Orchids of New Guinea website launched featuring over 2700 species

Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens is pleased to share the announcement of the launch of a website dedicated to documenting and featuring the incredibly diverse array of orchid species that are found in New Guinea. The website (http://www.orchidsnewguinea.com/) is a collaboration of works done by three passionate individuals, Dr Eduard De Vogel from Leiden, Netherlands, Mr Neville Howcroft from Rabaul, PNG and Wolfgang Bandisch from Port Moresby, PNG.

Congratulations to these three gentlemen for their hard work that showcases the Orchids of New Guinea to the world online, including 134 genus and over 2700 species descriptions along with accompanying photos of these beautiful plants.

From the website:

‘The huge and, in many ways, mysterious island of New Guinea is home to some of the most beautiful creatures in the world. Most notably birds-of-paradise and birdwing butterflies inhabit the dense forests that still cover large tracts of the plains and the rugged mountain ranges. New Guinea also harbours a tremendous collection of orchids, certainly in excess of 2000 species. They can be found almost anywhere, from the hot mangrove swamps and beach forests to the chilly grasslands above the timberline on the highest mountains. In the misty upland forests their abundance and diversity can be staggering.

Even today our knowledge of most of these orchids is very poor. On the one hand most genera have never been revised. When this will be done many synonyms will undoubtedly come to light. On the other hand it is equally certain that a great number, probably hundreds, of species still await discovery, or at least await description in case they are lying unrecognised in some herbarium. It is therefore impossible at this stage to give an accurate estimate of the number of species occurring in New Guinea. A safe guess would be somewhere between 2700 and 2800 species, or to put it differently: ten to thirteen per cent of the world’s orchids are to be found in New Guinea. Only some areas in the Andes are probably richer in orchid species than New Guinea.

This is where the Orchids of New Guinea website fills the gap – in addition to the huge gallery of orchid images, the Orchids of New Guinea website also contains 134 genus and just over 2700 species descriptions.’

Gardens partnership helps Sister City flourish: Cairns Regional Council

Cairns, Australia, 17th November, 2016Recently Lae Botanic Gardens Curator, Mr Michael Lovave visited Cairns to share his experience in Lae and learn from the management practices of the Cairns Botanical Gardens. We are thrilled to have been welcomed by our sister cuty Cairns and looked forward to engaging further in the future. This media release and photos are courtesy of Cairns Regional Council. This visit was also reported on by the Cairns Institute and other media outlets which are included in this article.

Cairns is providing a helping hand to re-establish a botanic garden in its Sister City Lae, Papua New Guinea.

The curator of the Lae Botanic Gardens is in Cairns this week to meet with his Cairns Botanic Gardens counterparts and to share botanical knowledge and ideas.

Michael Lovave arrived in Cairns on Monday as part of an innovative partnership involving the two gardens along with The Cairns Institute and the Australian Tropical Herbarium at James Cook University.

“Cairns Botanic Gardens is renowned for having one of the best exhibitions of tropical plants in Australia,” Mayor Bob Manning said.

“Having been closed for many years, the Lae Botanic Gardens has recently re-opened, thanks to the efforts of volunteers and sponsors.

“We are pleased to be able to offer assistance to our nearest Sister City as they redevelop and grow their gardens for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.”

While in Cairns, Mr Lovave is meeting with Cairns Botanic Gardens staff to discuss a range of best-practice methods that could be incorporated into the Lae gardens management.

Lae-Botanic-Gardens-Curator-Michael-Lovave-explores-the-Cairns-Botanic-Gardens-with-his-Cairns-counterpart-David-Warmington._1

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He will in turn share his own experiences and botanical knowledge with Cairns.

Cr Manning said it was a group of dedicated volunteers that had been behind the visit.

“It’s with thanks of the Friends of the Cairns Botanic Gardens that this visit has been able to go ahead,” he said. “With JCU, the Friends have sponsored Mr Lovave’s visit to Cairns, assisting with his travel expenses.

“They have also fostered a new friendship with the Friends of Lae Botanic Gardens, further enhancing our Sister Cities relationship.”

Mr Lovave will also spend two days at the Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH) at James Cook University, where he will share botanical knowledge with local researchers.

“As the two landmasses were once physically joined when sea levels were lower, Papua New Guinea and Australia share a rich botanical history,” ATH Director Professor Darren Crayn said.

“We look forward to showing Mr Lovave the Herbarium’s research collection, which documents a lot of that shared history, as well as learning more about his part of the tropics.”

Cairns Institute Director Professor Stewart Lockie said Mr Lovave’s visit was an opportunity to discuss possible collaboration between The Cairns Institute, ATH, and PNG research organisations including the Forest Research Institute.

-END-

Lae Botanic Gardens Bloom Again, feature in Paradise Magazine

The re-opening of the Lae National Botanic Gardens has certainly made a splash in the PNG media, with a feature article in the widely distributed and read Air Niugini Paradise Magazine, Volume 2, January 2016.

With words and pictures provided by Lae resident, Gemma King, the article provides an excellent overview of the work that has ben done as part of the Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens Advancement Program, the author also provides some interesting insight into the history of the gardens, their place in Lae’s history and her own family’s connection to this once thriving public space.

‘Once regarded as one of the most spectacular and diverse botanic gardens in the world, it is true to say that over the past decade Lae’s leafy crown has fallen on sad times. That is, until recently. Gemma King looks at the history of the iconic gardens and how they are being restored to their former brilliance.’

You can read the full article here. You can also find out more about Lae and read more of Gemma’s work on the comprehensive www.rainylae.com website. Our thanks to Gemma for crafting such a comprehensive, insightful and positive article about the gardens.