Lakad Pamana of Bustos , Bulacan

Bustos, Bulacan province-Philippines

I woke -up early around 3:30am took a bus ride to Baliwag bus station along EDSA . The bus that i rode did not stop at the Kamuning or Cubao area ( later the bus conductor told me that they will take the ilalim route -under the bridge route ) . The bus driver took us off at the Main street which is about 500 meters away from the station . So i took another bus north bound going to Cubao ( Baliwag bus station) . The bus ride was indeed a hell raising experience . The travel was less than 25 minutes south bound from Fairview/ Novaliches area.

. I met Mr. Philip Reyes ( blogger friend ) at the Baliwag Bus station  , He was there around past 4:30am and told me that the first bus left (The bus had a Baliwag town signage) .

I arrived past 4:50am and we waited until past 5:20 am for the next bus going to the town of Cabanatuan . ( with Plaridel town signage) . There were a lot of people waiting to ride the bus and We are quite fortunate to get a seat .  It took less than 10 minutes before the bus was filled-up and some commuters were even standing . The travel from Cubao to Plaridel is quite fast . We manage to arrive around 6:30am at the meet-up / pick -up area at the Waltermart -Plaridel .The usual travel time from Cubao to Plaridel is around 1 and 1/2 hours.

entrance arch

We were fetch by 2 vans on our way to the town of Bustos around past 7:00am . The group passed by the town of Baliuag then Bustos ( around 14.5 kilometers)  . It took us about 20minutes to reach the municipal hall grounds.

name tags

We were greeted by the municipal tourism guide and staffs, pre-registerd participants got their name plates with proper identification .

huge minasa cookie at the Bustos municipal park

LAS MINASAS GIGANTES represent the iconic and historical confection of Bustos,Bulacan,the MINASA,cookie conceived during the Spanish era at the time when the privileged families of the town built houses made of adobe using egg whites to glue the bricks together.

letras y figuras

Letra y Figuras a stone carving of the municipal’s name, “BUSTOS” in all caps, inspired by the intricate design of the Mercado Stone House , art of letter writing with floral with caricature designs and the people of Bustos’ most favorite finger food, Minasa. It was installed on April 7, 2014.

akalatan bayan ( town’s library )

There is a quaint town’s library that used to share an office with the municipal tourism office.  It had a unique  green roof.

Ambu – The town official mascot

Ambu is an acronym for Asenso Mamayan ng Bustos . This was conceived about 6 years ago and symbolizes by the hardworking , progressive and friendly nature of the town’s people. While Green is the adoptive color which means progressive an environmental consciousness efforts of the government .

 There is also a mini-zoo within the plaza, with reticulated python  , albino python and eagles .

commercial stalls

Within the municipal ground there is also an agro-commercial trade fair , where more than 100 stalls offering different kind of products from Bustos and nearby provinces .

Princess of nutrition 1989

This statue was installed to commemorate an event in 1989 where 14 students from 14 Bustos  barangays . They were able to realized to build Paraiso ng mga Bata during the incumbency of Mayor Pablito V. Mendoza and the sangguniang bayan led by Barangay Captain Martin Perez. The project was successfully initiated by Dra. Rosalinda F. Mendoza.

Conrado Mercado

Mr.Conrado C. Mercado Jr. –  hails from Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines. He was born on (October 20, 1945 – February 27, 2010) to parents Conrado, Sr., a civil engineer and to Conception nee Camacho, a former school teacher.

The youngest of three sons, Conrado is the only one who showed a penchant for the art. His entry into this field is by ni means an accident. He holds A Fine Arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila which has produced a long line of fine artists.

 cocoon -year 2001

He is the founding president of Figure Artists and chiefly instrumental in reviving the then-dormant Society of Philippine Sculptors in which he served as president from 1993 to 1998.

valley of the dolls- welded bronze 1993

close-up view of the art work

giraffes

Website: http://conradomercado.com/

There is also a battle memorial plaza ( Bulacan Military Area )  which commemorates the 1945 battle with the Japanese forces.

There is also an electronic time clock  timer which had a countdown time in time for the 100th anniversary of the founding of Bustos.

post office branch

There is also a small post office with some old P.O. boxes and letter box near the municipal town hall. Since it was sunday , The post office is close.

native orchids like Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumay ) Dendrobium aphyllum ( lesser or fairy sanggumay ) and native ferns

Our group got a short private tour within the house of the mother of the current town’s mayor which is located near the town hall.

cacti collection

large tarpaulin poster within the municipal grounds

There are several large tarpaulin poster within the town’s main plaza advertising the calendar of events and activities .

Here is the official video uploaded by the Bustos Municipal government

We took a quick walk around the municipal town hall , post office, Zeny’s Minasa, Pan de Bustos and we were welcomed by the mother of the current town’s mayor .

Mayor Arnel F. Mendoza 

Mayor Arnel Mendoza and Ms. Aprille Keith Lazaro ( member of sanggunian bayan  and chairperson of the tourism council ) gave a short welcome speech and gave a short history of the town and various projects.

Bustos tourism office and museum

We were also one of the first group of people who witness the formal opening of the newly constructed Bustos Tourism and Museum .

group photo

Please Visit :

Lakad Pamana of Bustos, Bulacan  Part 2 : https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan-part-2/

Website: http://bulacan.gov.ph/bustos/index.php

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bustos.gov

Dendrobium aphyllum in our backyard blooming after a freak weather

Quezon City-Philippines

This is part of our small garden where i have mounted some of the Dendrobium aphyllum that i have collected in many parts of the country .

It is almost the beginning of the dry period . The last major rains we got was several weeks ago when Typhoon Koppu ( Bagyong Lando ) gave at least 2 to 3 days of rains.

Dendrobium aphyllum ( Marikina clone )

My last application of slow release fertilizer was on the middle part of September and I think most of them will eventually release all their nutrients by late November . I started  to water less and apply 10N-30P-30K water soluble fertilizer ( diluted into 1/4 of the recommended strength ) . This is to help strengthened the pseudo bulbs ( canes) . Planning to do this on bi-weekly basis until the end of November . Just enough to aid the maturing canes.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA according to their weather bulletin that Northwest Monsoon ( Amihan )  had  begun early October and will last until early February 2016. It had made a weather advisory dated October PAG-ASA climate advisories that a strong El Niño.

Website: https://web.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/

I got a mix emotion with regards to the advisory by the weather bureau . It means that there will be shorter canes compared last year but much earlier and maybe more blooms for these orchid species by 2016.

Dendrobium aphyllum with Phalaenopsis X Intermedia

Some of the Dendrobium aphyllum canes are slowly maturing , their upper leaves are slowly turning into yellow and are falling off the pseudobulb. A lot of the older canes are between 100cm to 150cm long . The other much larger specimen failed  to grow more than 150cm  which indicate that we got lesser rainfall and humidity compared to last year.

Dendrobium aphyllum ( Laguna and Quezon  province)

Another problem was the insect infestation ( probably caterpillars of butterflies or moths ) which ate the youngest leaves and pseudo-bulbs .  Then a mild fungal infection on young leaves, I was away for several days and i could not do anything with the infestation.  Just applied a mild fungal mixture and sprayed them on the orchids when i came back .  We also tried to withhold watering for several days.

Phalaenopsis X Intermedia

Some of our neighbors are probably inspired or amazed by the number of orchids attached to the palms that some of them are asking our growing techniques . I think there is no such secret for growing these orchid very luxuriantly . We just observed proper fertilization techniques and ideal growing conditions for these lovely orchid species.

Phalaenopsis X Intermedia

Phalaenopsis X Intermedia started to bloom. We have mounted some of them in Macarthur palm .

Ethno-Botanical Importance:

According to some old folks ( Bicol and Quezon ) the orchid flowers of Phalaenopsis X Intermedia are gathered preferably late afternoon before dusk around 5:00pm ( between 7 to 8 flowers) soak them in 1 glass of drinking water for the entire night  so that the potency of flowers will be absorbed by the water and drinking them to heal fatigue or for body ache the following day , just before eating anything .

