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  • San Diego Zoo

Species Collection

Plants: Species

Orchid: Alexandra Orchid Dendrobium alexandrae

FAMILY: ORCHIDACEAE (Orchid Family)

In the early 1900s, when Rudolf Schlechter explored what is now known as Papua New Guinea, he discovered numerous orchids . He named one especially exotic find after his wife, Alexandra, and brought it back to the greenhouse on their Berlin estate. During World War II, however, their Dendrobium alexandrae was destroyed by the bombing. Fortunately, botanical illustrators had made drawings of Schlechter's rare find, so when another was discovered in Papua New Guinea much later, it was correctly identified.