Enchanting Blooms of the Fairy Sanggumay

Fairy Sanggumay is also known as dainty sanggumay, lesser sanggumay, salome, latigo, pink purple rain, hooded orchid and cow lip orchid in the Philippines.

Scientifically called Dendrobium aphyllum, This is one of the most common orchids grown in homes, resorts, farms and used as landscape to accentuate old trees.

There is a faint smell and the small size flowers does not last long under Metro Manila conditions. However when grown en mass, this orchid species can give a spectacular display during its blooming season.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Tmdh8yTuhibaaWCA9

Dendrobium aphyllum grown in a jackfruit tree

Some growers are quite enchanted in growing this orchid species in other parts of Asia like Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, China and are grown en mass.  They believe that it bring good luck to the growers and attracts good chi to their businesses or property.

Origin of the names: Fairy, Dainty or Lesser Sanggumays

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ccgRmVtYZFt9XRsU8

Dendrobium aphyllum clump grown in Nueva Viscaya

Ordinary backyard hobbyists would refer this under different common names, fairy sanggumays because they looked like miniature fairies flying or dainty sanggumays orchids since they are pale in color.

Some growers would also call this as “lesser sanggumay”  since their flowers are not that big and not stenchy compared to the larger and more pungent smelling Dendrobium anosmum.

Sanggumays got its root word from two Tagalog words, ” Sangsang” – which means nauseating ,overpowering, stench (smell), putrid and “Umay” or ” Gumay”  meaning tired-some, surfeit , satiety.

Some backyard growers would also refer some pendulous types of orchid species like Dendrobium heterocarpum, Dendrobium rhombeum, Dendrobium bullenianum collectively as sanggumays.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/RVqSTjUp3d84TqRZ9

Dendrobium aphyllum mounted on a macopa tree

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Dendrobium aphyllum naturalized in a mango tree

In several decades of growing this orchid species, We notice that this prefer host trees with rough bark like duhat, mango, talisay, chico, caimito, jack fruit, lansones, acacia and macopa. This also prefers coconut and manila palm.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/mRhPP96Zx2JQhGCe9

Dendrobium aphyllum bigger sepals and petal and roundish lip

Dendrobium aphyllum that was given to the author by Mrs. Adelina Almirol from Marikina few years ago in 2014 with rather large lip, roundish petals and sepals. Which makes this type an outstanding clone.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/xAvi5ESFiLe55eNu5

Dendrobium aphyllum naturalized on to a mahogany tree in Santa Fe, Nueva Viscaya

Fertilization and Care

Try to put a small amount of slow release fertilizer during its growing season sewn into a small cloth then alternating a fertilization program with a doze of water soluble fertilizer 20N-20P-20K diluted into 1/4 of the strength, micro-nutrient, epsom salt and calcium two weeks after blooming until past September or October. We change fertilizer formulation to 10N- 30P-30K during late- September to mid-November to make the pseudobulb/ stems stronger and in preparation for its rest and blooming season.

Another way to grow this orchid species is by mounting them on to an Asplenium nidus or Asplenium musifolium. These fern species can be a perfect symbiotic relationship with these orchid species. the fern’s black roots can hold some moisture for a longer time.

Watering is gradually reduced to a minimum from late December until early February when the cold season or dry season starts.

One can be rewarded with these dainty blooms or the fairy sanggumay in the next blooming season.

Happy Growing !!!

Sources and References:

Kew Garden of Life : Catalog of Life

Personal communication with growers

A Guide to the Dendrobium of the Philippines, Cootes and Tiong 2015

Philippine Native Orchid Species, Cootes, 2009

 

 

Mother’s Day Treats from Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel which is known for its five star ambiance and historical nostalgia pulls all the stops to still be able to give her a memorable celebration of  Mother’s Day this sunday May 10, 2020.
In this new normal, one way to celebrate the special day is by placing an order to commemorate such momentous occasion.
Aside from the special day, Manila Hotel also plays a role in the annual Flores de Mayo celebration in Manila.

