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Swiss Orchid Foundation
at the Herbarium Jany Renz

Dr. Christoph Noelpp
St. Jakobs-Strasse 30
4002 Basel

© 2015 Swiss Orchid Foundation

Botanical Institute
University of Basel

Welcome to the website of the Swiss Orchid Foundation

Since 2001 the Swiss Orchid Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Basel, cares for the cultural and scientific legacy of the outstanding Swiss amateur orchid taxonomist Dr. Jany Renz, which consists of an extensive and scientifically important orchid herbarium and a large and almost comprehensive orchid library. The Foundation is a charitable institution funded solely by private donations and organised events. Its aim is to maintain and to curate Renz’s lifework, to make the collection available to a worldwide audience, and to promote knowledge of and the study of orchids worldwide.

World Orchid Iconography

In order to make Jany Renz’s herbarium and library available to the public, Samuel Sprunger and Thomas Renz of the Swiss Orchid Foundation started the World Orchid Iconography (WOI), a large database, where images of all his herbarium specimens, orchid illustrations from his library and photographs of living plants can be accessed on the Internet. It also incorporates important information linked to the images. The database is adding further photographs, which are made available to us by many orchid specialists and photographers, with the aim of eventually including images of all described orchid species. To reach this goal, we rely on the cooperation with many orchid enthusiasts and specialists around the world.

Meanwhile, the World Orchid Iconography has become a powerful tool for scientists, enthusiasts, and growers worldwide for access to visual and nomenclature information on orchids. All images of the WOI are downloadable for free and can be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with our copyright policy.


RENZIANA, a bilingual (Engl./ Ger.) orchid journal, is published annually by the Foundation, with contributions from experienced plant scientists, enthusiasts, and growers. Each issue comprises a brief monograph of a selected genus or breeding group of orchids, including topics like the most recent classification, history, ecology, and culture. Every issue is richly illustrated with high-quality colour pictures of all species of the genus and additional pictures of orchid habitats, ecology, hybrids, etc. Recent issues dealt with the genera Cypripedium, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis, Vanda, and Cattleya and can be purchased on our website.


The Foundation awards annually the Swiss Orchid Research Award (SORA) to an outstanding orchid scientist for continuing research in the fields of evolutionary and reproductive biology, taxonomy, anatomy, physiology or ecology of orchids.