Indonesia has a rich biodiversity that includes orchids. Of around 30,000 orchids in the world, some 5,000 are found in Indonesia.
“Indonesia has a high biodiversity, but we have not yet explored them optimally,” said Dean of Faculty of Biology UGM, Dr. Budi S. Daryono,M.Agr., Sc., at UGM on Wednesday (19/10).
Budi said in developed countries, orchids are not only ornamental plants but are used for biomedicine and herbal purposes. While in Indonesia, orchids are not optimally utilised. In the future the orchids should be more used for health, food, ecotourism, and so forth.
“Orchids have to be more explored to be used as medicine raw materials, herbal, and traditional medication,” he said.
To support the preservation of orchids, especially endemic Merapi orchids, Faculty of Biology UGM in collaboration with Culture and Tourism Agency of Sleman Regency, Indonesian Orchids Association of Yogyakarta (PAI), and Mt. Merapi National Park organised Vanda Tricolor Orchids Festival from 15-16 October in Titi Orchid Nursery, Pakem, Sleman.
Chairman of PAI, Dr. Endang Semiarti, said the slopes of Mt. Merapi were rich with endemic orchids that includes the typical Vanda Tricolor. It is unique and fragrant, and has a combination of purple and brownish spots on the petals and yellow in the middle. Unfortunately, this type is getting rare.
“Through this event we hope the Merapi indigenous plants is better known by the general public who would play a role in the preservation of Merapi forest orchids, especially Vanda Tricolor,” said the orchid expert.