Gammatophyllum wallisii the biggest orchid in the world

This is the specimen sized Grammatophyllum wallisii or Grammatophyllum speciosum native to the Philippines and was growing on a boulder in one of the houses near the  town of  Dolores in Quezon .   According to the owner,  this orchid blooms every 3 to 5 year interval  and based on the orchid size  , the orchid is at least 50 years old . Several years ago an orchid collector offered to buy the orchid but the owner does not want to sell . Local taxonomist are still in a debate if this particular orchid found in Quezon is a distinct species or just a variety since the color of the flowers and marking are quite distinct .

The Giant Orchid, Grammatophyllum speciosum also called Tiger Orchid because of the spotting in the flowers which resembles tiger marks , Sugar Cane Orchid or ” Malatubong Dapo ” because the pseudoblubs resembles large sugar canes . People also call this particular orchid as  Queen of the Orchids, since this is the world’s largest and bulkiest  orchid .  It is native to  growing in crotches of large trees on exposed areas of the lowland tropical rain forest. This species was first described by botanist Carl Blume in 1825.

The  cylindric pseudobulbs reach 10 feet or 3 meters in height with leaves along the full length.

It is an   epiphytic and occasionally a lithophytic plant, forming spectacular root bundles. It can grow to gigantic clusters weighing from several hundred kilograms to more than one ton. The orchid can produce over 10,000 flowers on a mature plant.

The orchid can be found growing within 100 to 1,200 meters elevation in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Borneo, Moluccas, the Philippines, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Bismark islands, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, East Timor and Solomon island and is recorded to be the heaviest orchid in the world.

A Giant Orchid weighing two tons was one of the highlights in the 1851 exhibition at Crystal Palace in London according to a scientific journal.

There are some growers of this orchid in Metro Manila however this orchid is quite temperamental in blooming within the metropolis. This orchid needed to be conserved and protected.

A Botanic Garden and Farm

Portion of the resort -style farm

This is a private farm garden owned by one of Metro Manila’s famous politician . The tour group was escorted by a security group upon reaching the place.

Koi pond

The group saw a lot of collections ranging from family pictures, paintings , antiques,  potteries, furniture, santos, jars, figurines, furniture , books   and the south east Asian  style inspired  architecture in  each of the pavilion like structures which resembles Bali in Indonesia , Bangkok  or even  in Mainland China .

Asian inspired pavilion guarded by Chinese- Fu dogs

There  is like a big botanic garden which had themed landscape from European style manicured lawn and themed portions which separates expensive palms,  adeniums, ornamental plants, shrubs and flowering trees including several aviaries .

Shade house filled with blooming Dendrobium anosmum locally known as

( sanggumay ), Vanda hybrids, Vanda teres and native orchids

There are also several big green houses which housed the collections of cacti, succulents, orchids, bromeliads,  ferns, cycads , aroids  and  anthuriums.

According to one of the caretakers, this is like a wonderland of plants from different parts of the world. The collection of the exotic plants spanned over 30 years which started during the pre-martial law days .

The group was treated to a sumptuous buffet style lunch which offered the best from the area.The group were very happy to spend some time in the resort style farm . Photo opportunities and small chit chat with the gracious hosts were the done after the lunch break.

man -made lagoon planted with lotus

There are several man-made pond and lagoons within the property which serves as a planting area for lotus, water lilies and were Peking ducks swim.

colorful service  vehicle

The group needed a small service vehicle in order to tour the entire property.

Before the end of the  day the group was again treated for a light afternoon snacks which consists of native rice cakes, young coconut pie , nuts and soft drinks.

crucifixion tableau scene late 19th century

According to the owner , they are planning to open the property to the public for a fee in a few years to come . The place is perfect for weddings, parties, location shooting , photo opportunity, convention ,  meeting place  or simply a place to relax and  to admire the wonders of nature.