Using Native Cyps

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Abgeschickt von Carmen Bruntin am 15 Mai, 2004 um 12:21:10

Dear Michael and Anthony,

To think that orchids cannot become naturalized from other geographic locations is near sighted. I live in Ontario, Canada and my woodlot and meadow have substantial amounts of Epipactis helleborine, an European orchid. They are one of the most common orchids in Ontario (S5 provincial rating). As well we have the European twayblade (Listera ovata)and the European spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza cf. fuchsii).

I read of people planting hybrids of pubescens, reginae, parviflorum, candidum, etc. in North America and these hybrids can backcross with their wild relatives. We all know how well Cypripediums hybridize. Some people grow these hybrids next to wild types increasing the liklyhood of gene transfer between them. For example, Cyp. pubescens that are growing in a garden with the 'Aki' hybrid could potentially backcross and escape cultivation. Can you safely say that this could not happen? In Ontario 1/3 of our flora is introduced! These introductions have negative impacts on our indigenous flora and fauna.

I know of a number of suppliers of Cyp. species that grow their plants from seed. We must look at the orchids we are purchasing to make sure they are laboratory propagated. The roots are usually a tell tale sign of their origin. If we do not buy these wild collected plants people are less likely to sell them.

I guess in Ontario we are blessed with an abundance of beautiful native plants and my natural garden is far from drab!

I am just trying to advocate planting with natural flora.


Carmen Bruntin


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