Three new hybrid orchids registered with the Royal Horticultural Society
May 1, 2011, Ryukyu Shimpo
Students of the Okinawa Chubu Agricultural High School (Uruma City, Okinawa, principal: Mitsuo Gushiken) have created new hybrid orchids by crossing different wild varieties. These new orchids were registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in England, which is the International Registration Authority for plants such as conifers, clematis, daffodils, dahlias, delphiniums, dianthus, lilies, orchids and rhododendrons.
The students continued research that their seniors had initiated, taking a total of about four years to create the new orchids.
Hoping for the restoration of Japan following the Great East Japan Earthquake, the students registered the orchids’ names as “lequios kukuru (heart of Ryukyu),” “lequios south wind (south wind of Ryukyu)” and “lequios pearl white (pearl of Ryukyu).”
They produced these orchids by crossbreeding D. okinawense Hatusima et Ida, which is indigenous in the northern region of Okinawa and listed as an endangered species, with three different varieties of horticultural orchids.
The students registered the orchids on March 28.
Twenty-five sophomore and junior students majoring in bio-studies in the school’s horticultural science course grew the orchids and succeeded in getting them to bloom.
They discussed the naming of the orchids with former students before making a decision. Particularly, the name of “Lequios Kukuru,” which came into bloom just a day before the Great East Japan Earthquake, reflects their hope that all Japanese will be united and that Okinawan people could send their best wishes to the people in the disaster stricken areas.
Misaki Naka, a junior student of Chubu Agricultural High School, was pleased to comment, “I am glad that we succeeded in giving birth to some new hybrid orchids and registering them like this after we took over the project started by our seniors.”
Kazuki Matsumora, a junior student, said, “It was really difficult growing these new orchids. It is now our turn to pass the baton on to our juniors.”
Reiko Toyama, teacher in the horticulture science course said, “I think that we can protect wild orchids such as D. okinawense Hatusima et Ida by producing more new hybrid varieties. I hope that our students can help stop people taking plants from the wild by doing this kind of conservation activity that only high school students can do.”
Those new hybrid orchids are scheduled to be given away for free – 40 of “lequios pearl white” and 20 each of “lequios kukuru” and “lequios south wind” at the flower shop “Ranran” in Yamakawa, Motobe Town from 2:00pm on May 2.
(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey）
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