Autumn Greetings from NAOCC!
As an especially challenging year for orchid conservation work winds to a close, we encourage you to take a few minutes to see what NAOCC and our collaborators are up to.
NAOCC Updates
Field guide status: Native Orchids of the U.S. and Canada. A Companion to Go Orchids
As mentioned in NAOCC's Summer newsletter, one “silver lining” of the home-time necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic is that Dennis has finally had the time to work on a field guide to accompany NAOCC’s interactive Go Orchids web site. Publishing a field guide was a long-time dream of Hal Horwitz, a pediatric dentist from Richmond, VA who had an abiding passion for photographing native orchids. He and his wife, Helen, traveled from Florida to Newfoundland to Alaska capturing the beauty of wildflowers on film, and he had photographed nearly all the North American orchid species. Hal taught numerous photography courses, showed multimedia presentations and lectured at symposiums, orchid societies, garden clubs, wildflower societies and civic groups. His images have been published world-wide in magazines, books, advertisements and digital productions.
The content of the Field Guide is now complete. Thanks to Jay O’Neill for populating the text with orchid photographs - most from Hal’s collection - and to Mary Ann Christensen (a volunteer in Dennis’s lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center) for creating distribution maps for the orchids. Thanks also to several of Hal’s friends in the Native Orchid Conference (Bob Sprague, Doug Martin, Kathy Gregg, Roger Hammer) who have provided valuable editorial input, and to Lisa Wallace of Old Dominion University who helped with the key to Platanthera species.
Photo: Cypripedium fasciculatum © Hal Horwitz
The next step is to continue to ‘clean’ the text and select a publisher. While we had originally envisioned the Field Guide as a commercial publication of the Smithsonian Press, that specific division of the SI Press has fallen victim to COVID - so we are exploring other publishing avenues. Stay tuned.
A New Collections Management System and Collaborator Portal for NAOCC
In 2020, despite pandemic limitations restricting our ability to travel and process samples in the SERC lab, NAOCC’s Collections project has continued to make modest gains; we now have over 1100 leaf, root, and seed specimens from 80 species of orchids.

Importantly, we have also made significant progress - thanks to the tech wizards at Jazkarta - on development of a new state-of-the-art collections management system and collaborator portal. The new system (now complete and in the orientation/learning phase) will improve NAOCC’s ability to track and steward root, seed, and fungal specimens for a broad range of research and conservation activities. It will also facilitate greater exchange to further cooperative work.
Creation of a collections management system to meet NAOCC's specific needs had initially posed a challenge because of the limited budget and requirement to track and steward very different types of specimens, from plant material, to fungi, to DNA records.

