Epiphyte Research Project
Conservation is a very important part of our work at Caves Branch Botanical Garden. Too many plants disappear even before they have a chance to be discovered due to the increasing agricultural development and deforestation of Belize.
In 2014 we initiated a collaborative project with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Florida and University of Belize with the goal of bringing awareness and protection to the native epiphytes of Belize. Epiphytes are plants growing on other plants, and the most commonly known epiphytes are Orchids, Bromeliads and Ferns.
As the result of our collaboration the international databases from other botanical gardens were analyzed and areas that needed more exploration were determined. We went on the series of the expeditions to fill in the gap in the existing botanical knowledge. As the result, we collected over 3,000 living and dry specimens and took thousands of photographs to document the diversity of epiphytes of Belize.
Currently we are working on processing the data, identification, writing reports to the Forestry Department and creating materials that can be used by plant enthusiasts, students and rangers.At this point we want to offer you the opportunity to see some of our work in progress.
Please feel free to use those materials and share.