Conserving orchids endemic to islands
Conservation Biotechnology at Kew is developing methods for the laboratory propagation of island-endemic orchids – species often under threat.
12 May 2011
In vitro plant of the orchid Epidendrum montserratense ready for weaning (Image: RBG Kew)
Conservation Biotechnology at Kew has started work on novel orchid seed collecting methods, seed germination, propagation and capacity building as part of the in vitro conservation of endemic orchids.
As part of Kew's work on orchid conservation in Madagascar, germination of a number of endemic orchids of Madagascar has been achieved. A field kit for collecting orchid seed is being developed, and Madagascar partners will be trained in techniques for in vitro propagation. Initial training of Madagascar team members has taken place and further work will be undertaken in-country,
Propagation of orchids from UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs), mainly from Montserrat and Turks and Caicos, is another part of this work to conserve island-endemic orchids. Recent successes in the in vitro propagation of threatened island species include the UKOT orchids Epidendrum montserratense, now established in Kew’s Living Collection, and Encyclia caicensis. These have been raised in the laboratory from seed collected by the UKOT team and partners.
Item from Jonathan Kendon (Propagation Assistant, Conservation Biotechnology, Kew)
Originally published in Kew Scientist, issue 38
Scientific Research and Data
- Orchid conservation in Magagascar
- Kew Science Project – Madagascar Threatened Plants
- Kew In-Depth - Micropropagation
- Sainsbury Orchid Conservation Project
Help Kew break new ground and inspire new generations
By making a donation to Kew today you can help our scientists to find out more about the fascinating world of plants, break new ground and inspire generations of young people to get to know plants better.
Our scientific programmes are focused on understanding plants and conserving the world's plant life and habitats at risk. Plants are essential to life on earth. In a world where the sustainability of the planet’s rich biodiversity is becoming less certain, Kew’s science work is ever more critical. Find out how your donation can make a difference.
Browse Kew news
- In the Gardens
- Science and conservation
- How you are helping
- Specialist science
- Kew blogs
- All Kew news
Keep up to date with events and news from Kew
- around the world
- ground breaking
- the UK
- at risk
- needs help
- english heritage
- Kew overseas
- verge of extinction
- wet tropics
- gifts that help
- hot spot
- South East Asia
- english garden
Follow Kew on twitter
Unable to parse the data in the RSS file.