Mother’s Day Special Treats from Manila Hotel

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different kinds of cakes to order

The Manila Hotel’s Mother’s Day Surprise gives you discounts when you choose to
order the food-and-cake bundle and pay online on or before May 8, 2020 (Friday).
You
may choose items from the A La Carte Menu or Home Buffet sets (Filipino, Italian,
Korean, Japanese, and Chinese favorites , as well as Certified Halal items) and get a
20% discount on your food bill, and a 10% discount on the cake of your choice.
Because mothers deserve the only the best, you can choose from our awesome
selection: our decadent Opera Cake; Ohaina Chocolate Gateau, a Lifestyle Inquirer
Best Dessert Winner; the mouthwatering Trio of Chocolate Mousse, and their amazing
Mango Cheesecake.
To order or for more information, please call 8527 0011 or message 0998-9501912.

5 Flowering Trees in Bloom within the Neighborhood

There are 5 tree species which are currently in bloom in many parts of the country. The blooming season coincide with the intense heat of the dry season, which is common in western parts of the country and in Metro Manila.

While walking within the immediate vicinity, i was able to take photos of some trees in bloom.

5 Trees in Blooming Season

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5.) Narra scientifically called ( Pterocarpus indicus) apalit,asana, agsana padauk, mukwa, Burmese rosewood, Andaman redwood, Philippine mahogany.

This tree species is found over wide range in Asia from India, Sri Lanka, Indo-China, Indonesia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Ryukyu islands, Solomon islands and the Philippines.

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This tree species was declared the national tree of the Philippines in 1934 by Governor Frank Murphy. The blooming season of this tree species is between late February to early June.

It is quite hard to find old narra trees suitable for furniture and wooden floors. It is also expensive. People should plant more narra trees, since they are slow grower.

4.) Banaba – scientifically called ( Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.) This flowering tree is locally called banaba, bugarom, bugarum, duguam, mitla, nabulong, pride of India, Queen’s flower among others. The tree grows between 5 to 20 meters in height.

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Found in wide range of location from India, Bangladesh, Indo-China, Malaya, Taiwan, southern Japan and Philippines.

The young leaves are used as purugative and sometimes used in making local tea. Older tree can be used for timber.

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3.) Royal Poinciana ( Delonix regia) – locally called flame tree, fire tree, flamboyant tree, peacock tree, caballero. The tree was introduced to the country via Mexico from Madagascar probably in the late 17th up to the early part of the 19th century. It is now considered common, pan-tropical and found in many parts of the globe. This had different blooming season in various countries where it was introduced.  The blooming season is from early March to mid-June in the Philippines. Urban myths and local folklore that flowering signals the imminent arrival of the monsoon season.

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Plaza Roma and Manila Cathedral Basilica days before the enhanced community quarantine

Old photos in the 19th century showed flame tree planted in Plaza Mayor in present day Plaza Roma in front of the Manila Cathedral. In 2008, former Intramuros administrator Ms. Anna Marie “Bambi”  Harper gave permission the cutting of 29 narra, mahogany, ficus trees within Plaza Roma and then replanted some flame trees within the plaza. As reported by ABS-CBN channel 2.

This sparked some outrage in local plant conservation societies, since the tree is non-indigenous/ native. Its shallow root system is prone to toppling off during heavy rains or during typhoon.

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2.) Acacia( Samanea saman/Albizia saman ( Jacq) F. Muell) known locally as acacia, akasya, monkey pod tree, cow tamarind, rain tree, false power puff tree which originated from tropical America. In Indonesia it is called meh, trembesi. it is called pukul lima, pokok hujan (“rain tree”), ampil barang in Malaysia.

Acacia/ Akasya found its way to the country during the late 16th to early part of the 19th century via famed Manila-Acapulco galleon trade.  The tree species can grow between 30 to 60 meters in height and can be spectacular sight.

