The New York Botanical Garden maintains the highest horticultural standards of orchid conservation, working tirelessly to ensure the preservation of the Orchidaceae family—the most varied in the plant kingdom.
In spite of strict international regulations, many wild orchids today are under severe threat of extinction from overcollection, poaching, and destruction of their native habitats. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is an agreement between governments to ensure that international trade of wild plant and animal specimens (and products made from them) does not threaten their survival.
In accordance with this agreement, all such shipments must be properly documented. In the case of live plants, it must be shown that the plants have been bred in cultivation and not taken directly from the wild, thus potentially harming rare species. Improperly documented shipments are seized at international borders and sent to Plant Rescue Centers (PRC), which have proper facilities to care for them. As a designated PRC since 1990, The New York Botanical Garden has received and tended thousands of plants through this program.
Set Out on a Virtual Orchid Expedition
Help see how you can help scientists better understand and conserve the biodiversity of the Orchidaceae family. Two amazing new virtual expeditions put orchids in the spotlight, and invite you to take part in helping us digitize a variety of specimens past and present, from the native species of New York State to the tree-dwelling varieties of the Andes Mountains.