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.

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.

Summer Blooms of Cymbidium Finlaysonianum

Cymbidium finlaysonianum is one of the native orchid species which never fails to disappoint us. This specimen clump had been with us for more than 25 years. This was bought by my mom in the early 1990’s from an ambulant vendor selling her last few remaining stocks of orchids.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum clump with 19 flowers on 1 spike

This specimen orchid were first grown on a driftwood during the first 5 years after my mom brought the orchid home. When the driftwood rotted away. We decided to tie the orchid on a Melia azedarach (Paraiso tree) growing in our backyard. This orchid spend at least 10 years or so mounted and flowering every year. When the tree died sometime in 2010. We re-attached the the large one on to a Manila palm ( Adonidia merrillii) sometime around 2011. It took more than 2 years before the main orchid started to bloom again. The flowering season for this orchid species became erratic ( it may be due to the change in growing condition) until a couple of years ago, when it would bloom at least once a year. We have given some divisions to  neighbors and friends, but unfortunately most of the divisions that we gave died out in their collection.

This particular orchid had a compact growth habit and would have small flowers compared to other Cymbidium finlaysonianum that we have in our house. This species blooming season is from March to May, but sometimes this can bloom late February or early June depending on the weather pattern.

A short drying period is necessary for the orchid species to initiate flowering. In our case, Some of our orchid clump would flower twice a year after a short dry season and after the rainy season.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum with second flower spike

This orchid had rewarded us with two spikes ( 19 flowers) and ( 15 flowers) before the first spike had faded away, the second inflorescence started opening. Due to the intense heat, Most of the flowers do not last more than a week. There is a third spike which is expected to open by Easter.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum with 3rd flower spike

Gathering and Viewing Parties

I have seen some blooming -sized orchid planted in pots at the backyard of my aunt during my kindergarten days. She bought some of her orchids from ambulant vendors way back in the late 1980’s while some was brought from the province. This was some sort of a “BIG Event” in her house whenever these orchids were in bloom. Most of her orchids were grown on big earthenware pots and can be brought inside the patio area for easier viewing.

This would rival Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Queen of the Night, Queen for a Night, Dutchman Pipe ) whenever the plants were in bloom.

This orchid species use to be commonly cultivated in many houses within the subdivision that we live. Most are left untouched by the owners which were grown attached to coconut palms, manila palms, caimito, duhat, jackfruits and driftwood.

Unfortunately, New generation home owners prefer orchid hybrids or other flowering plants. Some older residents which grew tried of growing them would neglect the orchids and a lot of them would end up dying.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum flowers are smaller than the usual form. a big one is only 1.5 inches across ( about 4cm) this one had a flower spike of 26 inches long.

Initially thought that this was Cymbidium pubescens or Cymbidium bicolor, until few years ago when i have shown some flower samples to fellow orchid hobbyists and collectors. They told me that this is the compact type Cymbidium finlaysonianum or small flowering size ones.

Habitat

Cymbidium finlaysonianum is the most widely distributed of all the Cymbidium species and it has been recorded from India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, throughout the islands of Indonesia, Borneo, Maluku, Sulawesi, and throughout the Philippines.

Cymbidium finlaysonainum is found elevations from sea level up mid-level altitudes between 1,300 to 1,400 meters.

This orchid species would be seen growing in coconut plantations and semi-cultivated fruit orchard. Sometimes growing lithophytes on limestone rock formations.

There are some color variations in this species, While the highly prized Cymbidium finlaysoniamum variety flava sometimes called variety alba. Is seldom seen in cultivation.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum with 2nd inflorescence ( 15 flowers)

Care and Fertilization

Most of our Cymbidium finlaysonianum orchids are grown attached to living palms and on forks of trees.

Fertilization should only be done during the active growth periods, normally 2 weeks after blooming. We would use water soluble fertilizers at 1/4 strength of what is on the label usually 20N-20P-20K every week.  Applying some calcium nitrate, trace elements and epsom salt once every two weeks on very small quantity diluted on lukewarm water, then further diluting them on 10 liters of water. We would water first the orchid early in the morning or late afternoon before applying any fertilizers.

