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Welcome to the Homepage of the Epiphytic Orchid Projects

Since Darwin’s book on orchid pollination, Orchidaceae, one of the most diverse family in the plant kingdom with 700 to 800 genus and 20 000 to 30 000 species described, have been regarded as one of the most intriguing and attractive plant families. Most orchid species occur in the tropics, where they account for a large part of epiphyte diversity. In Central Africa, for example, 70% of the epiphyte flora belong to this family, and our experience in this region has shown that ca. 90% of epiphytic orchids encountered in the field are sterile when collected and therefore nearly impossible to identify. To overcome this obstacle, a shadehouse cultivation system has been established by Tariq Stévart in Central and West Africa (Gabon, Cameroon, Guinea, DRC and São Tomé), in Madagascar (Ambatovy) and Indonesia (Halmahera) to obtain fertile, identifiable material of orchids.

This network set up in collaboration with African and international partners has proved to be an efficient and cost effective sampling procedures for epiphytes, yielding high quality liquid specimens photos, and more recently leaf tissue for phylogenetic analyses and root tissue for cytological analyses and the study of mycorrhizae.

The Epiphytic Orchid Projects aims to provide the information and the experience gathered using the shadehouse newtwork.

We used the Tropicos database to manage living plants records from the shade house network in Africa and Indonesia, and specimens collected in the field or in the shadehouse. For some specimens and living plants, the entry is associated with in situ photos of plants in their natural habitat and/or in the shadehouses where they are being cultivated, all of which will facilitate ongoing research and will provide valuable information for the target user groups.

Hebergeur d'image

The Epiphytic Orchid Projects Shadehouse Network

Using the Epiphytic Orchid Projects page

The pale orange horizontal Menu Bar provides access to basic search functions and standard TROPICOS links, while links on the pale orange vertical Navigation Bar provides links to data browsing options, photo gallery, advance search options and to different projects of Orchidaceae conservation. A quick search for any plant name can most conveniently be made from the Taxon Search box on the Navigation Bar.

Epiphytic Orchid Projects Partners & Sponsors

Missouri Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden

US National Science Foundation

Herbarium et Bibliothèque de Botanique Africaine

Institut pour la Recherche et le Développement

American Orchid Society

We welcome feedback, please contact:
Tariq Stévart and Peter Phillipson.

Orchids of Central Africa

Additional content can be found on the Orchid of Central Africa Website. This website includes scientific names, distribution data, photos, interactive identification keys, web links, and references. This interactive photographic guide can help you to identify orchid species from tropical Africa. The database currently comprises information on about 300 illustrated orchid species, many of them pictured in our African shadehouse network or in the field. In its initial phase it encompasses those species listed for central Africa in the World checklist of Orchidaceae of Kew Gardens, as well as those recorded by more recent publications and by our network of regional experts.

Links to Other Key Resources

The Plant List
African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science (ex Aluka)
Flore Numérique d'Afrique Centrale
MBG Projects in Africa
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website
Conspectus of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar
Gazetteer to Malagasy Botanical Collecting Localities

Last update: 28 march 2014

Citation of this database:
Epiphytic Orchid Projects, . Epiphytic Orchid Projects. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, U.S.A. [http://www.tropicos.org/Project/Orchids. Accessed: , ].

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