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Epidendrum montserratense (Montserrat orchid)

In 2006, Kew conservationists rescued several plants of the endangered Montserrat orchid from dead trees on the volcano-ravaged island of Montserrat and installed them in the security of the island's botanic garden.
Yellow Montserrat orchid flowers

Epidendrum montserratense in flower

Species information

Scientific name: 

Epidendrum montserratense Nir

Common name: 

Montserrat orchid

Conservation status: 

This species is rated by the IUCN as Critically Endangered, because it is restricted to a small area on the island of Montserrat, where much of its natural habitat has been destroyed or damaged, either by volcanic eruptions or human activity.


This orchid usually grows on trees (is epiphytic) or, less frequently, on rocks (is lithophytic) so its roots have no contact with the soil.

Known hazards: 

None known.


Genus: Epidendrum

About this species

First identified as a distinct species in 2000, from a specimen collected in 1907, Epidendrum montserratense represents one of Montserrat's two surviving endemic plant species (those that are found only on the island). The other surviving endemic species is Rondeletia buxifolia (Rubiaceae). A third endemic plant, Xylosma serrata (Salicaceae), has not been found since its only known habitat was destroyed by volcanic lava flows and ash falls in the late 1990s.


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