Try to put 25 to 35 pieces slow release fertilize sewn on old cloths then tie them few inches above the main orchid roots. This orchid species tend to be heavy feeders especially during their growing season. ( normally 2 weeks after they bloom- between late March, April to late October) towards late October or early November, We would adjust the fertilizer formulation to ( 10N-30P-30K) in preparation for the dry season.

As cooler weather approaches, reduce watering slightly, By early December, we would decrease watering to two or three times a weeks and stopping the application of any form of fertilizers.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum have evolved water storage organs (pseudobulbs) to withstand periodic, or months of dry season in their native habitats. The larger the pseudobulbs, the longer a period of dryness the orchid clump can withstand. For this reason, it is recommended that plants in cultivation be allowed to go nearly dry in between watering.

We would also flush our orchid at least once every 10 days using ordinary tap water to remove the built -up of salts and other fertilizer residue.

Once a while, we would also water our orchid from rice washings ( hugas bigas), but orchid experts forbid this practice since there are fungus and water mold which would kill the orchid. Hence, we would minimize the use of hugas bigas.

Etho-Botanical and Economic Importance:

Cymbidium orchids and its hybrids were long sought after orchid in the world. The Chinese were cultivating them long before Jesus Christ was born. Flower arranger and florist would use their large flowers for several occasions.

Some believe that growing them gives them good luck ( depending on the person or ethic group ) One ethnic group in the Philippines (Aetas from Zambales region) uses the leaves of the Cymbidium finlaysonianum as rope or accessories.

A neighbor also believe that growing them within one’s property could deter tiktik from entering one’s house.

In Borneo, people keep plants of this species in their houses to ward off evil spirits. Also sprinkling chewed roots of this species over an elephant is thought to cure it.

Landscapers would also use the beautiful orchids to cling on old trees and palms in big subdivisions,farms,resorts and local parks.

This is also often seen being peddled by some aetas or ambulant orchid vendors. sometimes misnaming or mislabeling the orchid as Vandas or inserting the orchid with Vanda hybrid flowers or Mokaras.

Sources and Bibliographies:

Personal interview with backyard growers

The Orchids of the Philippines , Jim Cootes 2001

Orchid of Malaysia and Singapore ,Gunnar Seidenfaden, Jeffrey J. Wood, Richard Eric Holttum ,  Olsen and Olsen 1992

Page,148 Philippine’ Book on Orchids, Golamco Andres 1991, Jemma Inc ( ISBN 971-8636-54-4)

Orchidiana Philipiniana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984; Orchidiana Philipiniana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984

The Complete Writings on Philippine Orchids Vol 1 Quisumbing 1981

Opening Highlights of the Flores De Mayo Exhibit at the Orchidarium

Flores de Mayo 2017 exhibit was in partnership between Department of Tourism , National Parks Development Committee in cooperation with League of Conservationists of the Philippines ( LOCPHIL) opened to the general public the  plant exhibition and trade bazaar at the Orchidarium ( Beside the National Museum of Anthropology ) within Rizal Park , Manila.

Since it was ” Mother’s Day ” all the parks entrance fees like Orchidarium , Chinese Garden , Children Garden , Japanese Garden and Paco Park were waived .

Among the prominent guests of honor includes Ms. Penelope D. Belmonte ( Executive Director-National Parks Development Committee ) Honorable Fema Duterte,Dr. Joan Lagunda of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office ASec. Astravel Pimentel-Naik, PCUP, Dr. Elba S. Cruz ( Development Academy of the Philippines ) ,  Mr. Rolando T. Mamaradlo ( NPDC -Chief Administration officer) , Mr. Niel Maceda ( LOCPHIL- President )

League of Orchid Conservationists of the Philippines officers and members

The Orchidarium used to be a parking lot about 8,000 square meters allotted to the employees of the Department of Finance and was later converted into a garden and sanctuary around 1994 . This is also a repository for rare and native orchid species found in the country.

