann
Improvement of Guadeloupe’s orchids knowledges on diversity, populations mapping and threats was developed in order to better evaluate wealth of this family and to develop bioindicators.
This allows to follow the evolution of natural ecosystems and their threats. Information available in the literature and in herbarium has been compiled and compared with the data having been collected for 15 years of field work. 93 species have been reported recently from Guadeloupe in the wild including five of them strictly endemics, making Guadeloupe the most important and rich island in the Lesser Antilles. Nine other species
have not been reported for years. Populations mapping analysis and recent reported evolution lead to classify 10 species as threatened following IUCN criteria. Threats can be linked to natural cataclysms but resulted mostly from human activities. Available knowledges give basic information useful for the implementation of continuous survey of the wild populations. Therefore, the possibly necessary conservatory measures could be proposed.


Philippe Feldmann is the Associate Director of Research for Biological Resources at the Office of the Direction of Research - Montpellier - France

The Venezuelan Tepuis
By Jean-Michel HERVOUET - France


The lecture will present an Orchid-spotting field trip in the state of Bolivar, Venezuela, where about one hundred high plateaus, locally known as Tepuis, are scattered over the so-called « Gran Sabana » savannah area. These remote Tepuis have inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who depicted one of them being haunted by surviving Iguanodons and Pterodactyls in his novel « the Lost World ». The highest Tepui is Mount Roraïma, reaching 2,810 m at its highest point. It is surrounded by 600 m high vertical cliffs. The presentation will mostly deal with an exploration of that Mount Roraïma, a 8-day hike including the approach way, the ascent to the summit and a survey of the top. The largest Tepui, the Auyantepui, spreads over 700 km2. After a flight in a small plane, we will sail up the Carrao and Churun rivers, to search after Orchids around the bottom of Salto Angel, the highest waterfall in the world, which rushes down from the top of Auyantepui.

Jean-Michel HERVOUET is the vice-president of the SFO (Société Française d’Orchidophilie) and has published about 20 reports of travels all over the world in the journal « L’Orchidophile ».

New Observations on the Orchid Flora of Madagascar.
By Johan Hermans - England


The Indian Ocean Island of Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and was separated from the mainland many millions of years ago and in this way developed a very specialised, largely endemic flora and fauna. The country has a remarkable variety of vegetation zones, going from tropical rainforest through cool and fertile highlands to virtual desert.
Many interesting new discoveries and observations have been made on the orchid flora of Madagascar during the last decade, many of these findings are of direct interest to people who are growing or studying plants from the area.
A general introduction will be given to the different climate zones and habitats of the Island. Not only will this illustrate the stunning scenery and extraordinary fauna and flora, but it will also provide useful information on how to grow some of the orchids in cultivation.
Observation of plants in the field and in cultivation, combined with study of herbarium specimens has provided new thoughts on the taxonomy of several groups. Some of these changes will be discussed and illustrated; there will be special emphasis on horticulturally important genera like Angraecum, Cynorkis, Eulophia and Gastrorchis.
Analysis of the distribution patterns of key species has produced results that are directly relevant to their conservation; a summary of findings will be presented. Several very unusual species are now being propagated and they will hopefully become available to amateur orchid growers in the near future, some of the more fascinating new introductions will be discussed.
Johan Hermans has been studying the orchid flora of Madagascar for the last 15 years, he has visited the Island frequently. He has authored a number of popular articles and, in collaboration with Dr. Phillip Cribb and Mr. Jean Bosser, has published several taxonomic papers and books on the subject.

  Photo by J Hermans
 
Paralophia epiphytica from Madagascar. Now almost extinct in nature
but grown succesfully from seed in cultivation

Johan is an Honorary Research Associate of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, vice-chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society Orchid Committee and a Fellow of the Linnean Society.

Ida, spectacular orchids from South America, their natural habitat and culture
By Dr Henry F. Oakeley


These orchids have been in the genus Maxillaria and then in Lycaste. The lecture describes why they have been put into a new genus, Ida, with a simple account of the DNA work and the differences in flower structure which made it necessary. Photos of many of these plants in flower, both in the greenhouse and in their natural habitat, with spectacular views of the Andes and the cloud forests, will be shown. From this a clear explanation of how to grow them will be given and the conditions necessary in the greenhouse. At the end of the lecture you should be able to look at an Ida plant and, even if it is not in flower and without a name, to tell the conditions in which it should be grown. The story of the plants and their discovery, of the chaos that has surrounded their identification will be related. It was for good reasons that H.G. Reichenbach wrote that the study of these orchids was as much fun as stroking hedgehogs, but time has passed and they can now give much pleasure.

