Bottle brush orchid rebloom ( Dendrobium busigerum

It rained for 3 days due to northeast monsoon, It is good that the rain had stop one day after Christmas day.

Dendrobium busigerum or commonly called as bottle brush orchid or toothbrush orchid is an orchid species with cute flowers ( one flower stalk can have as many as 100 small flowers). However in recent years, i notice that few homes had this type of orchid species, despite being commonly sold in Baclaran, Centris Sunday market ( Quezon City) and ambulant vendors.

The orchid species is also called sanggumay by ambulant vendors of Baclaran and Centris. I have seen some of this orchid species naturalized on Mango trees, Christmas palm, coconuts and even driftwood ( kakawate).

Etho-botanical and Cultural Importance

Some orchid growers would grow this particular orchid species because they believe that this orchid species can bring good luck to their family and ward off evil spirits. In some instances, pseudobulbs are grounded up for medicinal uses.

Dendrobium-busigerum

Dendrobium busigerum ( grown by the author)

Some backyard growers are not very impress with the minuscule flowers, But carefully looking at the cluster of flowers will Dendrobium busigerum is an epiphytic or sometimes growing in boulders/ karst forest. The pseudobulbs can grow up to about 50 – a little over 100 cm in length, grows in clusters of many pseudobulbs over the years. The stem is divided into multiple internodes, each internode has a leaf. The young stem usually have a green or white coat, the old stem often gray ash or gray.

This orchid species was recently reclassified as a separate species by Mr. Cootes and George Tiong ( A Guide to Dendrobium of the Philippines ) published in 2015.

Orchid hobbyists and growers are still baffled with these minor difference and still refer this one as Dendrobium secundum.

This species can be found in Albay, Camarines provinces, Catanduanes, Rizal, Sorsogon, Bataan, Samar, Leyte, Agusan, Davao, Lanao possibly Quezon, Masbate and Laguna province from sea level to about 700 meters in elevation.

One distinguishing feature of this orchid species is the flower are arranged radially on the inflorescence and the flowers are smaller and does not open fully, Dendrobium secundum open more fully and larger and facing in one direction. The number of inflorescence of Dendrobium busigerum are much more. Both species would exhibit some color variations.

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Dendrobium busigerum grown on Macarthur palm ( Ptychosperma macarthurii)

Cultural Techniques

During its growing period, This orchid species requires high temperatures, humidity with regular watering, but leaving the compost to dry up, if in pot, before giving water again, upon growth completion, to observe a dry period in during dry season, with slightly cooler temperatures, in order to have the flowering till the coming of the new vegetation; a constant, good air circulation is key to successful growing.

This orchid also prefers growing on live trees, palm with little moss or coconut husk.

This orchid can flower two or three times a year in our growing condition. We observe that the flowering is triggered with the change of weather and rainfall.

Watering: During rainy season, we normally do not water the orchid and observing a short rest period during dry season which start from late November to early May ( watering them sparely).

Fertilization: The period from mid- May to early November of each year is the period of orchid growing more branches and strong growth (which also coincide with rainy season in the western part of the Philippines)
We would apply a water soluble fertilizer (20N-20P-20K) apply twice or even three times a week at 1/4 the recommended strength. We would also put slow release fertilize about 30 to 40 pieces tied on a small cloth.
We would also apply calcium nitrate ( twice a month ) with micro-nutrient solution once a month. Other nutrient solutions like Magnesium sulfate would only require small amount.
Flushing them at least once a week with ordinary tap water. All our Dendrobium busigerum are big and specimen size. smaller orchid would only need between 10 to 20 pieces of slow release fertilizer. ( There are several well known brands like Nutricote and Osmocote)
Try to observe the dry season by watering less ( every 3 to 5 days) from late November to early May (which also coincide with the dry season in the western part of the Philippines).
Diseases: This orchid is prone to scales and aphids. We also try to apply fungicide just before the onset of the rainy season at least every two weeks.
References:
Personal communication with backyard orchid growers
Philippine Native Orchid Species, Cootes 2009
Cootes , Tiong A Guide to Dendrobium of the Philippines, 2015

 

Pigeon Orchid Blooming within the Neighborhood

Dendrobium crumenatum is locally known as Pigeon, Dove, Sparrow,Purse-Shaped orchid. This orchid is called White Sanggumay in some parts of General Nakar, Quezon province. Sometimes, they are also called One- day orchid since they only bloom early part of the morning and close its flowers by late afternoon.