In a nutshell, here is what Sally Kleinfeldt of Jazkarta had to say about the creation of this new system:
NAOCC needed a system to capture data about orchid samples, with collaboration features to allow project participants to view and contribute information. Data and collaboration features had to share a common access control structure. One approach would have been to build on a web database platform like Django, but this was a low budget project and adding the necessary collaboration and access control features would have been a big undertaking. We had a trick up our sleeve - Plone, which has collaboration features galore and makes it easy to create custom content types to capture specialized data. With a short discovery process and just two weeks of development, we were able to create a system that provides Plone's usual features (member roles, workflows, fine-grained access control and permission-sensitive search), plus custom content types that capture 50+ data fields, photos and files about individual orchid plants and the symbiotic fungi that live on their roots, a CSV import of the existing data and a flexible reporting capability.”
We greatly appreciate the work by the Jazkarta team to produce a great product in a timely and efficient manner, and intend to schedule an orientation to the system for NAOCC’s collaborators soon! We look forward to using the new system and developing it further - as funds are available - to more effectively and efficiently engage collaborators and researchers as we advance NAOCC's mission to conserve native orchids.
Update on NAOCC's Palau Research - Studies on Oberonia
Since our last report on NAOCC's Palau project, a new publication from this work was featured in the August, 2020 issue of the AOS’ Orchids magazine, “Lindleyana” section (AOS, August 2020 Volume 89 Number 8). Studies on Oberonia 7: Ten new synonyms of Oberonia equitans (G.Forst.) Mutel indicated by morphology and molecular phylogeny”, is authored by Dan Geiger (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History), Benjamin Crain, Melissa McCormick, and Dennis Whigham. Their investigation illustrates the relevance of linking systematics with ecology when conducting research related to individual species, and prompts a revision of the nomenclature for a species in the genus Oberonia.
Oberonia palawensis
Photo: In situ Oberonia equitans in Palau © B.J. Crain
Starting with an analysis of the Oberonia species of Palau, and using a combined morphological - molecular approach, the investigation revealed that many described species in herbarium records were actually one and the same species, O. equitans. The analysis provided clear evidence that O. affinis Ames & C.Schweinf, O. aurea Schltr., O. ciliolata Hook.f., O. enoensis J.J.Sm., O. equitans var. chaperi Finet, O. lampongensis J.J.Sm., O. mcgregorii Ames, O. murkelensis J.J.Sm., O. oxystophyllum J.J.Sm., and O. palawensis Schltr. are synonyms of O. equitans, based upon lack of differentiation in a molecular phylogeny, as well as flower characteristics, habit, ecology, and phenological data.
The Palau project - NAOCC’s first foray outside North America - illustrates how the larger “big picture” vision of NAOCC’s collaborative model has significant potential to advance orchid conservation efforts globally.
Around the NAOCC Regions
North America Map (Adobe Stock)
In Brief:


  • Virginia: We extend a warm welcome to our newest NAOCC collaborator, The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach, VA. They plan to develop a native orchid collection along the Center’s nature trails to educate and inspire the public about native orchid conservation. We look forward to collaborating!

