Peak Summer Blooms of Cymbidium finlaysonianum with 6 spikes in our backyard

Cymbidium finalysonianum or also called as boat orchid is again in bloom, But for the first time we were rewarded with 6 spikes and its blooming season spanned mid- March 2021 to past May 13, 2021.

Cymbidium Finlaysonianum Peak Summer Bloom

Cymbidium finlaysonianum orchid flowering season tend to peak during the hot and dry season from early March to early June in the western part of the country. But it can vary in some regions of provinces where rainy season would gradually tapers off.

There is not secret, This once a year bloom is much awaited and anticipated by many growers. Its yellowish flowers are long and quite impressive when grown en masse. The flowers had also some color shades and some variations.

This is also the hottest recorded heat index and peak high temperature in many parts of the country.

3rd inflorescence

The orchid started showing its inflorescence during second week of March and gradually its flowers began to develop. This one is mounted on Manila palm ( Adonidia merrillii) for a number of years. The first inflorescence grew 54 inches with 23 flowers, then 1 week later another one which grew 56 inches with 30 flowers, 3rd inflorescence grew with 27 flowers, then 4th inflorescence grew 32 inches and with 18 flowers, the 5th inflorescence grew 40 inches with 24 flowers, the 6th and last inflorescence is 60 inches long with 32 flowers.

4th inflorescence

Since it is very hot in Metro Manila with average day time temperature hitting between 33 to 36 degrees C, The flowers usually wilt within two or three days after it bloomed. But having over 150 flowers in indeed spectacular.

Cymbidium Finlaysonianum Care and Fertilization

small pieces of cloth with slow release fertilizer are mounted on top of the roots of Cymbidium finlaysonianum 1st inflorescence

During its growing season which coincide with the onset of the rainy season in western part of the country. We would put several slow release fertilizer ( ratio is 20 to 30 pieces per small cloth) and mount them on top of the root this orchid.

Since the orchid is quite big and over 25 years-old, we would put between 5 to 6 small cloth then mount them near the roots of the specimen orchid.

4th and 5th inflorescence

Then alternate every week with weak doze of water soluble fertilizer 20-N, 20P, 20K diluted into 1/4 to 1/2 strength, normally after watering the orchid. Then, try to apply some trace elements, calcium nitrate and epsom salt in small quantities once every two weeks intervals.

Try to spray the diluted water soluble fertilizer in the underside of the leaves and leaves too, whenever possible. In some instances having a companion plant like ferns particularly Asplenium nidus or Asplenium musifolium ( pakpak lawin/ dapo, paipaimo, dapong lalaki, dapong babae, manalo/ manalu) Davallia ( rabbit foot fern) would increase humidity around its roots and helps in retaining water.

3th which withered off , 4th, 5th and 6th inflorescences

The slow release fertilizer, water soluble diluted fertilizers and other trace elements would help fertilize the ferns hence maintaining a symbiotic relationship between the orchid and other plants. In some cases, insects like bugs, cockroaches, moths, garden spiders and geckos are observe making a small ecosystem or micro- climate.

Repeat the procedure of putting slow release fertilizer sewn in small pieces of cloth after 3 to 4 month intervals after all its content were flush out, This would be around late July or early August ( same formula balance) when the rainy season is on its peak. By the end of September or early October when the small cloth bags have leached out the nutrients. We would change the formulation to 10N-13P-13K for the slow release fertilizer and at the same time the formulation of water soluble fertilizer, 10N-30P-30K in preparation for its blooming season. By mid-November or early December, most of the nutrients coming from the slow release fertilizer have already leached out completely.

This is also the time that we try to reduce watering and completely stopping any form of fertilization for this orchid species. Drying is important for this species to induce its blooming season from early March to early part of June. This will depend on your respective local climatology chart posted by the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ( PAG-ASA ).

Metro Manila and western part of the country is usually classified under type 1- with Two pronounced seasons: dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.

But thru years of growing and observation, Majority of our Cymbidium finlaysonianum blooms between mid- March to early June. The orchid species is commonly grown in Novaliches, Fairview, White Plains, Corinthian Gardens, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City and in many parts of Metro Manila.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum orchid is sold in Eaton Centris (Sidcor) sunday market, Baclaran Plant Bazaar , garden centers and sometimes peddled by ambulant orchid/ plant sellers.

