Rare Ochid found near Blancaneaux Lodge

Posted 09-23-09 at 12:01 PM

Roni Martinez, who works on Natural History and Conservation at Blancaneaux Lodge recently identified what turned out to be a very rare orchid. Below is the note we received from him the following day:

“I was headed to the Belize Botanic Gardens (BBG) in order to get a bit more info on the blooming periods of

Belizean Orchids. As I was chatting with Brett, the records keeper at the BBG, I showed him photos of a couple of the orchids I had seen around our area.  He was surprised on the amount of orchids we are neighbors with.  I had previously sent him some photos of an orchid I saw blooming at Howler Hill and which I could not identify.  Brett in turn sent it to Brendan Sawyers from the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Ireland (NBG).

To my surprise, this turned out to be a rare orchid.  My photo was only the second recording of the orchid in the country.  NBG and BBG made a joint expedition into the Chiquibul in 1997, where they encountered this orchid for the first time in Belize.  This orchid, Oncidium subcruciforme, is rather common at Howler Hill, but rare in the Chiquibul from where it was previously found.

Yet another point for Howler Hill on its long list of biodiversity awards!”