Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Philippine Orchid Experience

I spent the month of January this year in the Philippines. I went mainly to surf but also took some time to indulge in my orchid obsession. I travelled around the island of Luzon, spending most of the time on the coast where I continually went in search of orchids in the wild. I didn't have much luck so I turned to my hardcover orchid text that I carted around with me for some help ("The Orchids of the Philippines" by Jim Cootes, a very good reference). To my disappointment I found out that the author "...has never observed any orchid species growing in the coastal forest...", and realized then that in order to find some wild orchids I'd have to leave the waves and the beaches.

Fortunately I didn't have to go too far, and I found my first wild Philippine orchid on a hike to a local waterfall. I identified it as Trichoglottis latisepala.

I was very excited about my first orchid discovery but things kind of went dry after that and I only found 2 others in the wild. The first photo is Dendrobium yeageri which was found randomly, and the next 2 photos are Spathoglottis plicata which was found in a nature reserve.







When I only had a few days left of my adventure I decided to do it the easy way and went to the "Orchidarium" in Manila to satisfy my orchid needs. It is a place in Manila that everyone should visit, when your inside surrounded by orchids and other tropical flora the smell and sounds of city traffic almost dissappear.

An interesting one that stood out was the small and inconspicuous Dendrobium distichum (first photo). The second photo is also a Dendrobium, D. amethystoglossum. Isn't the diversity of the genus amazing?

13 Comments:

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Naomi @ WCOE said...

I love that picture of you at the Orchidarium!!

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger Sasha@WCOE said...

Great pictures of the plants in the wild!

 
At 7:13 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Those are beautiful! I love orchids but I am too untalented to make them grow. *sheepsih face*

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger pol said...

As always, spectacular photos.

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger Chan said...

Nice pics.

 
At 11:22 PM, Blogger christina said...

D. distichum - so tiny, so cute! D. amethystoglossum is pretty too, with a nice surprise of pink inside the yellow-greenish package. Thanks for sharing!

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger DarkAngel said...

Orchids are so beautiful...

I used to live in S*pore and they always made such an issue about 'em!

 
At 4:02 AM, Blogger Selba said...

My mom loves orchids very much. She has a garden of orchids plus also other plants on the top of our roof.

 
At 7:54 AM, Blogger Vassilissa said...

I am really lucky to have found this blog, as I did something very risky two weeks ago: I transplanted three baby orchids ("common" phalaenophsis, though). The fact is, two years ago their "mother" misteriously decided, after a long flowering, to have children... I was astonished, but nevertheless I exercised my patience, and waited till the little plants seemed to me strong enough to resist the shock of transplanting. Now the "mother" is about to die, and so I felt compelled to sever the children from the mother. I do not hope too much, but - who knows? Maybe some of them will survive, after all. Kisses.

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger andy said...

looks like a good time anyways. A friend of mine just gave me a book of Taiwanese orchids, so I'm going to have to get out there in the hills and do some looking. The guy that gave me the book saw one in the ground and a few others hanging in the trees. I've never seen an orchid growing on its own, so we'll see what happens. I really like your site, and thanks for adding me to your list.
thanks

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger jenn@WCOE said...

vassilissa - your baby orchids should survive fine. I'd hold back on watering & fertilizing for at least 10 days after you transplanted them (or so I read in the books) and keep them in a shadier place for a couple weeks to let the roots get established in their new home. Good luck and its a pity you lost the mother.

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger I am the wind said...

I have just found this blog and am very excited about it! It looks wonderful so far. I do have a question though... I am going to Aruba in June and was wondering if anyone knew of 1) what species of orchids I should look for and 2) what might be a good resource for locating orchids in their natural habitat. I was in Roatan Island (also in the Caribbean) a couple of years ago and was lucky enough that the person I was staying with had some wild orchids growing naturally on his property. They even bloomed the day before I left...I felt so priviledged!

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger jenn@WCOE said...

When I was in the Barbados I found a book called "Native Orchids of the Eastern Caribbean" that was a small yet really informative guide. The author is Julian Kenny and you can probably find it on the internet. That may help you when your looking for orchids in Aruba. Although there are terrestrial orchids most will probably be found growing on trees so my advice is to look up when looking for native orchids. There are also other plants that can serve as indicators (like bromeliads) that you can keep your eye open for. Good luck!

 

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