Gardeners' favorites were for most of the previous century, the orchids, at the same time also their problem children.
Was initially true, at the beginning of the "orchid age", put all their attention to the acclimatization and care of the plants, which were imported at great expense, but soon the wish was awakened – reinforced by first 1856 successful hybridization attempts -, a multiplication of these beautiful exotic species, d.h. their cultivation from seeds, to try in your own country. But the tiny orchid seeds just couldn't be germinated in the usual way. Only the sowing in the pots of the mother plant or the addition of a piece of root brought success; however, a causal explanation for this has not yet been given. Step by step the solution was approached. Schleiden had first discovered the root fungus in the native nest root. Truly reported 1886 on the occurrence of fungi in the roots of various orchids.
But only the French researcher Noel Bernard was able to clarify the nature of the mysterious orchid germination, when he provided experimental evidence at the beginning of our century, that orchid seeds only germinate after they have been infected by a certain fungus. The groundbreaking discovery by Bernard and the extensive work of the Würzburg botanist Burgeff on orchid mushrooms opened up new possibilities for horticultural practice: one used fungus-infected substrates for cultivation.
The research results of the American Knudson were also of far-reaching importance, who succeeded, To grow young orchid plants from seeds without the involvement of a fungus on appropriately composed sterile culture media.
An almost revolutionary method of vegetative propagation of orchids has recently made a name for itself: that by the Parisian plant physiologist G. Morel developed meristem culture.