Help us save the golden rain orchid
Golden rain orchid (Oncidium cheirophorum) is a dwarf orchid from Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia which grows in the tops of trees. You can help Kew safeguard this plant for our future by adopting a seed for yourself, or as a gift for £25.
Introducing the golden rain orchid
This small-flowered dwarf orchid is an epiphyte (a plant that grows non-parasitically upon another plant). It is found in Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia and reaches about 12–15 cm in height.
The fragrant, bright yellow flowers of golden rain orchid (Oncidium cheirophorum) are only 1–1.5 cm in diameter and the plants are often found in dense clumps in the tops of tall trees or on the ends of spreading branches, giving it its common name.
Golden rain orchid is in the Orchidaceae family, one of the most species-rich plant families with approximately 25,000 species in roughly 850 genera, accounting for 8–10% of all flowering plants.
They are distributed worldwide but are most diverse and numerous in the tropics and subtropics; elsewhere, they are also diverse in Mediterranean climatic zones (e.g. southern Africa and Australia). The orchid floras of many countries are poorly known with between 200–500 new species being described every year.
Despite a wide diversity, the spectacular flowers of the orchid family have an unmistakeable resemblance and all are bilaterally symmetrical - meaning the left-hand side is a mirror image of the right.
Kew's work with orchids
Orchids are a major part of Kew’s research and conservation work.
One of the most collected groups of plants, orchids are found in all terrestrial ecosystems, but the greatest quantity and diversity of species are found in the tropics. Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico are rich in orchid species, while Africa has few.
Orchids grow in the ground (terrestrials), on trees (epiphytes) and on rocks (lithophytes).
Current orchid research at Kew includes economic botany, tropical and temperate floras, monographs, revisions and evolutionary studies at all taxonomic levels.
You can adopt this seed for yourself, or as a gift for £25.
When you Adopt a Seed, you'll receive a personalised certificate, featuring your plant species, as a downloadable PDF document you can print off, and regular updates over the year from the Millennium Seed Bank.
For an additional £2, you can have an Adoption Pack posted (either to you, or direct to a gift recipient) featuring a certificate and a full colour picture of your species (UK only).
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