Researchers went to the Azorean islands to find out if they contained one species of orchid, or two. Instead, they found three, and the third is arguably Europe’s rarest orchid species. Hochstetter’s Butterfly-orchid was rediscovered on the highest ridge of a volcano in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and now researchers are urgently requesting protection for this threatened species.
The research team had originally wanted to focus on studying butterfly orchids on the Azorean archipelago as a simple method for studying the origin of species. They had been systematically investigating each of the nine islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, taking note of how the island orchids had evolved into miniature versions of their Mediterranean ancestors. Continue reading Europe’s Rarest Orchid Rediscovered on Volcanic Island Ridge