  • New Jersey: Congratulations and welcome to Duke Farms new Executive Director, Margaret Waldock! Margaret has a background in biology, a degree in environmental law, and over 20 years of environmental and conservation leadership in the non-profit, government and philanthropic sectors. She most recently served as director of the Environment Program at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, was Executive Director of the Hunterdon Land Trust for eight years and worked at the Trust for Public Land, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the American Farmland Trust. We look forward to meeting Margaret soon, and continuing NAOCC's native orchid conservation collaboration with Duke Farms!
Midwest, Hawaii, & Florida:
  • Wisconsin: The Ridges Sanctuary reports an exciting year for orchid developments! Volunteers Jane Whitney, Julie Knox, and David Barnes encountered a new species of orchid for Door County, with their discovery of a population of Spiranthes casei adjacent to an old limestone quarry. (Spiranthes casei Catling & Cruise has a fairly limited range, and while apparently secure in parts of Ontario and northern Michigan, it is vulnerable in Wisconsin - with scattered populations mostly in the north and west-central parts of the State. The Consortium of Midwest Herbaria shows no prior herbarium specimens of this species from the Door Peninsula.)
Photo, Above Right: Ridges Sanctuary Volunteer Jane Whitney (right foreground) and
David Barnes (center), work to analyze and verify the team's S. casei sighting. Photo by Julie Knox.
  • This year, The Ridges also continued expansion of their Ram’s Head Lady’s Slipper long-term plot-monitoring program with the addition of six new plots, all comprised of wild populations. Each new plot was paired with an automatic data logger which continuously records light levels, soil moisture, and soil temperature. (The data loggers were funded in part by a conservation grant from the San Diego County Orchid Society). The Ridges' orchid propagation project is also showing signs of success as three different orchid species bloomed in the Sanctuary’s shade houses.
Photos: Left & Center: The Ridges Sanctuary's new data-logging equipment and plot monitoring in progress; Right: Julie Knox in full "orchid trekking gear". Photos courtesy of Matt Peter and Jane Whitney.
  • Wisconsin: Contributed by Melissa Curran: Riveredge Nature Center and Stantec continue to lead a Wisconsin-based orchid conservation project with an applied focus on establishing orchids in natural environments. While 2020 was challenging for everyone, the team forged ahead on networking with local and regional partners, collaborating with local university students to develop a map of orchid occurrences in southeast Wisconsin, pollinating select orchid populations, caring for orchids in the Riveredge shade house, and continuing a monitoring program established in 2019..................... ..............................................................................The program goal is to analyze population trends from long-term orchid monitoring plots to evaluate how populations and individual orchids are changing over time. Results will inform future selection of outplanting sites and will serve as a baseline to evaluate change over time. The project relies on the generosity of regional partners like Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and NAOCC who are working on orchid propagation and fungal partner identification. ...............................................................................Exciting news for Wisconsin this year includes a new population of Fairy Slipper (Calypso bulbosa, WI State-Threatened), and a reoccurrence of Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea, WI State-Endangered) at a site where it had not been observed since 2014. Monitoring these rare orchid sites and tracking change over time will hopefully help inform management and strategies to improve abundance. ............................................................................... Questions? You may contact Matt Smith, Riveredge Land Manager: or Melissa Curran:
Photos: Top, Monitoring orchid plots at Riveredge Nature Center; Bottom, Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera Leucophaea) Photos courtesy of Melissa Curran.
  • Illinois & Hawaii: Illinois College (IC) student Molly Gearin now has about 50 protocorms of Peristylus holochila, the Hawaiian Bog Orchid that she’s carefully monitoring, with more seeds from Maui on the way. P. holochila (formerly Platanthera holochila) requires a cool, high-elevation habitat, and is the rarest of Hawaii's 3 endemic orchids with less than 50 known plants on 3 of the main islands. It is considered critically imperiled and listed as endangered in Hawaii and protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act. The largest remaining population (25) is in a small, fenced area on the island of Molokai, which was protected by The Nature Conservancy to exclude feral pigs whose destructive foraging habits ruin orchid habitat. The few plants remaining on Maui are scattered along a steep ravine accessible only by helicopter.

  • Illinois / Florida / Cuba: Despite ongoing travel restrictions between the Cuba and the US, the Illinois College Orchid Recovery Program in collaboration with Dr. Ernesto Mujica, of Cuba’s Ministry of Science ECOVIDA Research Center, were able to secure data from Year 6 of the Ghost Orchid survey in the Florida Panther Refuge. Mújica has spearheaded ongoing surveys of D. lindenii populations in south Florida and Cuba, to better understand the orchid’s specific habitat requirements. Such information is expected to benefit propagation and reintroduction efforts throughout the region, and provide land managers to make better predictions about populations’ statuses. This year, recent IC graduate, Adam Herdman, was able to assist with the project again when Dr. Mújica could not get a visa to enter the U.S. from Cuba. Adam was involved in 4 of the 6 years of surveying. Sufficient data have been collected now for Dr. Mújica to make his long-awaited temporal dynamic analyses to determine whether Ghost Orchid numbers are rising, falling or stable.The team will soon publish a journal article with the results (stay tuned).
Photo, Above: The team taking measurements of the Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) flowers. Photo courtesy of Larry Zettler.
Left Photo:(l-r) Adam Herdman, Jack Lu, and Michael LaRusso. Adam and Michael are recent IC graduates; Jack is a current IC student originally from Shanghai. The Naples Orchid Society generously funded their participation in this project. Center Photo: Jack and Michael recording data. Right Photo: Jack, a born epiphyte ecologist. Photos courtesy of Larry Zettler.
  • Florida: For the past 6 years, the Naples Orchid Society (NOS) has funded the Ghost Orchid work of Illinois College students and Dr. Ernesto Mújica through their scholarship fund. The Students have prepared a presentation about their work in 2020, which is available on the Naples Orchid Society website. ............................................................................................................................................The NOS was founded in 1962 in Naples, Florida with the mission to “promote the appreciation and cultivation of orchids as a hobby and preserve wild orchids indigenous to Southwest Florida through education and research”. The 175 members of the NOS hail from a wide variety of backgrounds from novice orchid aficionados, award-winning advanced hobbyists and commercial growers. In the nearly 60 years since its inception, the NOS has been quite active and instrumental in advancing public education about orchids as well as providing support for native orchid conservation and research efforts. Each year, the NOS sponsors year-round educational activities, including a highly regarded series of culture classes each winter, an annual Spring show, and a large Fall orchid sale. The NOS also offers scholarships and internships to promote research – many of which have supported NAOCC collaborators’ work. ............................................................................................................................................As Larry Zettler of Illinois College's Orchid Recovery Program notes, "They are a proactive society making a difference to advance our understanding of native orchids and their conservation in SW Florida. The NOS has also catalyzed the progression of many Illinois College students into graduate schools. They have been a real leader in our orchid diverse epicenter of SW Florida. Without their support over the years - and Kit Kitchen-Maran’s leadership in particular - we would be a decade or two behind there. " ........................................................................................................................................... You can learn more about the Naples Orchid Society and their commitment to orchid conservation via their website.

