Re-introduction S. aestivalis

Objective of this project is to re-introduce S. aestivalis in a sustainable fashion at historical growing sites in The Netherlands.

In 1873 Spiranthes aestivalis was discovered in The Netherlands for the first time. Until 1936 is was found in damp oligotrophic habitats in the Southern part of the country. In total 13 sites were identified. S. aestivalis disappeared in 1936 due to dewatering and overfertilization. In recent times some of the original habitats have strongly been improved by effective nature management and are considered suitable again for S. aestivalis.

The best site has – by thorough investigation – proven to be the ‘Urkhovense Zeggen’, a natural reserve East of the city of Eindhoven. The vegetation (including other orchid species) resembles the historic S. aestivalis sites, it is oligotrophic with a weak basic seepage and has characteristics of the Campylio – Caricetum dioicae association. Moreover the soil is rich in (orchid) mycorrhizae. It is realised that for a successful re-introduction the availability of more sites would be desirable. We are in serious search for such sites and have several candidates in mind.

Results (per january 2022):

Seeds were collected at the end of August 2021 and several hundreds of seedlings have been obtained. Symbiotically grown seedlings will be potted before the summer of 2022, asymbiotically grown seedlings in 2023.
See for details the Project Report #1:

Organisations involved in the project are:

  • WEO Werkgroep Europese Orchideeën (Dutch Society European Orchids, NL)
  • VOV Vereniging Orchideeën Vermeerdering (Dutch Society of Orchid Propagation, NL)
  • Levend Archief (Dutch organisation for the preservation of plant seeds, NL)
  • Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden (NL)
  • Radboud University, Nijmegen (NL)
  • VOV (Dutch Society Propagation of Orchids,NL)
  • CBNBrest
  • DREAL Normandie; DREAL des Pays de la Loire (France)
  • Lessay, Commune de La Feuille (Manche, France)
  • La Flèche, Commune de la Flèche (Sarthe. France)
  • Gemeente Eindhoven (NL)
  • Science4Nature (NL)