Another herb specialist ( herbalista- from Samar ) told me that they also used some of the flowers to ward-off evil spirits which lingers in one abode. He even tried to encourage people to grow more of this orchid . I never tried to ask them on the procedure but it seems that they preferred live orchids .

 Mama Nene’s Garden  shared her experience with regards to the potency of the flowers which help her felt relief and rejuvenated.

Link to previous post: Phalaenopsis x intermedia in our backyard

Dendrobium aphyllum with inflorescence

The photo above was fairy sanggumay with some inflorescence  despite that there are still leaves intact. i was suspecting that it must be a freak weather pattern that induced this orchid to bloom without shedding their leaves.

This is one of the most commonly traded orchid species during garden shows, sunday market and favorite among local landscapers and backyard orchid hobbyists .

They are commonly called sanggumays, fairy sanggumay, dainty sanggumay , salome among others.

Here are some of the previous article links that i wrote about Dendrobium aphyllum. 

Dendrobium cucullatum flowering in our garden

Fairy sanggumay blooming in our garden

Fairy sanggumays flowering in the city

Los Baños Horticultural Show 2015 Highlights

 Senior Social Hall ,University of the Philippines -Los Baños, Laguna province

Mr. Vicente Chin Jr. together with members and invited guests at the ribbon cutting ceremony held yesterday at the senior social hall ( Photo credit: Mr. Vicente Chin Jr.)

Los Baños Horticultural Society in cooperation with Department of Trade and Industry- ( Laguna) , University of the Philippines- Los Baños is hosting the plant, orchid, trade fair and talks with this year’s theme : ” Green Gifts for Christmas“. 

Christmas themed landscape exhibits greeted the visitors to the garden show ( photo courtesy of Ms. Ann Valenzuela )

flowering orchids in white baskets and other ornamental plants such as bromeliads and ti-plants are incorporated in this landscape exhibit

The show gives an eye opener on beautiful plants that can be given this yuletide season. The show opened yesterday with a ribbon cutting ceremony that highlighted several months of preparation by the LBHS members and participants. Each exhibit is also illuminated by Christmas lights .

Aside from landscape exhibits , there are also individual plant competition were owners of the plant vie for several awards .

There will also be booths sponsored by Department of Trade and Industry selling native handicrafts , sweets and food from Laguna area.

huperzia ferns, aglaonemas , anthuriums and bromeliads

well-known plant connoisseurs, collectors , farm owners and traders are also selling their prized collections from rare ferns, aglaonemas, orchids , hoyas and native plants.

For those looking for outstanding and rare plants like hoyas -you can try to visit the booth of Ms. Ann Valenzuela at the show.

 Dendrobium aphyllum ( fairy sanggumays ) variegated bamboos , flowering anthuriums and Platycerium coronarium , artificial stones and garden set were part of the garden landscape display

landscape exhibit with plastic parols ( Christmas lantern) 

There will be a minimal entrance fees of Php 20 for the general public and Php 15 for students and senior citizens with valid ID’s . The show is open to the public from October 9 to 18 at the Senior Social Hall within University of the Philippines –Los Baños, Laguna from 8:00am until 6:00pm

Note: I would like to ” Thank” Mr. Vicente Chin Jr. and Ms. Ann Valenzuela for the photos

Commute Tips:

For those planning to come to the show, There are bus stations in Quezon City ( HM transit in Cubao ) with Santa Cruz -Laguna signage and  Green Star ( Senator Gil Puyat ) in Pasay City near Arellano University also near bus terminal of JAM Transit and Tritran (buses going to Batangas). plying the LRT/Taft to Sta. Cruz route.

Kindly tell the conductor of the bus that you will go down at Los Banos (UPLB, Olivarez Plaza,College), and  take a jeepney ride with UP College ( minimum fare Php 7.50) Senior Social Hall

Cubao area- around Php 120 to Php 125 ( air-condition)

Since i usually take – Green Star line from Pasay – transportation cost of around Php 90 to Php 100 ( air-condition)

Travel time from Pasay to Olivarez Plaza , Laguna can take between 1/1/2 hours on early morning to more than 2 hours or more during rush hour. Choke points are Makati area, SLEX and Calamba .

