A grassroots movement towards orchid conservation


Grande Ronde Overlook Wildflower Institute Serving Ecological Restoration (GROWISER), La Grande, Oregon

The GROWISER native plant preserve was originally founded in 1993 as a non-profit corporation to preserve a pristine 160 acre site in northeastern Oregon.  GROWISER’s mission is to 1) preserve the site, 2) grow seeds of native plant species for restoration, and 3) provide ecological education.  Included among the 190 native plants on the preserve, are nine orchids: Cypripedium montanum (mountain lady's slipper), Calypso bulbosa (fairyslipper), Piperia elegans (elegant piperia), Piperia elongata (denseflower rein orchid), Spiranthes romanzoffiana (hooded lady's tresses), Goodyera oblongifolia (western rattlesnake plantain), Corallorrhiza maculata (summer coralroot), Corallorrhiza striata (hooded coralroot), and Cephalanthera austiniae (phantom orchid).  Restoration efforts have been most extensive for the mountain lady’s slipper.  Seeding into the natural environment has been done since 1993.  Over 2500 individual plants are now being followed annually, to determine the details of the orchid’s life cycle.  Recently, artificial flasking has been undertaken so mountain lady’s slipper plants may be commercially available within a few years. 
It is hoped that the GROWISER model will be used to establish many more orchid preserves. 

The Observer, La Grande, Oregon newspaper article "GROWISER: The Wild Garden"

 GROWISER     contact: Andy Huber