Dr Henry Oakeley is expert in Lycaste, Anguloa and Ida and has been growing them for 49 years. He does some writing, lecturing, breeding, photography, making herbarium specimens (for 55 years) and drawings. He travels a lot and sits on numerous committees. He is Trustee of the World Orchid Conference Trust.

Orchids of New Guinea
By Andre Schuiteman - National Herbarium Nederland

The huge island of New Guinea undoubtedly has the richest orchid flora within the old world tropics, with perhaps as many as 2800 species. About 95% of the species are endemic, a far higher percentage than in any other area in the Asia-Pacific region. In contrast, there are only a few endemic genera or sections of genera in New Guinea. Many more genera or sections, however, probably originated in New Guinea and dispersed to neighbouring areas and beyond.
The climate in large parts of New Guinea is highly favourable for the growth of epiphytes (80% of the orchid flora consists of epiphytes), while the numerous and rugged mountain ranges create an extremely varied topography. These factors at least partly explain the extraordinary orchid diversity in New Guinea. At the same time, and somewhat unexpectedly, it appears that most species are fairly widespread within the island.
We know very little about the ecology of most New Guinea orchids, in particular of their pollination mechanisms.
It would seem that compared to other areas in the old world tropics New Guinea has a far higher proportion of bird-pollinated orchid species. Several species of the genus Bulbophyllum possess such unusual flowers that it is hard to predict how they are pollinated. Many surprises await the patient investigator.

André Schuiteman is currently a staff member of the National Herbarium of the Netherlands and the main author of the CD-ROM series Flora Malesiana: Orchids of New Guinea. He visited Tanzania, Colombia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to study the local orchid flora.

Stanhopeinae, An Old Subtribe in New Light
By Rudolf Jenny - Switzerland


Molecular taxonomy has shown that several genera earlier treated as members of the subtribe Stanhopeinae should be separated as own subtribe (Coeliopsidinae). Beside this the existent delineations of the remaining genera are clearly confirmed. Many new species have been described in the last 10 years, especially from genera like Coryanthes, Paphinia, Polycycnis and Gongora. Some of those new species were known from cultivated or dried specimens under wrong names for many years, some others have been collected for the first time. In general it is a problem to get enough material of such fresh collected plants to decide whether it is a new species or only a variation of a known one, quite a number of those new species is defined based on single plants. Some genera like Cirrhaea, Acineta and Polycynis are in need of a monographic treatment, again the major problem is the lack of sufficient material, combined with incomplete data about distribution.

photos by R Jenny

Coryanthes seegeri

Houlletia lansbergii
Stanhopea dodsoniana

Stanhopea maduroi

Stanhopea marizaiana

Stanhopea schilleriana


Rudolf Jenny, chemist by training, working with Orchids since more than 30 years, especially interested and active in the subtribes Pleurothallidinae, Catasetinae and Stanhopeinae. Author of monographs of Gongora, Sievekingia and Stanhopea. Author of the worldwide most comprehensive database about Orchid literature BIBLIORCHIDEA.

Comparative analysis between Orchis species and their hybrid
Bertrand Schatz - Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), Montpellier

Hybridization is commonly regarded as one of the leading mechanisms in plant evolution. Its widespread occurrence within Orchidaceae suggests that it may play a significant role in orchid speciation and in their evolution. Ecological observations and studies of odours emitted by plants can yield information on the causes and consequences of hybridization. We studied the parental species Orchis simia and O. anthropophora and their hybrid O. bergonii in the region of “Grands Causses” north of Montpellier, France. We compared floral morphology, the suite of flower visitors and (using head-space technique) the volatile compounds emitted by flowers of the three taxa. Hybrids were intermediate in floral morphology between their two parents. We distinguished among confirmed pollinators, potential pollinators and non-pollinating among insects observed on the inflorescences. One species of beetle was a confirmed pollinator of the two parental species. Interestingly, the habitat in which the hybrid occurs is also that in which this beetle occurs. The volatile compounds emitted by O. bergonii were quantitatively very different from those emitted by O. simia and O. anthropophora. This difference can explain why only few insects were observed on the inflorescences of hybrids, whereas insects were more numerous on inflorescences of the two parental species. This case then constitutes a promising model for understanding the ecology of pollination in hybrid orchids.

Bertrand Schatz is a young researcher in the French CNRS, where he investigates several insects-orchids interactions in the Mediterranean region. He is in charge of the scientific commission “Insects-orchids interactions” of SFO (French Society of Orchidophily).

