Plunging through the humid swamps and dense woodlands of Florida’s Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park to document remnant cigar orchids is just all part of the job.
the curious quest for
By EMILY COFFEY and MATT RICHARDS Since 2007, Garden conservationists have worked to rescue, propagate and reintroduce these beautiful, showy orchids into their native habitat, trying to save the plants from extinction in the wild.
International partnerships yield success toward restoring plant species
Cigar orchids (Cyrtopodium punctatum), once abundant throughout the swamp, are considered one of five “lost” orchid species native to the park and region. When the staff started working with this species only a few cigar orchids were still present in the wild, which allowed Garden experts to rescue, propagate and reintroduce additional plants back into the swamp, creating a thriving new population in the south Florida park.
ON THE COVER AND LEFT: Garden staff and partners perform field work in Cuba. RIGHT: A Cigar Orchid.
PlantIntel: Science in Action | Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2019-20