There is currently an effort by the research team of London’s Kew Gardens to protect at least 2000 species of orchids by 2015. The project will ensure that countries from all over the world participate in the donation of orchid species from their country to what is called as the “Osssu” project or the Orchid See Stores for Sustainable Use project.
This project was initiated in 2007 from a grant given by the British government to develop seed banks. Currently there have been only 250 species of seeds that have been collected from countries such as China, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Ecuador and many more.
There are more than 20,000 species of orchids in the world and about one-fourth of these are at risk of extinction. Although many countries have joined this effort, the group hopes that more will join in to save these most beautiful plants.
These plants’ seeds will be dried and stored in freezing temperatures for future use. They will be in suspended animation until that time. Some seeds will even be frozen in liquid nitrogen just to be preserved. The scientists are also planning to collect samples of fungi and pollen that some of these plants need to survive and thrive in the wild.
By today, Osssu is targeted to grow into 30 countries. There will be an International Orchid Conservation Congress at the end of May in the Czech Republic, where this will be discussed and showcased.
This effort is exciting to the orchid community. Orchids are one of the oldest and most beautiful species of flowers in the world. I hope that the world will join this project and that this will be successful for the sake of the world and future orchid lovers.
What do you think about this project? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.
For information about increasing your own orchid population, here’s some traditional orchid propagation methods.