arethusa

Joined: May 30, 2016 Last Active: Jul 04, 2020

I'm a high school senior with an interest in the phylogeny and classification of orchids and various carnivorous plant species, most notably the pitcher plants (Heliamphora, Sarracenia, Nepenthes, Cephalotus, and Darlingtonia), Pleurothallidinae (Teaguiea, Dracula, Scaphosepalum, etc), and Orchideae (with a focus on Dactylorhiza, Ophrys, and Platanthera). Most of my experience is with the wild orchids of the United States and Canada, but I've branched out somewhat and now make identifications for some European and South American genera.

I've been growing a variety of carnivorous plants in a small greenhouse for several years now, such as Cephalotus follicularis, Drosophyllum lusitanicum, Drosera regia, Nepenthes rajah × veitchii, and Heliamphora tatei "Cerro dulda" × pulchella "Amuri". More recently, I'm now attempting to grow various orchid species, most notably Restrepia sanguinea, Zootrophion dayanum, Lepanthes gargoyla, and Ophrys speculum.

I've been working on a book about the wild orchids of New England and New York for a while now, and many of the photos I will be using have been posted on my iNaturalist account. If all goes well, there will be botanical illustrations (see https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/arethusa/18306-platanthera-grandiflora-versus-platanthera-psycodes for an example of this) to display important morphological characteristics and text for each species, which I am now in the process of writing. Photos of each species will be featured in each section, which are to be organized by genus.

Most people are surprised to hear that I don't intend on becoming a botanist. Rather, I aspire to be a researcher and hope to make contributions to our understanding of chemistry and/or biology. While doing research on other fields, I would like nothing more than to continue exploring the Orchidaceae, getting slightly lost in bogs, swamps, and the like. I think most of you will agree that little can match the excitement of making a discovery in the field. I, for one, wouldn't miss that for anything!

If you want to get in touch with me without using messages via iNaturalist, my contact email is amerorchis1@gmail.com.

View All