Orchids survive the most extreme environments
Christian Ziegler / Minden Pictures This book takes us to the four corners of the globe. Indeed, orchids can acclimatize to various environments, from semi-desert regions to tropical forests through the European scrubland. In this photo, Caladenia Flava sprouted on a pile of coal after a fire in Australia. The Australian rain forests are home to specific species that can adapt to very dry wood.
Pollination or the art of deception
Christian Ziegler / Minden Pictures The scent and shape of the orchid are ways to attract pollinators. Each orchid attracts a type of pollinator (bees, wasps, butterflies, birds like the hummingbird ...). Here, it is the smell of rot that the Masdevallia regina orchid gives off that attracts the scavenger fly. The orchid has several techniques for "trapping" its pollinators. The structure of the flower can trap a bee and thus it is forced to deposit the pollen. Another method is to use food lures and thus imitate the smell of nectar-bearing plants. Otherwise, some orchids can reproduce the smell, appearance or pheromones of female insects to seduce males.
Orchids in tropical forests
Christian Ziegler / Minden Pictures The stanhopea wardii orchid is a species pollinated by orchid bees. This flower is only visible in the highlands of Panama. The tropical forests of altitude have ideal conditions for the development of the orchid, namely a high rainfall, a good solar radiation and a poverty in nutrient. Conversely, low-lying tropical forests experience abundant rain but low light on the ground. Finally, in the mangrove forests, the high salt content of the water and the intense solar radiation create a harsh habitat for orchids except for some which have known how to adapt.