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Saving Orchids: Botany to the Rescue
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 @ 5:30 PM-8:00 PMFree
Missouri Botanical Garden
Ridgway Visitor Center,
Shoenberg Theater and Grigg Lobby
4344 Shaw Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110
Wild Ideas Worth Sharing | 2016 Speaker Series
Convened by BiodiverseCity St. Louis, The Academy of Science St. Louis, and the 100+ organizations within its network, the Wild Ideas Worth Sharing series returns in 2016 with a line-up of local and global perspectives on how cities, communities, and entire cultures can live in ways that enable a greater diversity of life to survive and thrive.
FREE and OPEN to ALL. Registration required. Click here to register. Registration deadline is Friday, March 11.
5:30–6:00: Registration and networking
6:00–7:00: Formal program
7:00–8:00: Reception; light appetizers, and Orchid Show viewing
Tariq Stévart, Ph.D., Associate Curator, Africa and Madagascar Program, Missouri Botanical Garden
In the tropical forests of Central Africa and Madagascar, an extraordinary diversity of orchids survive in the cloud-canopies and coastal regions. Most of these are nearly impossible to identify when encountered in the field because they lack flowers. In order to develop effective conservation strategies, accurate species identification is critical. In 1997, Dr. Tariq Stévart and a team of locally trained young botanists piloted an innovative shadehouse cultivation system on the island of São Tomé, which has since been replicated throughout Africa and Madagascar. Shadehouses enable orchid inventories since most epiphytes can easily be brought into cultivation and grown to produce fertile, identifiable plants. To date, more than 15,000 living orchids collected in the field have been grown in the Missouri Botanical Garden’s shadehouse network across Africa, leading to the discovery of 50 previously unknown species. In addition to inventory and identification, the shadehouses help conserve at-risk orchids, growing them safely for eventual reintroduction program and building the in-country capacity of botanists and conservationists. This effort also holds the potential for reducing the market rates within the orchid trade, thereby further protecting at-risk orchids from exploitation.
Babs Wagner, Orchid Specialist, Missouri Botanical Garden
Horticulturist Babs Wagner provides a behind-the-scenes perspective on the Garden’s renowned living orchid collection, one of the largest and finest in the U.S. And she shares a few orchid care and maintenance tips for home gardeners, prior to inviting everyone to experience the 2016 Orchid Show: Where Wild Things Grow.