Article by UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Urban Horticulture Agent Lorna Bravo
Reintroducing Native Orchids to South Florida
The UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Florida-Friendly Landscaping program has joined forces with The Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society to help reintroduce native orchids in Broward County’s Residential Landscapes.
Did you know that in the late 1800s, as the Florida East Coast Railroad extended southward, orchids were among the first natural resources to be exploited?
Millions of flowering orchids were ripped from the trees and packed into railroad cars, destined to be sold as disposable potted plants in northern flower shops.
Orchid populations dwindled rapidly to catastrophically low levels. Urban development and agriculture further eliminated nearly all remaining orchid habitat. Today native orchids exist in such small numbers that they have no hope of recovering independently, even though oaks and mahoganies have been gradually making a comeback as street and landscape trees throughout South Florida.
How can we Help?
Our region has countless suitable landscape trees for orchid reestablishment in schoolyards, roadways, and other public spaces. The Fairchild Million Orchid Project proposes to use published micropropagation techniques to generate millions of orchid seedlings and work with community partners to plant them throughout South Florida. https://fairchildgarden.org/science-and-education/science/million-orchid-project/
UF/IFAS Extension Broward County has joined forces with Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society to reintroduce Native Orchids in Broward County.
What orchids are included?
The varieties of orchids used on any given installation will vary depending on availability and suitability for the site. The Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society has available for installations the following species:
Prosthechea cochleata var. triandra
How does it work?
Contact our UF/IFAS Extension Florida-Friendly Landscaping program for a yard consultation. Our program experts will visit your potential site(s) and do an assessment of the landscape and species that would do well. Orchid plantings are done in spring and summer to take advantage of the rainy season. Orchids are planted in groups, with anywhere from ten to fifty per tree or ground planting.
Florida Friendly Landscaping in South Florida.
The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) program operates under the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation & Ecology (CLCE). The Florida Friendly Landscaping program is an educational outreach program informing homeowners and professionals how they can be more environmentally friendly with their landscape care practices. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program’s mission is to educate Floridians about science-based, environmentally friendly landscaping practices and encourage them to conserve and protect our water resources by applying its nine principles. Recognizing the home landscape as part of a more extensive natural system will help us make sound decisions in creating a Florida-Friendly yard and help protect Florida’s natural environment for future generations.
Contact UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program. Email: Lorna Bravo email@example.com or Anthony Gross @firstname.lastname@example.org
Native Orchid Installations
Interested to Invite Native Orchids into your Broward County Yards? Watch our Introduction Program Video and How to Install Native Orchids in trees
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You can contact Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society https://www.flos.org/society-activities/million-orchid-project/