Orchid Research Center

Orchid Research Center (ORC) was established to conduct scientific studies of living and preserved, wild or cultivated species orchids. Over the years ORC staff and many volunteers have amassed a collection of more than 20,000 taxonomic reference files, a large collection of books on orchid science and horticulture, and a large collection of photographic slides and digital images. Additionally, Selby Gardens’ holdings of more than 28,000 liquid-preserved specimens, some 30,000 pressed and dried orchid specimens, and over 4000 live orchid accessions provide a wealth of materials for many types of studies, including classification, morphology, anatomy, and physiology. Geographically, the ORC is well-represented by collections from Mexico, Central America, Andean South America and Venezuela and has major taxonomic strength in the Pleurothallidinae. Important collectors represented include Carlyle Luer, Calaway Dodson, John T. Atwood, Stig Dalström, Donald D. Dod, Robert L. Dressler, G.C.K. Dunsterville, Rodrigo Escobar, Eric Hágsater, Alexander Hirtz, and Roberto Vásquez..

The ORC is not currently accepting specimens for identification, but its resources are available to qualified students of the Orchid Family. Please contact us for more information.

Useful Taxonomic Links

International Plant Name Index - The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) is a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of seed plants, ferns and fern allies. Its goal is to eliminate the need for repeated reference to primary sources for basic bibliographic information about plant names. The data are freely available and are gradually being standardized and checked. IPNI will be a dynamic resource, depending on direct contributions by all members of the botanical community.  IPNI is the product of a collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens, KewThe Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium

Tropicos Database (Missouri Botanical Garden), TROPICOS® was originally created for internal research but has since been made available to the world’s scientific community. All of the nomenclatural, bibliographic, and specimen data accumulated in MBG’s electronic databases during the past 25 years are publicly available here. This system has over one million scientific names and 3.5 million specimen records.

Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz
- After the death of Dr. Jany Renz in 1999, the University of Basel received his herbarium and library by legacy. The Swiss Orchid Foundation has been established on October 3th, 2001 to maintain this cultural and scientific heritage.

International Orchid Hybrid Register - Unlike most other groups of plants orchids hybridize widely in nature. For the last 150 years they have been widely crossed in cultivation to produce over 110,000 hybrids. Orchid hybrids can involve up to 20 distinct species from up to nine distinct natural genera. The first hybrid was made in 1854 and since that time the International Registration Authority under the aegis of The Royal Horticultural Society has maintained detailed records. The International Orchid Register can be searched by two methods: - Parentage Search can be used to identify any grexes from particular seed and pollen parents. - Grex Name Search can be used to find the parentage of particular grexes.