A working group from the Forestry Administration under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and officials from the Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment have collected 100 orchid samples and classified them into five different categories.
The Forestry Administration said the collection and sampling was a part of an orchid preservation programme.
The Ministry of Environment has banned the collection and sale of wild orchids to prevent them from going extinct. The ministry has warned that the sale and purchase at large scale of any kind of wild orchids will be prosecuted by the law.
The environment ministry said that orchids that are being sold in most domestic markets have generally been grown in greenhouses, not in the wild, and they are therefore legal.
Cambodia is rich with orchids, possessing about 500 different species of them that have been discovered so far – though some of those are probably extinct now.
Of the orchid species present in Cambodia only 360 of them have been scientifically classified and categorized.
Wild orchids are under threat from those who pick them and export them to sell them abroad, especially to Thailand and Vietnam, though the government lacks accurate figures on how widespread the practice is currently.