Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Lifestyle

One million endangered orchids to be planted in South Florida

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 02:15

Apr 23. - In an effort to resurrect orchid populations in South Florida, researchers and botanists plan to germinate and plant one million of the critically endangered plants over the next five years. The project aims to reverse the damage done by urban development that has all but destroyed the region's native species. Ben Gruber has more.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

For Lise Dowdon this moment has been two years in the making. She, along with a team of volunteers, is attaching orchid seedlings to an oak tree in Coral Gables, near downtown Miami. It's the first batch of the critically endangered flowers to be planted as part of an ambitious effort to resurrect orchid populations across South Florida, where decades of urban expansion have almost wiped them out.. To do that, Carl Lewis, the director of the Fairchild Botanical Garden, says he and his team will need to germinate, carefully nurture and attach one million of the tiny plants to trees over the next five years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CARL LEWIS, DIRECTOR, FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, SAYING: "South Florida has about 50 native orchid species which is more than any other region of the United States. Most of those are very difficult to find now, they have been hunted almost to extinction in the wild so really we launched this project in an effort to bring those orchids back." That effort starts here... in Lewis' lab... where seeds, the size of a speck of dust, are placed in sterile bottles filled with nutrients that trigger the plants to start germinating. After a couple of months the plants need to be separated and placed in a second set of bottles for incubation under LED lights. Once the seedlings sprout enough roots, they are moved to the nursery, the first stage of their lives outside of bottles. In total the process can take two years for these fragile plants to mature to the point where they are ready to be attached to trees. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CARL LEWIS, DIRECTOR, FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, SAYING: "We would like to get these up to a critical mass where they can reproduce on their own. Right now the levels have been brought down to such catastrophically low levels that there is really no hope that they will bring their numbers back on their own. This is supposed to be an infusion, to get so many out there that they start reproducing on their own." Lewis says he hopes these news orchids, which will take 5 years to reach maturity once attached to trees, will turn back time on the ecology of South Florida, attracting insects and micro-organisms that haven't part of the local eco-system in decades. He says its painstaking work... but that he and his team are up for the challenge and will continue to bring orchids back to Florida...one seedling at a time.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

One million endangered orchids to be planted in South Florida

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 02:15

Top News »

Investing 201 »

Arian Foster = BlackBerry? Arian Foster = BlackBerry?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 - (3:16)

Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - (2:34)

Copycat currency trading Copycat currency trading

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - (2:28)

When to dump a winner When to dump a winner

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - (1:55)

Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - (2:05)

Why savings interest rates won't budge Why savings interest rates won't budge

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - (2:09)

Buy local? ETFs try the trend Buy local? ETFs try the trend

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - (2:42)

The better bond funds The better bond funds

Wed, Aug 07, 2013 - (2:40)

Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks

Thu, Aug 01, 2013 - (2:24)

Invest like an activist Invest like an activist

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 - (2:49)

Money Clip »

3 things to do before disaster strikes 3 things to do before disaster strikes

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Your must-do money list Your must-do money list

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - (1:24)

The worst "best" financial advice The worst "best" financial advice

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - (1:42)

Forget gold: The case for REITs Forget gold: The case for REITs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - (1:19)

3 rules for buying a house now 3 rules for buying a house now

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - (1:39)

“Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip “Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - (2:50)

3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip 3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - (1:33)

Moving Pictures »

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, Sep 05, 2014 - (2:05)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, Sep 01, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Thu, Jul 03, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)