9 December 2013. To the botanical garden orchid collection.
We met Ed de Vogel at the recently restored hothouse complex of the botanical garden. The banana plants were flowering.
Eleven plant species are named after De Vogel. also two species of seashells; which he studied before specializing in botany.
He said that now, about 3000 New Guinea orchid species are known. Maybe still a thousand species there are unknown yet.
De Vogel estimates that, all over the world, there are about 30,000 orchid species; a higher estimate than Wikipedia, which estimates, at least today, “between 21,950 and 26,049″ species. De Vogel’s estimate makes orchids the biggest flowering plant family; more numerous than Asteraceae.
Most orchids are epiphytes, growing on shrubs, or high in trees. A minority, including all species native to the Netherlands, grow on ground level.
One of the species in the hothouses is Grammatophyllum speciosum, the biggest orchid species in the world.
A bit further, a related species: Dendrobium spectabile.
In all the botanical garden hothouses together, there are about 3000 orchid species; some not yet described. Mainly from South East Asia; making Leiden botanical garden the garden with most South East Asian orchids in the world.
Bulbophyllum medusae is flowering. Various orchids flower in the hothouses throughout the year; never all at once.
Dendrobium victoria-reginae is originally from the Philippines. It was named after Queen Victoria of England.
In a small aquarium in the non-accessible part of the building, many small fish. And three axolotl salamanders: two whitish, one brownish. Will they be exhibited in a bigger aquarium, visible for the public, again, like before the reconstruction of the hothouses. Yes, says Ed de Vogel.
This video says about itself:
Axolotl salamanders continue to intrigue researchers
15 June 2011
Students and professors at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois are studying axolotl salamanders. They are trying to discover why some of the salamanders appear to hold air in their lungs while continuing to get oxygen through their gills. The lungs full of air make the salamanders float to the surface, and the students call them “Floaters.”
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- Rarest Orchid Species Rediscovered! Recognized After 173 Years (designntrend.com)
- Orchids in Ceramic Art (firingtheimagination.wordpress.com)