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Atlanta Botanical Garden

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Atlanta Botanical Garden - USA

As a charter member of the GPCA (Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance) and a close collaborator with the GADNR (Georgia Department of Natural Resources), the Atlanta Botanical Garden has been active in plant conservation since the 1980’s.  With the installation of the Fuqua Orchid Center and Center for Conservation and Education in 2002, the garden has taken a leading role in rare plant conservation in the southeastern United States; with a special focus on ecosystems that are inclusive of pitcher plants (Sarracenia ssp.) and orchids.  In 2008 the Atlanta Botanical Garden launched the Georgia Orchid Initiative, a collaborative effort to survey populations of native orchids, develop conservation plans and establish safeguarding mechanisms for priority species.  Since its origin, the Georgia Orchid Initiative has succeeded in conserving several key species, including the Kentucky Lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium kentuckiense), Chapman’s fringed orchid (Platanthera chapmanii), upland spreading pogonia (Cleistiopsis bifaria), purple fringeless orchid (Platanthera peramoena) and monkey face orchid (Platanthera integrilabia).   In addition, seed from identified populations has been banked while we research their propagation. As an Associate Member of OSSSU, ABG strongly believes in safeguarding germplasm of these often rare and fragmented populations of orchids in a world of changing landscapes and climate. As part of the OSSSU team, ABG is dedicated in the long term storage of native orchids in our region, with special attention to wild collected and indexed seed.  Many of these rare orchid species are already in cultivation in ABG facilities, meticulously nurtured from seed, and some of these plants have been used to augment wild populations.  With the help of GPCA members and volunteers, our surveys will undoubtedly turn up additional populations of key species in the near future.  The Atlanta Botanical Garden remains poised and ready for the challenges ahead as a proven leader of orchid conservation in the southeastern United States.