  • Thanks to NAOCC collaborators Kit Kitchen-Maran and La Raw Maran for their dedication to orchid conservation even while traveling and enjoying far-flung destinations! Kit and La Raw, of Naples, Florida, found themselves in Fairbanks, Alaska in March this year - intending to stay for the summer - but they decided to remain awhile while riding out the pandemic. Meanwhile, Kit has made some valuable contributions of orchid leaf, root, and seed specimens from Alaska for NAOCC's Collections Project, and plans to resume these efforts in the Spring, permits pending. Thanks again, Kit!

  • See also a status update, below, regarding the Cypripedium candidum population situation near Brandon, Manitoba.
More News from NAOCC Collaborators Around the Regions:
Photos: Top, H. spicata, Bottom, H. warnockii, courtesy of Charles Hess.
Texas Hexalectris Survey Highlights Value of Citizen Science
By Charles Hess
From 2005 to 2020, the 600-acre Cedar Ridge Preserve in the southern part of Dallas County, Texas has been the site of an annual Hexalectris orchid survey, a volunteer Citizen Scientist effort sponsored by the North Texas chapter of Texas Master Naturalists. The Preserve, located at one of several limestone escarpments found throughout Dallas County, has been a favorite destination for hikers and bird enthusiasts since its establishment in 1975 as the Dallas Nature Center.

The Preserve’s Spring Wildflower Festival first attracted the volunteer efforts of Jim and Stephanie Varnum in the late 1980’s.  Known as a stopping point for Spring and Fall bird migrations, it also drew the attention of Dr. Marcy Brown-Marsden, a botanist and researcher at the University of Dallas. She initiated regular surveys of trees and their densities, and documented birds, both seen and heard, during the migration. The Varnums took part in these surveys with Dr. Brown-Marsden and several of her students.
In 2003, when the Audubon Dallas assumed management for the Preserve, Victor Engel, a local orchid enthusiast, met with Brown-Marsden and others there, identifying trail locations where he had observed Hexalectris nitida orchids as a frequent visitor during the 1980’s. Engel’s sightings, documented in the AOS Bulletin, Vol 56, No. 8 August 1987, established a new and unknown extension of the Texas range for Hexalectris orchids, previously thought to be limited to an area much farther west in the Big Bend National park.

