Keep it in the ground

The Giant Orchid
Here I am back on the blog and hoping to continue posting regularly. I never stopped photographing plants, and there’s a huge list of plants and subjects I’d like to include.This is just to start off, and the title sums up what I feel about this orchid, the first Giant orchid (Orchis géant in French, or Himantoglossum robertianum in botany speak) I’ve seen this year, photographed on the 7th March. It’s such a thrill when the orchids start emerging in spring, and this is one of the earliest. I have written before about this species, which has more names than a serial con-man, here.
So why put it in the spotlight again? Because I want it always to appear as it does in spring, I want it to remain forever in the ground, and the biggest risk to it and many other plants, and in fact to Homo sapiens too, is climate change. If the world’s temperature rises over 2 degrees, the ranges, the habitats, the likelihood of survival of many species will be threatened. I realise that our greatest concern as selfish humans is perhaps not a pretty plant but our food sources, and the spread of diseases such as malaria. But this a botany blog, and this is my excuse to bring to your attention a campaign I signed up to a few days ago – the Keep it in the ground initiative. This makes clear that we have a limited time to urge our governments to action. I expect to return to this theme in posts to come.

Here’s some relief from the serious tone: a remix of Ella singing ‘Too Darn Hot’.



Filed under Himantoglossum, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Keep it in the ground

  1. I’m happy to see you posting again! Welcome back to the blog. I know nothing about botany and little about music, and I love to learn from you. Thank you for coming back.

  2. Well, good, nice to see you back. I’ve missed the botany!
    bonnie in roquebrun

  3. cilshafe

    Croeso nol!
    Climate change is a disaster for many species. Unfortunately even before that kicks in several large colonies of my local orchid (admittedly common early purples) have been trampled out of existence by sheep and cattle, allowed to browse the woodland. I know it’s an ancient practice but it isn’t conducive to a fragile ecology.

  4. Cynthia

    Lovely to see your botany blog again! I’m behind on all kinds of communication, wondering where does the time go, considering I’m retired?!

    I continue to be puzzled by the drive to extract every bit of oil and coal out of the ground now, even when, in the case of the USA, we can’t use all that’s produced. The concept of saving resources for the future seems to have disappeared, killed by “let’s make high profits now so we can buy more stuff.”

  5. botanicalart

    I stumbled across your wonderful blog in April last year when I was staying at La Liviniere and saw so many wild orchids I had never come across in England. I’m back here now and visited your site two days ago after I came across one of the Ophrys sp. and was trying to ID it. And now, with amazing coincidence, you are back on line! How wonderful. I did ID the orchid as Ophrys araneola – Small Spider Orchid – so that’s one more to add to the 20 different species found in late April 2014: 3 days on my hands and knees on the Aude/Ariege border, and 10 days here on the Aude/Herault border. Botanical bliss!

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