Classification:

This orchid species is one of the first orchid species described by Olof Peter Swartz a Swedish botanist and taxonomist in (1799). This is under the section “Crumenata“. The center of distribution is in the island of Borneo with at least 25 species.

The orchid had leaves on a sheathing base and pseudobulbs or stems which are fleshy for 1 to 3 internodes only. Species are mostly lowland.

The characteristics of this section are the flowers are mostly fugacious, bloom several times of the year and triggered by sudden drop or change in temperatures.

dove-orchid

pigeon or dove orchid naturalized on Christmas palm

This type of orchid species is one of the most commonly grown orchids in any parts of the country. The flowers look like dove , pigeon or sparrow in flight when this orchid is in bloom, hence its common name.

It was very hot during the last part of November, then a sudden downpour of rain which may have triggered the blooming of this orchid species.

Some neighbors do not like growing this type of orchid, since the flowers are fugacious and would only last 1 day. When grown en mass, they can be a spectacle especially when the entire host tree would be covered by their fragrant white blooms.

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Dendrobium crumenatum with seed pods

Some people believes that these orchid bring good fortune and warding off unseen spirits especially when grown near the entrance or main door. Especially those in Laguna, Quezon, Bicol and Samar provinces.

The side lobes are erect and the middle lobe is rounded with five yellow ridges. Flowering is sporadic but is triggered nine days after a sudden drop in temperature normally triggered by sudden change of temperatures. This flowers several times a year. This clump is observe to bloom at least 3 to 5 times a year.

The flowers are naturally pollinated by carpenter bees, honey bees (Apis cerana) and  wasps which are common within the locality.

This orchid species used to be planted in almost every homes within the subdivision until few years ago, when some of the older neighbors grew tried of growing this type of orchid species. Some would prefer Dendrobium or Vanda hybrids which had larger flowers and can last for several days or even weeks.

Now, only few homes had these types of orchid species. But what still remains are still exciting to behold especially when they are in bloom.

Natural Range

It is found in parts of India, Southern China, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia,Taiwan,Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Christmas Island and Philippines.

In the Philippines, This is reported in almost all the provinces and have been found in many coastal towns and coconut plantations. This orchid can be found growing along mangroves and coastal areas up to more than 700 meters in elevation.

It is reportedly naturalized in Guam,Northern Marianas, Fiji, Hawaii,West Indies, Puerto Rico and even parts of Florida.

Ethono-botanical Uses and Importance

Medicinal: The leaf poultice applied to pimples and boils by Malays and Indonesians. Juice from swollen pseudo bulbs used as ear drops to treat earache. Common name Daun Sepulih Tulang (Bone Restoring Leaf) suggests use as treatment for bone-related ailments.

Some Aeta communities in the Philippines would also use its leaves to cure indigestion.

In Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, the stems the pounded and boiled for several minutes then the resulting concoctions are use to remove impurities from the blood.

Products: Stem fibers used to make braiding materials for hats, hand bracelets and baskets in Philippines.

Cultural: Planted near entrance of house in some Malaysian states and parts of the Philippines as a good-luck orchid to ward off evil spirits from entering house.

Economic: They are also commonly sold in the country for landscaping and decorations in almost all garden centers and weekend markets.

Status: This is one of the common orchid sold in the market.

Modus Operandi by Unscrupulous Seller and Ambulant Vendors

dendrobium-crumenatum2

Photo courtesy : Ms. Surya Namaskar

 Some unscrupulous ambulant orchid vendor and orchid sellers would sometimes insert Dendrobium flowers or Vanda flowers to the stems of this orchid just to increase the value of the orchid by at least 2 or 3 fold.

