New Orchid Population Study Initiated on Saba, N.A.
In late December 2002, EE President Stewart Chipka began a
new orchid study on the island of Saba in the Netherlands Antilles.
Intended to be a prolonged population study and observation of growth
cycles, the project is expected to take at least three years to complete.
Data compiled during the study will be provided to the Saba Conservation
Foundation to support its efforts in expanding awareness of the island�s
variety of tropical flora.
Nine species representing three genera were located in the
initial survey, which lasted several weeks. Using GPS locating, these orchids
are being compiled onto topographic maps for future study;
as more species are located during further field work, they will be
added. This will aid Saba Conservation Foundation in evaluating trail locations
for visitor observation of the indigenous and naturalized orchid populations.
A particularly large population of Epidendrum ciliare, in three forms, was discovered. The typical white flower was found at lower elevations of 800 to 1000 feet. At slightly higher elevations a color change occurred, as the plant population there displayed the conventional white lip with yellow to light green sepals and petals.
Additional species of Epidendrum located were nocturnum,
piliferum, paniculatum, and anceps.
Polystachia foliosa, Octomeria
grandiflora, and a small population of Phaius
tankervilleae were also found. In future
studies it is expected that populations of Bletia, Encyclia and Psychilis will
be located as they come into bloom. Possible Encyclia candidates include
altissima, bradfordii, caicensis and inaguensis, among the other more common
Caribbean native Encyclias.
The study will continue this year as the blooming season
progresses. Stewart�s next trip to the island will be May 19 to 25, following
the Redlands Festival. Any members who are interested in assisting in this study
are welcome to contact Stewart via Encyclia Enthusiasts e-mail:
Questions about this website should be sent to email@example.com