Wednesday 22 May
Orchid (Phragmipedium besseae)
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Orchid fact file
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The recently discovered orchid Phragmipedium besseae boasts spectacular and instantly recognisable flowers, which are bright scarlet-orange in colour (4).Top
Phragmipedium besseae is a terrestrial orchid, which grows on moss-covered rocks. Groups may be in bloom for much of the year due to the repeated nature of flowering (4).Top
The most recently reported site occurred in montane forest at around 2,000 metres above sea level (4).Top
Orchids in this region are under threat from the continued destruction of their native habitat (4). These highly attractive flowers are also in commercial demand and over-collection has driven many populations to the brink of extinction (4).Top
Phragmipedium besseae is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which bans trade in wild-collected plants (3). The protection of remaining habitat will be the key to securing its future in the wild.Top
Authenticated (5/6/03) by Dr Phillip Cribb. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- IUCN Red List (April, 2003) www.redlist.org
- Walter, K.S. & Gillett, H.J. [eds] (1998) 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. Compiled by the World Conservation Monitoring Center. IUCN The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
- CITES (April, 2003) www.cites.org
- Oakeley, H. (2001) Ecuador revisited: Phragmipedium bessae, and other orchids, at home. Orchid Review, 109 (1240): 245 - 247.
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