Now, this tree is found in many parts of the world and is considered pan-tropical.  It is  is widely planted as shade trees in parks, boulevards, churches, plazas, cemeteries and large estates.

The wood is beautiful is used in wood craft, cutting board and in planting denuded forest areas.

There are also many folkloric tales, urban legends which surround old acacia trees throughout its pan-tropical and sub-tropical range.

There were several centuries-old acacia trees found in many parts of the country. Paco Park boast of several trees which had witness the death of Dr. Jose Rizal and burial of prominent personalities within the park. Saint Anne Church in Taguig also a mute witness to the Philippine revolution, second world war and new millennium.

Far Eastern University’s in Manila campus also boast of an acacia tree which was planted and nurtured by the founder Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr.

While the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus boasted of century-old fertility tree. I had a privilege to join a heritage tree walk in 2012 conduced by the Late Dr. Roberto E. Coronel  when he was still alive.

The sad part was i also seen the dying acacia tree along Padre Faura street and a well-known fast food restaurant nearby.

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Acacia tree is also host to different eipiphtyes such as ferns, orchids and hoyas in Nagcarlan, Laguna province.

Older tree can host several species of epiphtyes like Drynaria quercifolia, Asplenium nidus, hoya, Dendrobium crumenatum ( dove orchid), Luisia teretifolia ( bee or fly orchid )among others.

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seed pods are also used as maracas by some musicians

1.) Golden Shower Tree- ( Cassia fistula) This is called under many names such as April shower tree, golden shower, purging cassia, Indian laburnum, pudding-pipe, kanya pistula, amaltaas, lapad-lapad, bistula, ibabau, lombayong or Royal Ratchaphruek tree in Thailand.

I have written an article about the folkloric uses, urban legend which surround the blooming cycle of this flowering tree species in the country.

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Local botanists and horticulturists agree that the flowering tree was introduced into the country long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Might have been brought by sea traders from other southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand or Indian traders.

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golden shower or april shower flowers

This blooming season for this flowering tree is between late February to late May depending on the region and provinces in the country. Now this tree species is found in sub-tropical to tropical areas all over the globe.

Bibliography, Sources and References:

Personal interviews

Hargreaves, Dorothy and Bob: Tropical Trees: Found in the Carribean, South America, Mexico: ISBN-13: 978-0910690058/ ISBN-10: 0910690057

Heuzé V., Thiollet H., Tran G., Hassoun P., Lebas F., 2018. Golden tree (Cassia fistula). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO.

Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 3: 10.

Madulid , Domingo Dr. (2000) The BookMark Philippines Inc., Makati A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants. ISBN: 971-569-367-9

Meninger Edwin Arnold. ( January 1962) Flowering Trees of the World for Tropics and Warm Climate,  Heartwind Pubns; 1st Edition. edition, ISBN-10: 0820800392/ Isbn-13:978-0820800394

Philippine Native Trees 101, Philippine Native Trees 303 book

M.S. Swaminathan, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, India and S.L.Kochhar, University of Delhi ( 2019) Major Flowering Trees of Tropical Gardens. ISBN 9781108481953

Merrill, E.D. (1916) Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 6: 47

Tanaka, Yoshitaka; Van Ke, Nguyen (2007). Edible Wild Plants of Vietnam: The Bountiful Garden. Thailand: Orchid Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-9745240896.

 

10 New Normal Ways in Doing Things During COVID 2019

There are at least 10 new normal ways in doing things during this enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period. Even in areas where general community quarantine (GCQ) will be enforce in due time, life would never be the same again.

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mobile sanitation booth

Until now, there were more than 3,300,000 people from about 215 countries and territories had contracted the dreaded covid 2019 virus.

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roving market

Senator Manny Pacquiao is pushing for a New Normal Law that will establish social distancing and health and hygiene protocols.

Earlier in March, he also filed the Anti-Spitting Act of 2020, which seeks to ban and penalize spitting, coughing and sneezing in public.

While Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, along with other leaders of the House of Representatives, filed a bill seeking to provide a “whole-of-society” approach to set the “new normal” way of life as the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) remains even after the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

10 New Normal Ways in Doing Things

The proposed House Bill 6623 or the “New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act of 2020” aims to set standards and protocols to be adopted for three years. While not yet effective, people are already practicing these new normal ways.

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Physical and social distancing

10.) Physical distancing at home, public spaces and other areas. Types of physical contact done in public include handshakes, beso-beso (cheek-to-cheek), mano (hand blessing), hugging and kissing is reduce to a minimum or none at all. This is replaced with Bowing, elbow to elbow, a quick nodding in the head, putting both hands together, tapping of feet or waiving of hands is now a normal thing to do.

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Barangay Bagbag Market- have given access to other barangays like Sauyo, West Fairview, Bagbag, Talipapa and San Bartolome residents.

9.) Bringing of quarantine pass or travel pass is a MUST for all people. Remember that each barangay, town, city or community may impose different set of regulations, scheduling or window hours. Barangay Bagbag Public Market in Novaliches, Quezon City imposed an odd-even scheme for those living in the barangay last April 17, 2020. Other would implement a different scheme in order to reduce foot traffic in their locality.

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Wearing of face mask and gloves

8.) Wearing of Face Mask and even gloves in public is a MUST. Different municipality, town, city or community already had ordinances for wearing of face mask. Some establishment require people entering their premises to have mask.

7.) E-Commerce and Shopping Online – The surge for E-Commerce, social media, website and mobile app based which caters to online delivery services and ordering. Roving wet market or roving grocery stores in some areas of the country is also becoming the new normal for shoppers.

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travel

6.) Reduced Sitting Capacity for public transportation- Jeepneys, Tricycle, MRT , Pedicabs, PNR, AUV express, Passenger ship, Airplane – Expect that these form of public transportation will have fewer passengers if the enhanced community quarantine had been lifted. This can have an effect in the transportation system and the cost of fare might be carried over to the general masses.

5.) Reduced Sitting Capacity and Take Out- For restaurants and other establishments, Limiting the number of customers is now the new normal. They have to focus more on take-out or delivery services in order to survive.

4.) Hospitals, clinics and even hilot are ramping up their digital consultation platforms to attend to patients, especially for follow-up checkups and non-urgent cases.

3.) Mass gathering is now reduced to none or just a handful – Since physical distancing is in effect, Going to church, seminar, training, travel and watching movie is virtually non-existent. Some church groups already had online masses televised on television, live-streaming in the internet which is now the new normal. Drinking session is reduce to almost non-existent since there is a liquor ban being enforced.

2.) Classes in schools and universities- Several schools and universities have gone online. While not everyone in the country had an reliable access to the internet. Schools and teachers must find creative ways to continue learning process. Study at Home or Homeschooling will be the normal.

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1.) Practicing good hygiene, avoid coughing and spitting in public places- People had to practice hand washing several time a day and among other things.

Sources and References:

Congress.gov.ph : http://www.congress.gov.ph/

Senate.gov.ph:  https://www.senate.gov.ph/

Official Gazette: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/section/laws/

Philippine Information Agency (PIA) , Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) PTV channel 4, World Health Organization, Department of Health, Unicef-Philippines

Timely bloom of Cymbidium finlaysonianum

It is the height of the dry season in most of the western part of the country. It is also the  blooming season of one of the most common Cymbidium species in the country.