The larger specimen Cymbidium finalysonianum can have dozens of inflorescence during the duration of its blooming season. Hope that this small practical care and fertilization will inspire new growers of this wonderful species.

The smaller and more compact type Cymbidium finlaysonianum had also started to bloom. Happy Growing to all !

Note: all photos are taken by the author

75 Trendy Plants in the Philippines for 2021 (Part 3)

Plantiquarians, plantitos, plantitas, halamoms, batang halaman will always on a look-out for cheaper and trendy plants this coming 2021 and 2022.

Many are looking for small plants which can fill their limited space. They can be grown with minimal care.

75 Trendy Plants in the Philippines for 2021 to 2022

Episcia hybrids :Photo courtesy of Mr. Delmer del Rosario

68.) Episcia hybrids – Episcia and its hybrids are grown for several decades in the country, The prices are still quite affordable. They are usually grown in hanging baskets, elevated pots, semi-indoor garden and in some cases indoor culture.

There are ten species it contains are native to Central and South America with hundreds of man-made hybrids.

Episcia GREEN Tea

These plants are easily grown and are easily hybridized with exciting marked or patterned leaves. Majority of the flowers are red (rarely orange, pink, blue or yellow) flowers. Unlike other plants, These can be grown in wide array of set-up such as small containers, pocket garden, carpet, terrarium, vivarium and even dish garden.

Photo courtesy : Mr. Delmer Del Rosario

Philippine Episcia Growers Society FB group had more than 2,000 members which can attest to the popularity of the genus. The retail prices of episcia had significantly grown over several months period.

small plants or plantlets price range from are about Php 150 for ordinary varieties, Php 250 up for new hybrids, Php 400 up for cleopatra, picasso and other chimera types

67.) Zamia furfuracea – ( commonly called cardboard palm or cardboard cycad. Other names include cardboard plant, cardboard sago, Jamaican sago, and Mexican cycad ) This is type of cycad which originally found in Veracruz state and Eastern Mexico.

The cycad is getting some attention among palm, cycad and plant collectors since it survive with minimal change since the Jurassic era.

When Zamia furfuracea was introduced to the country in the early 1970’s, This was used by Mr. Ely Bardenas in many of his landscape projects. It was planted in big pots and used as focal point in many private subdivisions.

Online selling sites base in the United States, one foot Zamia furfuracea and Zamia floridana (native to US) only cost $14.99 or about Php 730 pesos. However, one must bear in mind that there are additional cost like freight, import taxes, custom duties and others that would increase the prices of the plant.

Zamia furfuracea is grown as hedge plant in a pocket garden in Quezon City

There are compact types and variegated types of Zamia furfuracea which were exhibited in local plant shows. price is quite elastic over the past few years, For local cycad and plant collector, this is more affordable compared to Encephalartos and Dioon.

The leaves are sometimes use during palm sunday as substitute for Cycas revoluta or young fronds of coconut leaves ( palaspas). One must be careful with this cycad as this can be toxic to pet animals and to even human when ingested.

photo courtesy of pixabay user:duplex-87749

66.) Cycas revoluta – commonly called sago palm, king sago, sago cycad, pitogo, Japanese sago palm.

As a group, the cycads are commonly considered “living fossils,” their lineage little changed over more than 250 million years. The plants is native to Ryukyu islands, parts of Taiwan and Fujian province in China.

Cycas revoluta was introduced during pre-hispanic era with early contacts from Ryukyus, Taiwanese and Chinese traders might have brought the plants.

It is propagated via seeds or basal offset. The leaves are use during palm sunday as alternative for young coconut palm fronds for palaspas. The leaves can stay green for several days during the holy week ( mahal na araw, semana santa) which makes them desirable symbol in warding off evil spirits which would roam during the lenten season. There were several superstitious beliefs surround this cyad, that local growers would covet this plant.

Cycad sago is extremely poisonous to animals (including humans) if ingested. But in some parts of Ryukus islands (Amami islands) the pith is processed and used as a source of flour.