To determine whether these saprophytic orchids might still be found at the preserve (they are only observable when in spike), Dr. Brown-Marsden organized a successful two-day survey in July 2004 which included Jim and Stephanie Varnum, Dana Wilson, and several other Master Naturalists.  That initial survey confirmed that Hexalectris nitida (rare) populations indeed still existed, as well as populations of Hexalectris warnockii (rare and endangered), H. spicata (uncommon), and H. arizonica (rare). Several stems of H. grandiflora (very rare) were recorded in later years (2006 and 2007), but subsequent natural tree loss is suspected to account for no new sightings.
Photo: H. warnockii, courtesy of Charles Hess.
Photo: 2019 Hexalectris Survey Team, courtesy of Charles Hess.
As a researcher, Dr. Brown-Marsden recognized the importance of studying the microbiome of these endangered, non-photosynthetic, myco-heterotrophic orchids, so she established an annual Citizen Scientist survey starting in 2005. The annual survey, adhering to the protocol she established, has taken place each June through the middle of July, with twice-weekly sessions of 3-4 hours. The same two trails, Cedar Brake Trail and Cattail Pond Trail, received alternate surveys each week, by teams of 5 to 10 people, with a search area of roughly 100 feet on each side of the trails. The survey scope accounted for about 30% of the preserve’s total area, with the most intense scrutiny reserved for areas of known or expected populations.
Dr. Brown-Marsden’s protocol specified that each flower spike be tagged with a flag planted a safe distance from the rhizome, showing the date, species, and sequential number count for that day. This information, along with the height of the flower spike, was then logged by the team captain. At the end of the 6 weeks a final survey was conducted, and the flags were removed upon recording final height, flower count, and signs of pollination (ovaries).

Final survey results were later compiled and submitted by team leader Stephanie Varnum. Most interesting, the surveys revealed that the prior year’s rainfall amount (not the current year’s rainfall) influenced growth and abundance. Also, no pollinators were ever confirmed, although this elusive quest remained the “annual challenge” for all the participants.
Photo: Measuring heights. Photo courtesy of Charles Hess.
The Preserve’s limestone escarpment ultimately proved to be the site of 75% of the Hexalectris orchids found in Dallas County. The 2019 survey found over 900 spikes.
Optimal conditions appear to be partially shaded, 4-to-20-degree sloping terrain, with rich humus of juniper, cedar duff, or oak; these conditions are known to support fungi, which in turn nourishes the rhizomes below.
The surveys resulted in several technical research papers. Dozens of Citizen Scientists were inspired and educated about the beauty and marvels of these creations of nature, so easily overlooked. More than eighty people participated in the surveys, half from the local and surrounding Master Naturalist organizations, and the rest comprised of friends, photographers, and botanists from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) in nearby Ft. Worth. This program continued under Stephanie’s leadership after Dr Brown-Marsden moved to Wichita Falls in 2015, and concluded in 2020 when the research goals were fulfilled. 
Special Note: Two of the orchids found at Cedar Ridge Preserve are featured in the NAOCC orchid-gami collection, sponsored by participants in these surveys.  The H. spicata (Spiked Crested Coralroot) was sponsored by the Southwest Regional Orchid Growers Association. The H. warnockii (Texas Purple Spike) design was commissioned by Dana Wilson (front, right in photo) and Stephanie Varnum (front, center) specifically to commemorate the most spectacular crown jewel of the preserve, and to celebrate the legacy of the 16-year project.   Funding was provided by Bruce Ballengee and the North Texas Orchid Lovers, as noted previously in this publication.   As always, kudos to Jay O’Neill of the NAOCC for his efforts to see these educational models through to completion.
Manitoba: Update on Protection of Cypripedium candidum population
You may remember an article in NAOCC’s prior newsletter about a local grass-roots effort in Manitoba to protect a population of Small White Lady's-slipper, Cypripedium candidum, from impending development. This third-largest population of the species in the province is on property slated for a housing development near the city of Brandon. The species is rare throughout most of its range in North America, and is listed as endangered and protected under the Manitoba Endangered Species Act and the Canada Species at Risk Act (SARA). The site poses special conservation concern due to its natural prairie habitat, unique hydrologic conditions, and the population size (about 1000).
Photo: Small White Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium candidum) © Ron Coleman
To date, nearly 5000 people have signed the petition to request that the City of Brandon and Province of Manitoba ensure the orchids’ protection, and that the provisions of the Species at Risk Act are enforced. While such advocacy has produced some promising gains in recent months, preservation efforts continue.

