Rare orchid named after a coffee!

Miko's orchid

A blend of coffee which is widely sold in coffee-houses around Britain has received the unlikely honour of having a newly-discovered orchid named after it.

The coffee is Puro, a Fairtrade blend by the Miko group, and the Teagueia Puroana orchid was discovered in a rainforest which has been bought for conservation purposes by the coffee group.

Puro is the ‘ethically-sourced’ coffee from Miko, the long-established European coffee group which has grown rapidly in the UK, mainly by acquisition of independent local companies – it now has ten UK sites, and stretches from Redruth in Cornwall to Scotland.

For the past five years, Miko has donated two per cent of the revenue from Puro coffee to the World Land Trust, and this partnership has paid for rainforest reserve in Ecuador which covers five thousand acres, with a similar project in Brazil to come.

A world-renowned botanist, Dr Lou Jost, discovered the new orchid species while trekking in the Cerro Candelaria reserve in central Ecuador. The orchid is endemic to the high mountains of the upper Rio Pastaza watershed, and is a member of one of the most remarkable plant radiations in the world.

The same botanist, trekking with a representative of the coffee company three years ago, discovered a new tree species which was later named Blakea attenboroughii after Sir David Attenborough, a patron of WLT.

The Miko project has also turned up eleven more previously-unknown orchids, and a formerly-undiscovered species of frog.

In the UK, Puro coffee is sold through many independent cafes, and also sold through the National Trust – every coffee sold in the 150 National Trust catering outlets directly contributes to the work being carried out by the World Land Trust.

This news from Boughton’s Coffee House magazine: http://www.coffee-house.org.uk


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