The inflorescence of Cymbidium finlaysonianum is pendulous, can reach lengths of over one meter or so, bears up to 30 well-spaced blooms about 5 cm in diameter. This is one of the most commonly seen orchid species, anywhere in the Philippines.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum -pale yellow form
The one featured above is a Cymbidium finlaysonianum grown in our backyard for about 30 years. ( probably given by a distance relative or neighbor). While a smaller form is growing on another Manila Palm ( Adonidia merrillii) for several years was bought from an ambulant vendor some 25 years ago.
The orchid species was originally collected by an Englishman named Mr. Finlayson and Company in Cochin- India in the early part of the 19th century. The species was dedicated to him by Lindley who described the plant in 1832.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum naturalized on a moringa tree (malunggay) Samonte road within Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon, Novaliches, Quezon City.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum naturalized on a narra tree within Quezon Memorial Circle.
Cymbidium finlaysonainum commonly grown in the country had at least 3 to 5 color forms. The common ones have yellowish-brown sepals and petals, and a white labellum with red blotches and two yellow ridges. The flower had a slight fragrance especially during the first few days of its opening.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum and probably Cymbidium atropurpureum naturalized on a kalachuchi tree in University of the Philippines ( Church of Risen Lord chapel) in Diliman, Quezon City.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum naturalized on a coconut palm in Tanza, Cavite province.

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brownish pale green form

Another form is the brownish greenish color form found in an old ancestral house in Tanza, Cavite province.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum with large petal and darker color ( photo courtesy of Plantchaser)

There was another dark yellow colored flowering type with fuller petals and sepals collected in the provinces of Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Quezon and Ifugao.

I featured Pozorrubio Orchidarium Farm of Mrs. Remedios “Remy ” Rodis Santelices in 2009 which had a couple of blooming Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety flava ( yellowish form) in Pangasinan.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety flava ( photo courtesy of PlantChaser)
 The more sought after form was Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety flava or yellowish sepals and petals with pure white labellum. I think i have seen some being sold before in Pangasinan and there are some orchid growers in Metro Manila, Antipolo, Bulacan, Laguna, Davao and Bukidnon regions.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum with Davalia fern in Liliw , Laguna province.
Cymbidium finlaysonianum used to be commonly cultivated in many areas until few years ago when gardeners grew tired of growing these orchid species.
There were a lot of folklore surrounding the growing of this species in many parts of the country.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum grown on tree fern slab in Santa Fe Orchidarium in Nueva Viscaya  province.

Timely Bloom

This is a timely season for the blooming of the Cymbidium finlaysonianum, It had rained for almost 8 times and This specimen plant rewarded us with 3 spikes with between 25 to 30 flowers.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum naturalized on Manila Palm within Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice within University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum featured by Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) in 2004

Cymbidium Species

There were at least 11 known species with some color variations found in the country and is divided into epiphytes /lithophytes and terrestrial growing.

Cymbidium aloifolium, Cymbidium atropurpureum, Cymbidium chloranthum and Cymbidium finlaysonianum, Cymbidium bicolor  Lindl. subsp pubescens. which are found growing on trees, while i have seen some orchid grown or mounted on rocks, man-made grottoes, adobe rock or even on hollow block walls.

We got Cymbidium finlaysonianum and Cymbidium atropurpureum grown on a Manila Palm for several decades.

Cymbidium aliciae, Cymbidium dayanum,Cymbidium cyperifolium, Cymbidium ensifolium subsp. haematodes , Cymbidium lancifolium, Cymbidium macrorhizon are classified as terrestrial.

While Cymbidium macrorhizon had a special relationship with symbiotic fungus, the only time it is ever seen is when it flowers.

Bibliographies and Sources:

Plant Chaser

Personal communication with growers

Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology ( issue June 2007) : http://asbp.org.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/907-3032-2-PB.pdf

The Complete Writings on Philippine Orchids Vol 1 Quisumbing 1981; The Complete Writings on Philippine Orchids Vol 2 Quisumbing 1981 drawing

Second Print 1982, Manila pages, 86 to 91: Davis S. Reg and Steiner Mona Lisa: Philippine Orchids ” A detailed Treatment of Some One Hundred Native Species” printed by M& L Licudine Enterprises, Dongalo, Parañaque, Philippines 

Orchidiana Philipiniana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984
The Orchids of the Philippines Cootes 2001
Teo, Chris K. H. Cymbidium Pages, 44 to 49; Native Orchids of Peninsular Malaysia 1985, 2001, Times Media Private Unlimited.