In early October 2020, news reports stated that the developer of property, Stoneridge Equities Ltd., has agreed to work with the City of Brandon and The Nature Conservancy of Canada to set aside a portion of the property as a new "urban preserve", effectively creating greenspace to protect the orchid habitat from future development. However, the size and details of the set-aside remain unclear at this point, and public information has been limited.

Local orchid advocates caution that further diligence is needed to solidify the future protection of this delicate C. candidum population. They continue to ask for public awareness and support - especially letter writing and petition signatures - to ensure that a new preserve is large enough to protect the orchids as well as their prairie wetland habitat. For the orchids to thrive, the water table would also require protection from disruption by housing development drainage changes.

For more information, you may check out the Native Orchid Conservation Inc. (NOCI)’s Facebook page for maps and updates on the story.
NAOCC Collaborators Involved in Center For Plant Conservation (CPC) National Meeting 2020

Kudos to the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) for another great National Meeting! While this year's meeting was held virtually due to the ongoing pandemic, the event was inspirational and very well attended - with over 170 registrants engaging for lightning talks, a poster session, breakout groups, and the keynote presentation. NAOCC collaborators were well represented, as registrants, speakers, keynote, and even an award winner!

  • CPC Keynote Speaker George Gann, President and Board Chair of the Institute for Regional Conservation and current International Policy Lead for the Society of Ecological Restoration, delivered a timely and stimulating address about how we can make actual progress in our collective efforts towards the CPC mission to "save plants" as the world lurches toward a biodiversity extinction catastrophe. George spoke about how local knowledge and expertise are crucial as we strive to properly formulate and meet relevant global conservation initiatives - such as the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and Global Biodiversity Framework. He noted the need to incorporate local knowledge to obtain accurate data and set appropriate goals: local and regional data, with on-site verification and historical accounts, can provide a valuable in-depth basis to foster deeper understanding, sustain awareness, and develop meaningful policies to conserve rare plant populations on a global level.

  • Orchid-specific content at the conference included talks by Longwood Gardens' Peter Zale, "Asymbiotic Immature Seed Germination of the Pennsylvania Threatened Species Platanthera peramoena A. Gray", and by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's David Remucal, "Collecting and Working with Orchid Seed". Both of these presentations were part of a broader panel discussion: "Exceptional Species Conservation (from Oaks to Orchids and Tools for All Else)".

This month’s featured gallery on NAOCC’s website highlights orchid photos from the Fakahatchee Strand by Larry Richardson, a retired wildlife biologist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges in Naples, Florida. A nature photographer since 1981, he is a founding member of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), having served as president and on its Board of Directors, and on NANPA’s philanthropic foundation. Larry co-authored the book, Florida’s Unsung Wilderness -- The Swamps, with photographer/writer Connie Bransilver and his work has been published worldwide. As a wildlife expert, he has appeared on ABC Nightly News, CBS This Morning, and National Geographic Explorer and on networks such as Animal Planet and Nickelodeon. He also hosted the PBS WGCU-TV series, Florida Landscape -- a program promoting native plant gardening.

