Native Orchid Conservation and Research at Longwood Gardens
Peter Zale, Ph.D
Breeder and Curator of Plants at Longwood Gardens
Peter is the Curator of Plants and plant breeder at Longwood Gardens, PA. He also is a horticulturist and botanical explorer.
Since 1922, orchids have been one of Longwood’s premier plant collections—and remain a cornerstone of the Gardens today.
Pennsylvania alone is home to nearly 60 species of native orchids. Some are among the showiest and most charismatic members of our native flora, but most are rare and threatened in the wild.
Climate change, invasive species, habitat loss, and a booming white-tailed deer population have decimated many orchid populations in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the region. To combat these issues, and to provide critical information about the propagation and growth of native orchids in cultivation, our Research Team at Longwood Gardens is developing a conservation program.
We are seeking to answer fundamental research questions, build a collection of plants to supplement our already world-renowned orchid collection, and engage in restoration efforts by providing seedlings back to the natural lands where the original seed was collected
Please follow the link to the rest of the article with some beautiful photographs here