Color Forms of Cymbidium Finlaysonianum and Arrival of Rainy Season

There were some backyard growers of Cymbidium finlaysonianum who posted their blooming orchids in different Fb group and social media sites since late May 2020.

We were again rewarded with the blooming of Cymbidium finlaysonianum clumps which were mounted in living Manila Palm (Adonidia merrillii) for several decades. The first specimen clump bloomed late April 2020.

Color Forms of Cymbidium finlaysonianum

One can spot the different color forms of the Cymbidium finlaysonianum from the actual orchid grown and photographed by the owners.  This also coincide with the blooming season of this species.

It was last June 11 when PAG-ASA , the local weather bureau officially declared the start of the rainy season in the western part of the country.  This marks the transition to hot humid dry season to the wet season. The transition happened when we experience more rain showers in April and May which signals the onset of the transition period.

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The first specimen Cymbidium finlaysonianum started to send spike late April with 20 flowers and then another spike with 23 flowers bloomed within two week interval.

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pale yellow form ( first inflorescence) 

This is the larger clump and having pale yellowish flower. The blooming season was late April to early part of May 2020.

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pale yellow form ( second inflorescence)

The orchid species had been growing in our garden for at least 30 years. Another clump with smaller more compact leaves and smaller inflorescence developed on the last week of May and the bloom lasted only until June 8. Before the last flower wilted because of the intense heat, Another much longer inflorescence develop with at least 15 flowers.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum ( second clump with smaller flowers and compact growth)

We also noticed that the Davallia fern or rabbit foot fern had also grown luxuriantly. With a combination of slow release fertilize attached to base of the clump, weekly weakly regimen of fertilization program can also help boost the growth of both the orchid and fern. Some local growers would also plant bird’s nest fern near the orchid, which can enhance the aesthetic beauty of the mounted orchid.

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A neighbor sometimes would collect small amount of cow dung ( manure) dry them for at least 3 to 4 months in semi-shade. She would apply it once in a while in their Cymbidium finlaysonianum especially during its growing period.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum with reddish lip grown in Morong, Rizal province ( photo courtesy of Mr. Gelo T. DL)

An FB friend from Morong, Rizal province posted his wonderful specimen clump of Cymbidium finlaysonianum which had more reddish lip and darker yellowish flowers compared to the ordinary clone. He told me that it was rescued from his grandmother’s ancestral house and could be at least 30 or so years old.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum grown by Mrs. Anita Are

Another backyard grower and lifetime member of the Philippine Orchid Society is Ms. Anita Arcebal Are who gladly shared her specimen sized Cymbidium finlaysonianum growing in a living tree within her garden for several decades in Baras, Rizal province.

A Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety flava  with pure white lip is grown by few growers. The orchid grows a little slow compared with ordinary forms.

Bibliographies and Sources:

Personal communication with growers like Ms. Anita Are, Mr. Gelo T. DL and Mrs. Fe Nanguil

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.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

Highlights of the 74th Philippine Orchid Society Opening

74th annual had the opening held February 19 at the Garden of Joy ( formerly called Hardin ng mga Bulaklak ) or Flower Garden within Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

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Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña

The event was organized by Philippine Orchid Society and affiliate plant society. The event started past 3:00pm and Quezon City symphonic band played the national anthem and opening band.

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Congresswoman Camille Villar

Special guests includes Congresswoman Camille Villar, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña , Taiwan Economic and Cultural Affair Office ( TECO) Representative Dr. Joy Ye.

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crowd – photo courtesy of Ms. Lee Ann Canlas

Highlights

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Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines exhibit

Among the big winners included Mr. Manuel and Susan Lee which won top prize in the orchid landscape exhibit. There is also several bonsai display from Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines ( BSAPI) and flowering bougainvilleas !

Individual orchid and plant competition among members and invited guests. Mr. Jan Lord Lumabao won top prize for his Vanda lamellata flowering orchid entry and second place in the Dendrobium discolor.

The 74th annual orchid show will have the daily lectures or demonstration with flea market bazaar with about 60 stalls selling different kinds of garden tools, plants, orchids, flowering plants, cacti and especially orchids.

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schedule of daily lecture and demonstration

A minimal entrance fees of Php 50 for the general public and Php 30 for senior citizens, students and person with disability.  The exhibit and selling area opens from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm daily until the show end March 2, 2020.

The daily lecture starts at 2:00 pm from February 21 and the show is until March 1, 2020.

74th Philippine Orchid Society’s Garden Show

Philippine Orchid Society in cooperation with Quezon City government, Quezon Memorial Circle administration will be having the 74th annual orchid and garden show to be held from February 20 to March 1, 2020 at the Garden of Joy or Flower Garden within Quezon City Memorial Circle.

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74th Annual Orchid and Garden Show

There will be trade fairs, landscape exhibits, orchid, ornamental plant competition, daily lecture and demonstration.

Entrance fee is Php 50.00 for the general public, Php 30.00 senior citizens, students and person with disabilities with valid identification card this was based on the last orchid show entrance fee.

Contact Information: Ms. Jenny Rivera or Mr. Jiffy Alegre ( Secretariat)

0917-848-5468 / Landline (+632) 795-735-24

Office Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm