The Endangered Cape Orchid Project

The Endangered Cape Orchid Project Launched in 2017 as part of the Society’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the ECOP aims to repopulate key areas of the Cape Floristic Region of the Western Cape with endangered orchid species.

Initially, the project will focus on 10 endangered disa species - Disa barbata, Disa spathulata, Disa lugens, Disa purpurescens, Disa multifida, Disa hians, Disa schlecteriana, Disa tenella, Disa draconis and Disa racemosa.

As the project becomes more established, more species will be added to the list. Project objectives

- To repopulate areas of the CFR with indigenous, terrestrial orchid species which are in low abundance, threatened or have become locally extirpated;

- To engage with landowners and communities who house orchids on their land and promote sustainable land-use practices and habitat management that preserves orchid habitat now and in the future;

- Educate the public, land owners and policy makers regarding the diversity and distribution of orchids contained within the CFR and inform about the threats facing these species;

- To become a catalyst for orchid conservation in the Cape, by appealing for more effective protection of orchids and the CFR through multi-scale conservation policies and practices;

- To provide opportunities for academic research into various fields of orchid ecology, biological relationships, biophysical assessments, and social-ecological systems;

- To employ, teach and upskill members of the communities in which indigenous orchids are found with horticultural skills such as seed sowing, germination techniques, propagation and transplanting;

- To develop a community of practice around orchid conservation in the CFR as part of a broader mandate for botanical conservation in the Cape; and

- To be fully accountable, transparent and sustainable regarding project income and expenditure through annual audits, project reviews, sustainable business models and other structures and functions.

If you wish to donate to the cause, there are multiple options to do so.
Project partners and support

The ECOP has partnered with other orchid NGOs and projects to promote orchid conservation in South Africa.
If you would like to join the conservation team on hikes to collect data and samples, or just to see wild orchids in their native habitats, contact Gregg who will add your name to the database.

For anyone wanting to support the ECOP financially, we have created a wishlist of things you could sponsor. We also have a dedicated SnapScan code for anyone wanting to donate directly to the various project components. We look forward to you joining us on our orchid adventures!

Please contact Gregg Brill -

22 Jan 2019

By Gregg Brill