Orchid Research Tools

On the internet there are numerous online tools for research regarding orchid species and hybrids. Below are links to some of those tools to help identify species and hybrids, listings of current accepted scientific names and synonyms, and official orchid registration information:

RHS Orchid Hybrid lists   - These are the listing of orchid hybrids that have been registered with the International Register of Orchid Hybrids, also known as Sander's List that is maintained by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) of England.  Each list includes the cross name, parentage and who registered the hybrid, and is available in Adobe Acrobat pdf format.

RHS Orchid Registry search  - This is the search engine for registered orchid hybrids.  Searches are made by entering the genus (scientific name), or the genus and grex (hybrid cross name) of either the pod or the pollen parent.  You can also search to see if a particular grex name has already been registered.

Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families  - This is an international collaborative programme that provides the latest peer reviewed and published opinions on the accepted scientific names and synonyms for 200 plant families, including orchidaceae, the orchid family.

The Plant List  - This is a working plant list of all known vascular plant species including flowering plants, conifers, ferns and their allies, mosses and liverworts.  The list provides accepted Latin names with links to synonyms by which that species has been known.  Searches are made only by using scientific (Latin) names, common names are not included in the list.

World Orchid Iconography (WOI)   - This is the advanced search page for the WOI that is maintained by the Swiss Orchid Foundation and the University of Basel, Switzerland.  This is a database of Dr. Jany Renz's herbarium and library.   It contains images of his herbarium specimens, orchid illustrations from his library and photographs of living plants.   Orchid specialists and photographers are urged to donate herbarium specimens and/or images of new or missing orchid species.

Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia (IOSPE)  - As this says it is a photo encyclopedia that as of November 5, 2017 has pictures of 22,082 species in 856 genera.  Along with pictures is general information about the genera a species belongs to and symbols indicating whether it is fragrant, amount of light it grows in, temperature it grows in, blooming season and size.  This site can be used by anyone, however the author encourages donations to keep it going.

North American Orchid Conservation Center  - This organization was. established by the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Botanic Garden to assure the survival of all native orchids in the United States and Canada.  NAOCC activities include orchid seed and orchid mycorrhizal fungi collections along with restoration protocols for all native orchid species.  This interactive website provides the public a means to identify and learn about the native orchids of the United States and Canada.

Orchid Roots  - This is a new online search engine for orchid hybrid information.  For a hybrid in the list there can be pictures of the flower, pictures of the parents and grandparents and thumbnails of its component species.  Not all listings in this online source include all of that information as this is a work in progress.  Photographers are urged to donate their properly identified photos via a facebook page.  There is no cultural information included.

Epidendra  - The botanical databases of the Jardin Botanico Lankester (JBL) or Lankester Botanical Gardens maintained by Franco Pupulin, Senior Research Professor at the University of Costa Rica.  The databases contain listings of species type descriptions, some with photos; access to publications of JBL staff and research associates from 1960-present; orchid floras of Costa Rica and Panama; orchid flora of the Costa Rican National Parks; and downloadable, detailed image sheets of orchid species from the JBL.

Coelogynes  - This is a website dedicated to Coelogynes and their close relatives.  It is maintained by Kevin Dawes and is based on his own experience with these interesting genera.  Not all species are covered, however the photos and information he does include will be useful to anyone interested in Coelogynes, Dendrochilum and Pholidota, along with Pleione, Bletia, Chelonistele, and Otochilus.

Inaturalist  - This is an international, multi-disciplinary, online database for recording, organizing and/or searching for records of nature sightings and to learn about the natural world. Sightings can be recorded or searches can be made for most anything, such as Protozoans and Diatoms, Molluscs, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Animals and Mammals, Insects or Plants from Fungi and Lichens to Trees. Once a sighting has been added searches can be made based on species, genera, family, location, etc., that will include photos and descriptions of the species included in your search.

Go Orchids Website; - This is a collaborative website developed by the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC). The website contains information about North American orchids along with images that can be searched by state or province. You can also find out about the Orchid-gami projects. The NAOCC holds much of North America's orchid biodiversity by banking orchid seed and mycorrhizae thought to be crucial to orchid seed germination.