9) Orchids and the biogeography of Sulawesi
Jaap Jan Vermeulen - Singapore Botanic Gardens

Around 1850, Edgar Wallace traveled widely in Malaysia and Indonesia, collecting animals to sell to museums in Europe. In 1858 he wrote in a letter to Charles Darwin that he had observed that the composition of the local fauna changed abruptly when crossing a line running North and West of Sulawesi, and continuing southwards to pass West of Lombok. This Wallace Line, as it later became known, is the boundary between two major faunistic realms: the Asian realm in the North, and the Australian-Pacific realm in the South. In order to explain this boundary, he assumed that large-scale changes in the distribution of land and sea had occurred in geological history, as a result of underground movements. This was deemed unlikely by his contemporaries but, over a century later, became the established view, known as continental drift.
Wallace also found that the Sulawesi fauna included elements of both North and South. Later, more precise analysis of the flora of Sulawesi found a predominance of species of Southern (New Guinean) origin in the lowlands, and of Northern origin (Borneo) in the mountains.
Orchids may not be perfect organisms for study if one wishes to analyze patterns of biogeography. Their fine seeds enable them to spread quickly, obliterating distributional patterns that reveal their biogeographical history. But surely orchids follow the general pattern: Sulawesi is one of the few places where Glomera, Epiblastus, and Mediocalcar (all genera predominantly Southern) can be found on one tree growing together with Aerides, Dendrochilum, and Pteroceras (all predominantly Northern). However, what makes the Sulawesi orchid flora truly unique is the large number of endemics. These have evolved because of a general geological instability of the area. The compression resulting from the, geologically speaking, recent collision of the land masses forming the various parts of the island, have caused the formation of new mountain chains, that locally rise over 3000 m above sea level. Survival in these changing environments required adaptation, resulting in speciation. Another factor is undoubtedly the extremely varied geology, including large tracts of land on ultrabasic bedrock, a rare rock type on a worldwide scale, derived from old ocean floor. A low water retention capacity, extreme infertility and high levels of toxic metals characterize soils derived from such bedrock. Here, too, environmental strain has led to speciation. Examples are Spathoglottis tricallosa and Bulbophyllum univenum, both terrestrial species that are entirely restricted to this environment.

Jaap J. Vermeulen is Taxonomist and botanical/zoological artist, specializing in orchids and terrestrial mollusks, author of numerous papers on the genus Bulbophyllum. He wrote a revision of the continental African Bulbophyllum species. He is PhD in orchid taxonomy. At present he is employed by Singapore Botanic Gardens, as an orchid taxonomist (Senior Research Officer).

The Genus Lepanthes
By Dr Moises Behar


Lepanthes are small epiphytic plants from the humid forests of tropical America. Their flowers are delightful and show great diversity in size, shape and coloration. They have been called “the caviar of the connoisseurs”.
The very peculiar structure of the flowers, particularly of their labelum, clearly shown by macro photography, will be presented.The great majority of species have been described only in the last 20 years. There are now more than 800 known species and new ones continue to be frequently found. A sample of species from different countries will be shown.

Moises Behar, Guatemalan, is physician-pediatrics expert in bad-nutrition and public healthy. Passionate orchidist but having small place for his orchids, he became specailized in micro-orchids and macro-photography. He is author of the book Guatemala and its Orchids, between others.

Chinese orchid
By Dr LUO Yi-bo - Beijing - China


Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing.
China has not a rich orchid flora, with only about 1247 specie in about 172 genera, but it is distinguished by having a wider range of broad ecosystem types and remarkably large number of primitive types. The genera, Bulbophyllum and Dendrobium are the first and the second largest with 98 and 74 species, respectively. On orchid vegetative morphology, China has equal numbers of terrestrial and epiphytic (including lithophytic) genera. This feature is unique in the world orchids flora. The northern boundary of epiphytes of China is in the southern slopes of Qin Ling Mountains. The second feature of the Chinese orchids is that its genera are distributed in Dressler’s five subfamilies from the most primitive, the subfamily Apostasioideae, to the most advanced, the subfamily Epidendroideae. At last, the Chinese orchids has very rich saprophytic genera or genera with saprophytic species. Totally, there are 57 saprophytic orchids in 20 genera. This lecture showed about two hundred slides, especially that of Paphiopedilum, Hemipilia and Neottianthe.

LUO Yi-bo works at the Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. He is th he President of Orchid Society of China and particulary interested in Biodiversity and Conservation. Mainly focus on the taxonomy/phylogeny, pollination biology of Orchidaceae.


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