Unsuspecting buyers or those unfamiliar with this orchid may not suspect about being duped by the seller.  The flowers in the above photo were dyed with different colors creating a new artificial hybrid ( with interesting colors) . This is a common deception to lure buyers and sell the orchid at higher price. The practice started in the late 1970’s and still goes on.

Lack of police enforcement would only lead ambulant vendors to ply their trade from one place to another.

Sources, References and Bibliography:

1.) A Guide to the Dendrobium of the Philippines Cootes and Tiong 2015, page 48

2.) Personal communication with growers and buyers

3.) FB Orchid and Plant Lovers of the Philippines

4.) Goh CJ, Strauss MS, Arditti J (1982) Floral Induction and Physiology in Or-
chids. In: Arditti J (Ed)Orchid Biology: Reviews and Prospectives
(Vol II) Cornell University Press, Ithaca, pp 213-241
5. ) Hempel FD, Welch DR, Feldman LJ(2000) Floral induction and determina-
tion: where is flowering controlled?Trends in Plant Science5
, 17-21.
6.) The Complete Writings on Philippine Orchids Vol 1 Quisumbing 1981
7.) Orchidiana Philippiana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984
8.) Philippine Orchid Review, Volume 15 No. 1 Traditional uses of the Dendrobium Orchids pages 13 to 17. ISSN 1908-871X
9.) Philippine Orchids, Reg S. Davis and Mona Liza Steiner (1952) , Pages 115 to 119
10.) Wee, Y. C., 2007. Memories. In: Lum, S. K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & Y. C. Wee (eds.), Trees of the Bukit Timah Campus: A Tribute to Old Friends. National University of Singapore and Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. Pp.114–117.

Old Cattleya Cultivar Hybrid Blooming

It is cattleya blooming season once again, This particular cattleya hybrid is one of the more popular hybrid grown within our neighborhood vicinity. This type of cattleya can bloom up to three times a year, given proper fertilization and cultivation techniques.

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Cattleya hybrid ( photo taken around November 4, 2018)

We suspect that the name of this is hybrid is Cattlianthe Portia or Porcia which is a primary hybrid of Guarianthe bowringiana x Cattleya labiata.

Our old time neighbor gave us a few cuttings way back in 1991 which got them from her mother-in law who grew tried growing them at their North Fairview residence for at least 10 years.

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She brought a few pots of this cattleya hybrid along with some Dendrobium hybrids, Oncidiums, native orchids ( Dendrobium anosmum, Dendrobium crumenatum) and started dividing them during the onslaught of the rainy season.

cattleya-hybrid-1

Within 5 years period ( from 1991 to 1996 ), Our neighbor was able to propagate the cattleya hybrid to more than 120 clumps which she grew in different types of medium from old kakawate trunks, tree fern slabs, terracotta pots then hanging them at their perimeter walls even mounted a few of these orchids at their Christmas palm.

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( close-up view of the flowers)

During their blooming season, People within the neighborhood would marvel and appreciate them for the light lavender colored flowers which would bloom almost simultaneously.

They also kind to gave away several pots of these orchids to their neighbors and friends within the subdivision.

Unfortunately, They sold the old house few years ago and settled elsewhere in Caloocan. We are still clueless if this is the real name of the hybrid.

cattleya-hybrid-3

(cattleya still in bloom after almost 1 week)

They are considered by many Cattleya experts to be among the finest and most spectacular Cattleya hybrids ever bred. Cattleya Portia was registered by James Veitch & Son in 1897 and C. Porcia by H.G. Alexander in 1927.

References/ Sources:

Ball State University

Royal Horticultural Society of London

http://bluenanta.com

 

 

Orchids and Plants Christmas Bazaar at UP Town Center

The Philippine Orchid Society in cooperation with University of the Philippines town center will be having a Christmas Bazaar from November 16 to 19, 2017 at the UP Town Center, Parking Area.