The process is ardous and long process. The trunk had to be cut down and had to be de-barked or peels first then soaked. Soaking the starch from the stem or the seeds helps leach out the potent toxin known as cycasin, which can cause death.

The chopped fragments are dried in the sun and then fermented. material is placed in a bamboo basket and leached many times with water. The water is caught in a wooden tub in which the starch is allowed to settle. them out.

Mashing the starch slowly removes the toxin. the flour is used in making edible pastry known as sotetsu mochi and sotetsu miso.

Asplenium musifolium grown near the entrance of a homeowner somewhere in Quezon City. The owner believes that this fern brought them good luck, good health and prosperity. This fern had been growing in their pocket garden for more than 10 years.

65.) Asplenium musifolium and related species – Plant sellers, traders and collectors would all agree that Asplenium musifolium ( bird’s nest fern) and related species will still be popular for 2020 and 2021. These ferns are not only grown for their aesthetic value, the fern roots can be sustainably harvested for use as pasdak in horticulture industry. There are several folk tales and superstitious beliefs which surround growing this fern in our country.

forking types of Asplenium grown at the Arid and Aroids Farm in Silang, Cavite

Some also believe that these ferns brings good luck and invites prosperity in our homes. Some would hung several bird’s nest fern on the eve of their homes or one’s entrance.

serious collectors would covet the more expensive forking types, variegated types.

64.) Microsorum punctatum fulcra CV “Salisi” – This is an underrated Philippine fern species. The demand is slowly picking up. Its curly fronds are the main attraction for this species. The care and fertilization is similar to Asplenium musifolium and native ferns.

Whenever this particular fern variety would appear in private collection. This would elicit some excitement among local collectors.

Microsorum punctatum furcatum CV” SALISI” -photo courtesy of Mr. Lebon Ong

Background Story : This was a true story of greed and was told countless of times by plant collectors, garden society members, sellers at the former Manila Seedling Bank Foundation. This happened between 14 to 15 years ago.

Personalities involvedMicrosorum punctatum furcatum cv ” Salisi” a mutant form was acquired from a Gubatum/ Gubatum Harbatum/ Hablotii ( jungle collected plant trader). The said personality is infamous in Okinawa and many Southeast Asian countries. – Let us give the code name: Okimon ( known in the international orchid and plant scene as a collector having the rarest plants of them all)

Plant and Orchid Trader ( code name: Mr. Seller or Mr. Descendant of an Emperor in China ) was presumed to be co-owner of the plant, since the original plant owner was his BFF. “Best Friend Forever”.

Eccentric Woman Trader ( Ms. EWT) Ms. EWT is well-known in the entire Manila Seedling Bank Foundation, as resource person, plant seller and plant collector/ influencer.

Rich Society Matron (Mrs. RSM) was a rich business woman from Antipolo, Rizal province.

Sales Girl from a nearby plant stall

Microsorum was the joint ownership of Okimon and Mr. Seller who were known in their respective field. The fern was allegedly stolen during a plant show in broad daylight sometime in 2006 or 2007 by Ms. EWT. It was Ms. EWT who stole the mutant fern under the command of Mrs. RSM. ( collector of rare plants among others).

When the owner learned that the fern was stolen, Mr. Seller went around and almost went to the community police precinct to file a report on the lost/ theft.

Neighboring plant stall sales girl took notice on the commotion on Mr. Seller’s booth. They pinpointed that the eccentric woman trader took the plant just borrowing for show and tell.

Mr. Seller immediately went to the stall of Miss Eccentric Woman Trader and confronted the person. The fern was held by the rich society matron, According to Mr. Seller, it was for sale for 5 digit amount. When the rich society matron learned that the fern was quite expensive, It was returned back to the former owner.

Took a while for Ms. EWT and Mr. Seller on a speaking term. The incident also brought the dark side of each party involve- back biting and back stabbing each other’s personality.

news of the alleged stolen reached even far flung provinces and plant society members would visit the stall of Mr. Seller/ Descendant of the Emperor just to see and take photos of the fern in question.

The news was quite big that even international fern collectors from the other parts of the world took notice. It was later bought by a rich eccentric businessman for 5 digit sum higher that what was initially offered. Occasionally, when this fern variety would pop-up in local market or garden center. Those who knew the story would always remember the story and call this fern as Microsorum SALISI… in reference to the incident.

