Category Archives: Orchids

Our Orchid House is on its way!

With so many orchid species to be found in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, REGUA is building an Orchid House.   This has been made possible with the generous support of the San Diego Orchid Society and Peter Tobias.   Our aim is  to show visitors some of nature’s best treasures.

There are over 1,000 orchid species to be found in the Serra dos Órgãos region, a reflection of privileged growing conditions, such as the cloud forest along its mountain ridgeline.

The Orchid House – building commences (© Nicholas Locke)

Orchids range in size, colour and perfume with the majority being arboreal but there are terrestrial species as well.   David Miller and Helmut Seehawer were the first to look closely at orchids of this region and between them wrote the definitive book on the species found here. Sadly orchids are commonly known as “parasites” for people associate their living style as totally dependent on hosts for their survival.   The REGUA orchid Cathedral is a miniature shaded garden which will feature examples of the many native orchids and give us the opportunity to explain their secrets to REGUA’s visitors.   It will allow us to show visitors that orchids are very important and part of the ecosystem and indicate the forests are in a good state of health and biodiversity.

Once the Orchid Cathedral is complete, we shall invite Rio’s Orchid Society to help us in the fun part, that of arranging the specimens to make most of their beauty.   We hope our visitors will leave understanding more about these highly evolved plants which are epiphytic and not parasitic, and appreciate that they are the jewels of the forests.

For more information on the book Serra does Órgãos: Its History and its Orchids, follow this link.

 

Orchid and bromeliad garden

The orchid and bromeliad garden under construction at the lodge (© Sue Healey)

One of the newest projects at REGUA is the creation of an orchid and bromeliad garden at the lodge. This is a small area to the side of the lodge veranda and was the brainchild of Nicholas Locke, REGUA’s President.

Huge rocks were delivered earlier this year and moved into place. There are also some well weathered orchid posts which have proved very effective in the front garden of the lodge so we are hopeful that they will soon house flourishing exotics. Bromeliads are already in place – all found on fallen branches around the reserve.

Over time more plants will be added, including ferns, and will provide an excellent opportunity for lodge guests to easily see plants that are only too often found high in the canopy.

The garden is sited along the north wall of the lodge ensuring that the plants are in a shady environment. Netting has been added to give further protection. House Wren and Masked Water-Tyrant are already using the area to search for food and a Yellow-headed Caracara has found a good look-out post!