Larry's philosophy centers around "our need to practice CPR -- Conserve, Preserve and Restore -- on our environment, not just for nature's sake, but ours too.”
The Fakahatchee Strand is a major slough, or drainage waterway, of Big Cypress Swamp that begins its 20 mile journey within the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. As it flows slowly southward to the Gulf of Mexico, it passes through the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve, Florida’s largest but least developed, state park. Strand is a local term for such linear swamps - the Fakahatchee is the largest and most unusual. Dense stands of cypress, pop ash and pond apple trees slow the water flow, providing crucial habitat for the endangered Florida panther and Everglades mink, and boasting the largest concentration and variety of orchids in the U.S. In this gallery, Larry takes us on a swamp walk to explore the Fakahatchee -- dark waters, deep shade and just a few of its orchids… See the Featured Gallery here
Photos: Top, Larry Richardson, by John Yuccas; Center right: Clamshell Orchid (Prosthechea cochleata) © Larry Richardson; Above left: Night Fragrant Epidendrum (Epidendrum nocturnum) © Larry Richardson, and Above right: Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) © Larry Richardson.
  • Thanks to a generous sponsorship donation by the Deep Cut Orchid Society, Rockville Printing and Graphics jut delivered 5000 copies of the Rosebud Orchid orchid-gami model to Dennis’s garage - so the Rosebud is now available for distribution again! Reprinting models is an important aspect of NAOCC’s outreach, since it means that the models are popular with individual and organizations that use them in support of their orchid-related activities. Thanks again to the Deep Cut Orchid Society for their support of this ongoing project.

  • Update on orchid-gami “going commercial”NAOCC is now in the final stage of contracting with an international publishing company to produce a box-set of 20 orchid-gami models. As we mentioned in the last newsletter, the retail product will include the 20 models and a 50-page booklet with information about the models, orchid ecology, and NAOCC. The booklet will be authored by Dennis Whigham, Jay O’Neill, and Maarten Janssens - the designer of all of the orchid-gami models. We are excited to introduce Maarten - you can learn more about his creativity at his web site. All proceeds from the sale of the box-set will support NAOCC’s orchid research and conservation efforts.
Orchids & NAOCC in the Media / Orchid Miscellany:

  • An Illinois College (IC) alumnus, Dr. Lynnaun Johnson, was recently featured in a Britannica "Botanize" podcast about orchids. Lynnaun is a postdoctoral researcher at Rush University in Chicago; he earned his PhD from Northwestern University-Chicago Botanic Garden. In the podcast, he talks about his orchid research at IC, his work with the Ghost Orchid, and NAOCC. He does an outstanding job of explaining why orchids need fungi.  See / Hear / Read more...

  • In September, 2020, Matt Candeias, creator of In Defense of Plants produced another great podcast episode, Orchid Booby Traps, in which he explores the complex trickery used by greenhood orchids (genus Pterostylis, native to Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, New Caledonia, & Indonesia) to increase their chances of being pollinated. See / Hear / Read more...

  • While the pandemic has certainly hampered travel this year, books and field guides can offer an alternative way to "see" the orchids of far-flung lands. The recently-published Orchids of Central Spain (Cuenca Province): A field guide by Agustín Coronado Martínez and Eduardo Soto Pérez is the first English-language field guide of that region. The guide is available for purchase or as a pdf file download (the pdf version has the purchase website superimposed over each page to prevent duplication).
Donate to NAOCC This Giving Season
The fate of North America’s fragile native orchid populations is precarious, with nearly two thirds of the continent’s 210+ species listed as threatened or endangered in parts of their range. NAOCC has been working diligently to build strong alliances and engage collaborators to preserve the diverse orchid heritage of the U.S. and Canada. 

However, NAOCC receives no direct federal funding – our projects depend entirely on gifts for support. The challenges of 2020 make this an especially critical time - we urgently need to raise $50,000 to continue to build collaborative alliances, advance continent-wide collection efforts, sustain our studies of orchid lifecycles and mycorrhizal fungi associations, expand germplasm preservation efforts, and extend our educational activities to engage the public in conservation.
We realize that a lot of valuable causes have similar needs right now, and that you receive a multitude of donation requests this time of year. Still, we know that you are dedicated to orchid conservation and truly understand the relevance and urgency of NAOCC’s efforts. We hope you will consider making a donation of any amount as an investment in NAOCC’s ability to continue this important work.

Please join us to keep NAOCC's orchid conservation work thriving! You may donate at the NAOCC website, or contact Dennis Whigham.