Conservation in South Africa: An Orchidist's Perspective


habitat loss
muthi trade
high biodiversity
private landowners

How to Cite

Grobler, L. (2005). Conservation in South Africa: An Orchidist’s Perspective. Selbyana, 26(1/2), 81–84. Retrieved from


Thus far, the ex-situ cultivation of most South African terrestrial orchids has been largely unsuccessful. This is mainly the result of the close relationships between these orchids and mycorrhizal fungus and their highly specialized habitats. The main aim of conservation in South Africa is to protect and manage centers of high biodiversity. Many rare and endangered species grow in these centers, and it is of utmost importance to manage terrestrial orchid habitats to ensure the survival of important ecosystems and, in particular, the orchids that grow in them. The presentation conveyed an overview of the past, present, and future of conservation efforts in South Africa, with special emphasis given to afforestation (such as converting grasslands to pine plantations) and the muthi (traditional African medicine) trade.


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