Unfortunately, We only saw a handful of native orchids growing on trees, a lot of the native orchids such are sanggumay ( Dendrobium anosmum ) , dainty sanggumay ( Dendrobium aphyllum ) are not found.

Judging also commenced before the ribbon cutting ceremonies by the special guests of honor which includes Ms. Fema Duterte and officials from National Parks Development Committee.

Cymbidium finalysonianum specimen orchid spotted near the man-made waterfall blooming .

plant stalls 

There are also stall holders from different parts of the country like Mabuhay Orchids and Ornamental Plants from Cavite, Laguna , Quezon , Negros , Davao and Metro Manila .

Horti Negrense 

#14 exhibit booth , showcased some native orchids , Platycerium coronarium ferns

#7 landscape exhibit booth

#3 Landscape exhibit

#5 Landscape entry

#9 Landscape entry

Landscape Winners

Biona’s Garden won the first place ” Best in Landscape ” award which comes with blue ribbon and Php 75,000 cash reward courtesy of the National Parks Development Committee.

Mhin’s Garden won second place which also come with a cash prize of Php 50,000 plus red ribbon . Mhins Garden is from Calauan , Laguna province ( Contact : 0927-5660350/0921-2835214 )

Davao Susana Garden won third place with Php 35,000 cash and white ribbon. All the winners are members of the Los Baños Horticultural Society Inc.

After all the fanfare , participants, exhibitors were treated to an early lunch hosted by NPDC.

The exhibit will run until May 22, 2017. Photos are all from the author

 

Casa Santa within Jardin de Miramar Revisted

276 to 279  San Jose Ext, Padilla,  Jardin de Miramar compound , Antipolo City 1870 , Rizal province

It had been 7 years since we last visited Casa Santa and Jardin de Miramar . Our group conducted a tour on the place way back in 2008 and 2009 for the Philippine Orchid Society and Philippine Horticulture Society .  There have been a lot of improvements and additional venue at the place.

water lilies also add colors to the landscape

Cymbidium finlaysonianum

We decided to revisit the place and re-update our blog .  The place had beautiful landscape lawn , more venue places , lush garden , a great venue / event east of Metro Manila.  There are more interesting collection , lovely native orchids like Cymbidium finlaysonianum which is at least a decade -old and is blooming .

Dendrobium aphyllum , Dendrobium anosmum and Asplenium nidus naturalized on mango trees

Jardin de Miramar has extended its collection to other works of art such as the sculptures/creation of nationally recognized artists  Mr. Ed Castrillo, Michael Cacnio, Daniel dela Cruz, Tony Leano, Ral Arrogante, mural works by Alfred Galvez; mosaic works by Hannah Liongoren.

interior with santa clause theme collection

 ” Christmas Everyday ” is very appropriate theme for the museum/ collection . It reminds everyone of caring , sharing and the spirit of giving for the less fortunate .

collection of different santa from all over the world

The collection of santa seems to grew from about 3,500 to around 3,900 plus from the last time we have visited the place. Not all were exhibited at the house. No two santa collectible items are the same , thus out-most care is given to the collection .

Christmas eggs

plates, cookie jars, table mats , mugs, spoon , forks 

There are santa items from several countries from Russia, Finland, Portugal, Spain , China, Hong Kong , Taiwan , United States of America, Peru among others.

Christmas miniature villages

Some of the Christmas themed collection are also given by friends, relatives and even close acquaintances of the owner.

miniature  village complete with railroad track and amusement park

A newly renovated Santa’s village has been created by Christmas village miniature artist Bamboo Tonogbanua, a Cebuano Artist. The bluish lighting within the room of the famed Christmas miniature room was designed by  Japanese light designer Shoko Matsumoto.

 

viewed from second floor

For those who wish to visit the Casa Santa museum and Jardin de Miramar.

Contact: Telephone No.: 584-3199
Fax No.: 697-4077
Cellphone No.: 09178912208
Viber : 09178912208
Email: info@jardindemiramar.com

Website : http://jardindemiramar.com/casa-santa/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/casasantamuseum