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!


At 5:12 p.m., Blogger Sasha@WCOE said...

Cool stuff Jen! Pretty wild about the Paph philippinense and it being used as pig feed!

Did you see much variation in flower striping, color, etc. in the Paph philippinense when they were in bloom in the market?

At 7:59 a.m., Blogger Funkybrewster said...

Thanks Sasha! I didn't notice any obvious variation in the flower but I did see some with variegated leaves that were supposedly pretty rare. P.philippinense was for sale for $1USD but the one with var. leaves was a whopping $20USD!


Post a Comment

<< Home