Special Mention : Mr. Delmer del Rosario – administrator of Philippine Episcia Growers Society FB group, Mr. Lebon Ong, Arid and Aroids, Mrs. Aldemar Sanchez, Quezon Memorial Circle plant center administrator.

Please wait for the rest of the list in my following post… Happy New Year 2021

Sources:

Personal Interview among plant center owners, Orchid and Plant Lovers of the Philippines FB, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Fairview Neopolitan Garden Center, Cartimar Garden Center, White Plains, Bulacan Garden, Arid and Aroid’s Farm, Quezon City Memorial Circle, Tabang -Guiguinto Pla apast few nt growers, GreenScapes Garden CenterNovaliches, Farmer’s Garden Center -Cubao, Sidcor -Eaton Centris Sunday Market, Rona’s Garden.

Related article link ( 75 Trendy Plants for the Philippines in 2021 Part 2) and ( 75 Trendy Plants for the Philippines in 2021 Part 1)

75 Trendy Plants for 2021 in the Philippines (Part 2)

Plantdemic and the plant craze among plantiquarians, plantitos, plantitas, halamoms, batang halaman will extend from 2021 and early part of 2022.

Some plant farm owners and industry experts believes that there will be some price adjustments for some of the well loved plants that people fancy for most part of 2020.

75 Trendy Plants for 2021

Cymbidium Hybrids

69.) Orchids – Dendrobium hybrids, Vanda hybrids, Cattleya hybrids and allies,Oncidium ( dancing ladies or dancing dolls) hybrids, Cymbidium hybrids, Phalenopsis hybrids, Catasetum hybrids, Vanilla orchid, and native orchid species will still be popular among backyard hobbyists, amateur collector and hospitality industry will need a lot of these flowering plants.

Flowering orchids like Dendrobium hybids, Phalenopsis hybrids, Mokara, Cymbidium hybrids are in much demand as their bloom can last between two weeks to at least a month (with proper care and maintenance).

Vanilla orchid at Sidcor Centris Sunday Market in Quezon City

Growing orchids is still popular hobby and there are several FB group with tens of thousand of member, forum sites and other social media sites which caters to the proliferation of this hobby and how to grow these plants. There are a lot of misconception, myths and fantasy on orchids that there are people who still regard growing them as therapeutic, business, lucky, challenge or just for aesthetic purposes.

Aerides quinquivulnera species

Native orchids are also popular. However, there are some issues that one must always take into consideration. Getting your native orchids in the wild poses threat to the survival of many of these plants. Be sure that the orchids are from reputable orchid dealer, farm or had been cultivated for a long time by the grower.

Old cultivar varieties like Dendrobium Jacquelyn Thomas which was developed way back in the 1970’s, Dendrobium University of Hawaii, Dendrobium Caesar, Dendrobium bigibbum hybrids are slowly making a come back in the local market. These old hybrid cultivar varieties are quite hardy in the long rainy climate and their flowers are long lasting.

Vanda merrillii ( photo courtesy of Mr. Lebon Ong and Mr. Ramon Calado)

Some native orchids will not survive the hot climatic conditions of the lowlands, While there are some endangered orchids still traded online. Try to read books, magazines, literature and online sites which can give accurate information.

Native orchids and fern allies

For long time collectors and hobbyists would refer any jungle collected plants or orchids as Gubatum/ Gubatum Harbatum/ Hablotii.

There is also a surge in people interested in native orchid species, Aerides quinquivulnera, Dendrobium anosmum, Dendrobium aphyllum, Vanda sanderiana, Vanda lamellata, jewel orchid, terrestrial orchid.

Proof to the pudding is that some well known and established orchid farms located in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna,Davao,Cebu, Quezon and Cagayan de Oro are expanding.

What to look for ? miniature orchids, jewel orchids, ground orchids, old cultivar, crosses, varieties and new orchid hybrids are in trend.

Do not forget to visit this blog for more plants in the list ! Happy New Year 2021.

