Propagation and Population Augmentation for Platanthera praeclara, A Threatened North American Orchid Species



How to Cite

From, M. M., Gouveia, T., Read, P., & Cano, M. (2005). Propagation and Population Augmentation for Platanthera praeclara, A Threatened North American Orchid Species. Selbyana, 26(1/2), 341–346. Retrieved from


Platanthera praeclara is a threatened orchid native to the central region of North America. The orchid faces multiple threats in the western-most reaches of its native habitat. Federal and state permits allowed research on the ex-situ micropropagation of this species, which is difficult to propagate. The study resulted in lab-produced plants that were used for testing population augmentation. Cell biology and seedling development were documented by scanning electron microscopy to detect any nutrient reserves within the microscopic seeds and to illustrate tissue structure. Field trials were preliminary tests only, to be used as a basis for intervention in the event that the species should face immediate threat of extinction in Nebraska. Experimental field trials were conducted on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in the sandhills of Nebraska. Seedling survival was low for in-vitro produced plants, with mortality particularly heavy in years characterized by drought.


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