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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - January 03, 2012

From: Golden, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Rare or Endangered Plants, Seed and Plant Sources
Title: SITES (or CITES) accredited source for native orchids
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Do you know of a nursery which is SITES accredited which offer North American native orchids? I grow as a hobby indoor ones as well as keep my eyes out protecting the outside native ones we have: Spiranthes odorata and Cypripedium parviflora. Thank you.

ANSWER:

I commend you for your care and concern for our native orchids.   Because orchids are beautiful, unusual and generally grow in very specialized habitats, they are rare or uncommon and need our protection.  SITES (Sustainable Sites Initiative) does not currently have a nursery accreditation program; however, I think perhaps you were referring instead to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).  You can search the CITES site for references to orchids; but to my knowledge, they don't do accreditation of commercial retail nurseries. Your best bet for finding reputable conservation-minded orchid sources that are growing the plants from nursery stock and not collecting from the wild is through native orchid associations such as:

Native Orchids of Washington State

The Oregon Orchid Society

The Orchid Conservation Alliance

The Orchid Conservation Coalition

The American Orchid Society

 

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