Sources, Reference, Bibliographies:

Hansen Eric, Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy Paperback – Illustrated, February 27, 2001

Personal Interview among plant center owners, Orchid and Plant Lovers of the Philippines FB, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Fairview Neopolitan Garden Center, Cartimar Garden Center, White Plains, Bulacan Garden, Arid and Aroid’s Farm, Quezon City Memorial Circle, Tabang -Guiguinto Plant growers, GreenScapes Garden CenterNovaliches, Farmer’s Garden Center -Cubao, Sidcor -Eaton Centris Sunday Market, Rona’s Garden.

For additional information of the 75 Trendy Plants in the Philippines for 2021 (part 1) please click the hyperlink.

Folk Tales and Economic Usage of Bird’s Nest Fern in the Philippines

There are many folk tales and economic usage of the bird’s nest fern which collectively refers to three or four kinds of fern species found in the archipelago.

asplenium-nidus2

Asplenium nidus grown on top of a big concrete vat (kawa)

Asplenium musifolium or Pakong Babae/ Pugad Lawin na Babae is one of the most common ferns in the market. The female one refers to the shape of the leaves. The Pakong babae has rounded leaftip in contrast to the more common Asplenium nidus or “Pakong Lalake” which has pointed leaf tip.

These are commonly in demand among landscapers and are planted en mass by ornamental plant farms.

birds-nest-fern1

Asplenium musifolium

These two kinds of ferns are commonly used in landscaping projects and added accents to big trees, manicured gardens or palms.

While another Philippine bird’s nest fern which is sometimes called Asplenium leytensis have leaf tip much broader and rounder in shape compared to Asplenium musifolium.

drynaria-quercifolia1

Drynaria quercifolia perch on top of an old rain tree / monkey pod tree (Albizia saman ) within Manila Chinese Cemetery

Some people refer Drynaria quercifolia is also referred to pakpak lawin, paypaymo or bird’s nest fern.

Folk Tales and Superstitious Beliefs

People in the bicol region would refer Asplenium nidus as Manalo/ Manalu. Some people believe that it brings wealth when place or planted near one’s entrance.  The light green leaves are symbol of money and positive energy.

Another tale is that it brings wealth to the owners, specially when grown lush and big.

birds-nest-fern

Asplenium nidus and Dischidia ionantha ( Manaog ka Irog)

fern sellers would use the roots of Drynaria quercifolia then mount Asplenium nidus and Dischidia ionantha.  These are commonly sold as hanging plants.

Economic Importance

asplenium-nidus1

Asplenium nidus fronds for sale in Taiwan ( photo courtesy of Mr. Li Chen )

In Taiwan and parts of mainland China, Asplenium nidus fronds (It is pronounced shān sũ) are use for cooking.

The young fronds are typically cut into inch-long pieces, fried with garlic and chili peppers. Sometimes these are also sauteed with pieces of pork or beef meat.

There are also some reports in some parts of Batanes and northern Philippines, that locals would also eat the young fronds (although unverified).

Aside from incorporating these ferns into the landscape. Some growers mount orchids or other ferns together with Asplenium nidus– These create some sort of symbiotic relationship as fern roots provide additional moisture around the roots of orchids.

Fern roots can be sustainably harvested from time to time. Fern roots are gathered then boiled for about 15 to 20 minutes to remove the dirt and spores among other stuffs.

The fern roots are locally called (pasdak) can be use for planting media for orchids , hoyas and ferns.

birds-nest-fern2

Status

DENR list Asplenium nidus ( Dapong Lalaki/ Pugad Lawin ), Asplenium vittaeforme and Drynaria quercifolia (Pakpak Lawin, Paypaymo, Paipaimo ) under local list of endangered species or vulnerable, It was even published at Wildlife Act R.A. 9147 as endangered species. When it is common species that is often encountered on big trees even within Metro Manila.

At one time, These fern species are so common, that even residents in Metro Manila would consider them as weeds. Some plant experts would disagree that these ferns must be excluded in the list, since these are quite common.

Note: Photos are taken by the author 

References:

Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Wildlife Act R.A. No. 9147: pages 172-199

Ohlsen DJ, Perrie LR, Shepherd LD, Brownsey PJ, Bayly MJ (2015). “Phylogeny of the fern family Aspleniaceae in Australasia and the south-western Pacific”. Australian Systematic Botany. 27 (6): 355–71.

