TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Orchid breeders from the hamlet of Turgo in Sleman, Yogyakarta, have discovered two suspected new variants of orchids endemic to the slopes of Mount Merapi.
"The orchids were discovered two weeks ago on the cliffs of Krasak River," said an orchid breeder from Sleman, Musimin, on Tuesday.
According to Musimin, the newly-discovered strains have been secured to be bred in captivity —one of which were taken by its founder. "The new strains were found by locals of Tunggul Arum, Wonokerto in Turi District, off the cliffs that jut on Krasak River," he said.
Musimin said that both strains had yet to be confirmed as unique and previously undiscovered, as both have yet to flower. "We have yet to name the orchids. Once we manage to breed it, we will know for sure," he said.
The breeder said that the two recent discoveries brought the number of his orchid collection to 75 varieties—it is known that there are at least 91 orchids that are native to the slopes of Mount Merapi.
"Once the plant is hardy enough to be reintroduced to its natural environment, we will begin a reintroduction program across forests around the slopes of Merapi," said Musimin.
Breeders across the region is often helped by Yayasan Kanopi and the Mount Merapi National Park Agency in their efforts to breed and reintroduce orchids endemic to the area, as well as the Sleman Agency for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (BPPK).
"We facilitate their efforts by inviting local breeders to exhibitions that showcase orchids endemic to the area," said Sleman BPPK chief Rofiq Andriyanto.