Sunday, June 24, 2007

Native orchid update

It's been a while since I last posted anything... some native orchids are out in bloom right now like my Dad's Dactylorhiza species that had a incredible showing this year. It isn't native to the West Coast, but grows here no problem. My Dad got this plant from Thimble Farms on Saltspring Island which specialize in native orchids that can grow out here on the west coast.

A true native species to the west coast that is just finishing blooming these days is Corallorhiza species commonly known as the coral root orchid.
A native species that one should keep an eye out for is Goodyera oblingifolia which is just putting out spikes.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Chapter 2: An orchid conservation project...

I visited the site and progress of a new orchid conservation project in the Philippines called 'The Orchid and Plant Species Conservation and Livelihood Program'. It is a project aimed at both conserving Philippine species and providing people living in orchid habitats with a source of income. Species will be sourced through donation or rescue programs and people in the community will be given the skills and opportunity to cultivate, propagate and eventually sell these species. In addition, propagated plant will also be considered for species re-introduction. Overall, the project hopes to conserve orchid and plant species through reducing the dependence on wild-collection for the ornamental trade, and the efforts of plant rescue, propgation, and re-introduction.

A local orchid specialist lecturing on orchid culture and conservation inside the orchid house that has been built in one of the communities

This is me entering the orchid house, excited about seeing the progress that the community has made with orchid species cultivation.

For more information, visit the Philippine Orchid Society at: and read the article I wrote for their newsletter and website.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chapter 1: A day at the Sunday market...

I just arrived back from 6 weeks of research with orchid conservation in the Philippines. To us orchid enthusiasts, and hopefully others, an important topic indeed. Orchids are popular ornamentals in the Philippines, and as of today most species are still collected from the forest. Consdering that the Philippines has some 1000 different species of orchids (!), this wouldn't be much of an issue, however rampant deforestation and destructive natural calamities exacerbate the decline in species populations. And to make matters more serious, it is estimated that 75-90% of the orchids of the Philippines are endemic, which means a loss of these species is a global loss in biodiversity. Want to know what I found out? Then stay in touch because this is a continuing saga!

I surveyed the markets of Metro Manila and found a number of orchids of which I will continue to post to the blog. For now, here's a few:

Arachnis longicaulis, aka the spider orchid

Spathoglottis plicata, a terrestrial commonly used in landscaping

Phalaenopsis equestris, a beautiful miniature

Paphiopedilum philippinense - this grows so abundantly that Cebuanos (people of Cebu island) use the leaves as pig feed! Obviously not needed on CITES appendix I !

Dendrobium uniflorum, aka popcorn orchid

Dendrobium anosmum, or sanggumay in Tagalog. One of the Filipinos favorite orchids, and very fragrant!

The average price of orchids at the sunday market - 1$ ! If it wasn't for CITES, and the fact that I was there to support orchid conservation not wild orchid collection of course, I would have come back with a suitcase full!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Orchid update for Jenn - Pt. 2

Jenn's cymbidium is also in bloom out front in our entrance way. During the afternoon when the sun is warm, the scent of the blooms fills the entrance way - which isn't very large - but is still very pleasant!

Jenn's Paph argus is also in bloom right now. I love the purple gel-like spots and hairs!