Olsen, Sue, Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns, Timber Press, Incorporated (March 1, 2007) ISBN-10: 0881928194 and ISBN-13: 978-0881928198

Madulid, Dr. Domingo, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plant, ( 1995) Book,Mark Inc. ( first edition): pages,21, 22 and 23.

Wee Yeow Chin, Ferns of the Tropics, July 1st 1998 by Timber Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runners’ Kitchen : A Healthy Place to Relax and Chill Out

74 Creekside Square , Tomas Morato Avenue , Quezon City – Philippines

Runners’ Kitchen ( facebook page)

The whole idea of Runners’ Kitchen started when some members of Run365PH, including  Mr. Xander Angeles- photographer , business entrepreneur, director and mountaineer.

Website: http://www.xanderangeles.com/

interior of the restaurant ( facebook page )

He began to realized that there is not much places in north of Metro Manila, there were not too many places for people to get healthy and wholesome food, particularly organic and gluten-free fare. The place can accommodate between 35 to 45 people at any given time sitting comfortably inside the place.

green board

The group was established in 2014 and the restaurant had a soft opening sometime in January 2015 and since then had began attracting runners , athletes around the place . Soon, food connoisseurs began eating at the place while television , newsprint and blog sites soon featured this restaurant .

bicycle affixed on the wall of the restaurant

The original idea of the partners was to have a food truck / food van business, but they have to apply several permits from different cities in which their food van business will traverse.  This made it complicated as each city would have different requirements and regulations.

souvenir corner

There is a small corner with souvenir items for sale

stylist flashlights turned into lightning fixtures

They targeted runners because they themselves were runners, and partnered up with Ms. Bianca King or  Ms. Bianca Charlotte King– GMA channel 7 celebrity, model , director and health and wellness advocate (who is also involved in Beyond Yoga), Ms.  Rhian Ramos– celebrity , model , singer and Ms. Glaiza De Castro.

Ms. Abby Asistio

Ms. Abby Asistio – artist , alopecia advocate and other young entrepreneur. She is one of the partners of the restaurant . We were invited for a press conference a few days ago by Novuhair .

According to Ms. Abby Asistio,  majority of the menus were formulated by executive Chef Matthew Ramos Henares,  He was featured in candy magazine , cousin of Ms. Rhian Ramos and son of ‘Pepito Manaloto’ cast  Mr. Ronnie Henares.

menu board with spicy tuna quinoa 

Spicy Tuna Quinoa Roll is composed of coconut creme , ginger soy reduction, Sriracha , cucumber , mayo wrapped in Japanese nori wrapper topped with sesame seeds  .

Php 280 -good for 2 to 4 persons- This is good for light meals and appetizer.

I like the way , they presented their menus and the paper – I think it is made from recycled paper .

healthy whole wheat nachos

Healthy Whole Wheat Nachos– whole wheat tortilla , with shredded pork adobo , mango, cheese , finely chopped red onions , corn bits with salsa sauce and topped with coriander leaves. Php 200 ( ideal for 2 to 3 person)

 Dalandan juice with honey  –Php 90

The wheat nachos is best paired with SUCUS Dalandan Juice.  I personally love this nachos and Dalandan juice.

Wild Board Sausage with Couscuos- It is Couscus topped with local sausage ( longganisa ) sinamak , cucumber , tomatoes , red onion topped with chop coriander leaves .

Php 300 per bowl ( good for 1 to 2 person)

vertical pocket garden

There is also a pocket vertical garden that is found within the restaurant premises , However due to the indoor humidity and air-condition , some of the plants are already wilted . Vertical garden includes Tillandsia stricta ” cotton candy” , Asplenium musifolium , Cryptanthus or Earth Star a member of the bromeliad family

 Runners Kitchen is open from 8am to 8pm, perfect for post-run meals.

Runner’s Kitchen is located at Creekside Square, Tomas Morato cor. Kamuning street . It is near E. Rodriguez side

It can be reach via major jeepney routes plying E. Rodriguez going to Cubao area.

For more information, check out their Facebook Page and Instagram, or contact them at +639175273688 or (02) 415 6870

Facebook Page:   https://www.facebook.com/RunnersKitchenPH/timeline

%d bloggers like this: