There has been a lot of discussion on the web regarding CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Speces) and what plants are illegal to import/trade in the United States. Currently, the main problem revolves around Paphs, which are scheduled Appendix I for CITES, especally newly discovered Vietnamese species. All paphs and phrags are on Appendix I, which makes them heavily controlled. In order to be legal, the country of origin for the plants must have allowed exporting of the plant with proper paperwork and identification as to the plants propogated/collected status. Many paph and phrag species are legal, but newly discovered plants are not as many countries of origin have not legally released the plants into propogation/trade. For example, Paph. hangianum is a Vietnamese species which has never been legally exported under the terms of CITES and therefore specimens in the US of both straight hangianum and its hybrids are illegal to possess.

I will be discussing CITES and how it is working to destroy native orchid species worldwide over the next several blog posts. For more in depth discussions of CITES please stay tuned!

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