FEATURING: ORCHIDS, ORNAMENTALS, BONSAI’S, CACTI & SUCCULENTS, FRUIT TREES, POTS, FERTILIZERS, GARDEN SUPPLIES & ACCESSORIES, AND MANY MORE.

 

THERE WILL BE FREE LECTURES AT 2PM.

FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT 09178485468

Contact Ms. Jenny F. Rivera- Office Secretary for more updates and stall rentals.

Orchid and Christmas Bazaar 2017.jpg

Necklace Orchid Reign Supreme as Best Cultured Orchid at the 71st Mid-Year Show

Necklace orchid, Rosary Orchid, Rattlesnake Orchid, Rat’s Tail Orchid are the common names given to a beautiful native orchid that is found over a wide climatic areas and elevation throughout the country.

Scientifically called Pholidota imbricata, This orchid species is found in many provinces throughout the country. This range from sea level up to more than 1,800 meters in elevation.

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Pholidota imbricata

We  documented some Pholidota imbricata growing wild within La Mesa watershed area when the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Inc. conducted a short preliminary tour within the forested areas of the watershed about a decade ago.

Older residents of Novaliches , Fairview, Valenzuela, Bagong Silang, Norzagaray and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan would definitely recall seeing some of these orchids growing on molave, narra, duhat or mango trees. Unfortunately the flowers are quite minuscule and hardly noticeable especially when the orchids are growing at least 30 to 100 meters above ground.

Philippine Orchid Society’s Show

This species is one of the most commonly exhibited genus whenever there is annual or mid-year show hosted by the Philippine Orchid Society. When grown as specimen sized plant- One can admire the flowers from dozens or even hundreds of inflorescences.

Philippine Orchid Society show 081

Pholidota imbricata

This orchid was exhibited by Purificacion Orchids and won the “Best Cultured Plant ”  at the 71st mid-year orchid and garden show.  Which means that this was grown into large specimen blooming sized orchid.

In sunday or orchid flea market, this orchid species whenever without flower can easily be mistaken as Coelogyne orchid. Some of the small clump can be bought for a few hundred of pesos smaller ones with a couple of pseudo bulbs can be bought for just Php 50.00.  Just a couple of clumps can be a conversational attraction in one’s garden.

One can easy naturalized this orchid on cultivated trees and MacArthur palm.

Philippine Orchid Society show 082

Pholidota imbricata

Name

W.J. Hooker established this genus of sympodial orchids in 1825 when he adopted a manuscript name of Dr. John Lindley. The generic epithet is from the Greek pholidotos = scaly, referring to the scales on the bracts of the inflorescences of some species.

Blooming season is between July, August , September and until October. Flower size is about 1/2 ( 1.25 to 1.50 cm) in filtered light with clustered, conical, angular, wrinkled or sunken, dull pale green to dull brown pseudobulbs carrying a single, apical, sub-plicate, ovate-oblong to linear-lanceolate, coriaceous, prominently veined, gradually narrowing into the pseudo-petiolate base, dark green leaf with a lighter underside that can have red spots and blooms with a terminal, smooth, terete, erect-arcuate then drooping, 20″ [50 cm] long, racemose inflorescence that has a zigzag which can carry between 10 to at least 80 small flowers.

Distribution 

Pholidota imbricata is found in central China, Tibet, Assam, Bangladesh, eastern Himalayas, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, western Himalayas, Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam,Cambodia,Borneo, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sumatra, Moluccas, Sulawesi, the Philippines, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Santa Cruz, Vanuatu and Queensland,  Australia

References and Bibliographies: 

Davis , Greg, Steiner, Mona Liza, page 163 to 165 , Philippine Orchids ,Copyright 1952 / re-print 1982

Cootes, Jim Philippine Orchid Species , 2001

IOSPE: http://www.orchidspecies.com/pholimbricata.htm

The American Orchid Society : http://www.aos.org/orchids/orchids-a-to-z/letter-p/pholidota.aspx

Encyclopedia of Life: http://eol.org/pages/1135052/overview

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