Saturday, July 26, 2008

News -

News - "A dedicated wildflower lover, Jennifer Reinoso is especially dedicated to a few small colonies of native terrestrial orchids that grow in the median and alongside U.S. 92 west of Daytona Beach. For five years, with permission and assistance of the Florida Department of Transportation, she has monitored and protected these threatened orchids.

Under her care, they have flourished.

'I love Florida's wildflowers,' she said. 'Many people consider wildflowers nothing but weeds, (but) some of them are quite beautiful when blooming in masses. . . . I hate it when the wildflowers are mowed down!'

Almost a decade ago she became one of some 17,000 drivers a day on U.S. 92 and, on her way to and from work, she noticed occasional single spikes of white and reddish flowers. As a member of the Volusia County Orchid Society for 23 years and an American Orchid Society judge, Reinoso knew they were orchids.

'I am passionate about orchids,' she said.

The white ladies' tresses, while beautiful, are quite common, almost like weeds, said Reinoso of DeLand. But the coral red blossoms in the grass were leafless beaked orchids (Sacoila lanceolata), a threatened species in Florida because their populations -- although present in half the state's counties -- are rapidly declining."

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