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Lecture:
Native Orchids: Models for Ecological Interactions, Conservation and Education
presented by Dennis Whigham, Senior Botanist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.


Thursday, April 17, 7:30 pm
Neilson Library Browsing Room

Orchids are one of the three most species rich families of flowering plants. Their diversity is an expression of a multitude of interactions that have resulted in complex life cycles. Whigham will describe orchid life cycles with an emphasis on interaction with mycorrhizal fungi. He will also discuss native orchid ecology, the current status of orchids in North America, and new efforts to assure their long-term survival.

Dennis Whigham sampling orchids

Dennis Whigham

The ecology of plants has been Dennis Whigham's primary interest and his research has resulted in journeys through forests, fields and wetlands around the world. In recent years, studies of interactions between orchids and fungi have taken off in new and exciting directions. Whigham’s current focus is on wetlands, including the role of wetlands associated with juvenile salmon habitat in Alaska; the rarest terrestrial orchid in eastern North America; and invasive species. His current passion is to establish the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC), an initiative of the Smithsonian and the United States Botanic Garden.

Whigham is Senior Botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. He obtained an undergraduate degree from Wabash College and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, joining the Smithsonian in 1977. With his collaborators, he has published more than 225 articles in journals and books and he has co-edited 10 books, including one on terrestrial orchids and a 2009 volume on Tidal Freshwater Wetlands.

Followed by a reception at the Lyman Plant House with the exhibit Theaurus Woolwardiae: Orchid Paintings by Florence Woolward on display in the Church Exhibition Gallery.

   
     
   
Dates of Future Bulb and Chrysanthemum Shows
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