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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rare orchid's location is top secret at Maryland preserve in the LA Times

What to do when you find an orchid so rare you are afraid to tell anyone you saw it? Keep it a secret... or try to keep it a secret.

"He would take a reporter to see it only reluctantly, he said, running the risk that the "orchid heads" would sneak out here and trample the delicate habitat. Or worse, haul out a garden trowel and steal the flower away to become a part some private collection rather than the start of a fledgling colony in the wild.

"They come here and search out rare orchids for their own gratification and remove them," Fehrer said. "Some of these folks are real sleuths."

As Wilson continued on the hunt, the sky began to cloud over. Sweat broke through his gray T-shirt as he squatted close to the ground in search of the plant. Suddenly, he stopped.

"Oh my God!" He leaned down and peeked at two thin, unremarkable green stalks with a single slender leaf, no more than about 8 inches high. A deer had most likely come along and chomped the flower and most of the rest of the rare Canby's bog orchid for lunch.

"If I found this today, I wouldn't know it's the hybrid," Wilson said, shaking his head. "I'd probably have to do DNA analysis."

Fehrer leaned back on his heels and smiled. His secret was safe."

Rare Orchid Find at the LA Times

1 comment:

  1. Glad that someone is looking out for it, even if they forgot to tell the Deer how rare it was!


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