I suggest to leave Metro Manila before 6:00am in order to avoid the morning rush hour or after rush hour past 9:00am .

 

Fairy Sanggumay Blooming in Our Garden

Novaliches, Quezon City -Philippines

Dendrobium aphyllum

It is the month of  March –  It started to be warm and temperature is rising.  After a freak weather system during the last quarter of the 2014. We were rewarded with some blooms .   

flushes of young purple leaves

This particular orchid clone had some purplish leaves and this was given to me as a few small keikis last March 1, 2014  . I took notice of the strange leaf coloration  ( majority of the Dendrobium aphyllum that I got have green leaves)  . According to  Mrs. Adelina Almerol of Marikina City , She got it  from Pangasinan province few years back. She then grew a lot of the orchids attached to the fruits trees within her property. I also saw some of her neighbors having some of the orchid species. They were probably given by Mrs. Almerol .

 Last year’s post : Dendrobium cucullatum flowering in our garden

pseudobulbs ( December 4, 2014)

Dendrobium aphyllum with their leaves .

long pseudobulbs without the leaves ( March 4, 2015)

I started drying my  Dendrobium aphyllum / Dendrobium cucullatum late October 2014,  However freak weather pattern during the last quarter of 2014 delayed the drying of my orchids. It rained several times during the last quarter up until first few weeks of January 2015.

Dendrobium aphyllum  ( photo taken last December 2014)

Dendrobium aphyllum ( photo taken March 4, 2015 )

The Marikina clones had  fatter but shorter pseudobulbs compared to other clones .  The longest ones are just around 100 centimeters long .  The other clones that I bought from sunday and plant show traders are between 100 to 200 centimeters long .

Dendrobium aphyllum grown by  Vic Chin’s Orchids and Ornamental Plant Farm

According to some orchid traders , Most of them are grown in the backyards ,  mounted on large trees or grown in coconut husks.  Sometimes , to some extent – wild collected.  I think , this is one of the most common cultivated orchid species in the Philippines , China, India and Southeast Asia.

Common Names:

 This type of orchid species are locally called sanggumays, fairy sanggumays, lesser sanggumays, dainty sanggumays ( due to much smaller flowers and paler flowers), salome ( due to the long pseudobulbs ) , hooded dendrobium, temple orchids , shell orchids among others.

Synonyms:

This orchid had several synonyms – Some of the orchid traders refer to this as Dendrobium pierardii , Dendrobium cucullatum and Dendrobium aphyllum (Roxb.) C.E.C.Fisch. 1928.

Cultivation and Fertilization

I have several clones mounted on living palms or  trees. Mounting them on a piece of wood or kakawate seems to be perfect. It is pendulous type and requires a lot of space . The mount material should be sturdy . Whenever I buy some Dendrobium aphyllum – I measure the longest pseudo-bulbs / canes and try to mount them on a palm or tree facing the eastern or southeastern location preferably facing morning sun. Using strips of old cloth ( cut into lengthwise ) or plastic straws in securing them.

Most of the orchids are mounted between 8 to 10 feet from the ground. This is to give them enough room to grow. One month after blooming, I would start the regular fertilization using 20N-20P-20K water soluble fertilizer with trace elements and alternating the fertilization scheme with other known fertilizer brands 3 to 4 times a week. ( i would recommend lower dosage of fertilizer but more frequent  in usage) I also add a few slow release fertilizers ( sewn into a small piece of cloth ) to further boost the growth.

During the later part of the year – September to late November  , Try to change the formulation of the fertilizer to 10N-30P-30K , 9N-45P-15K, 15N-15P-30K ( depending on the fertilizer formulation )  . With high Phosphorus and Potassium during flowering and after maturity of bulbs is recommended.

Watering

Mounted plants can be watered daily in summer if the air circulation is good. In a basket, use a very well-drained epiphyte mix.  During rainy season ( It tend to rain almost everyday)   .  We only fertilize the orchid every other day and occasionally apply fungicide just before the onset of the rainy season late April or early May .

Flowers:

 The inflorescences are short, arising laterally from the leafless stems of the previous growing season. There are usually many inflorescences per pseudobulb , with one to three flowers on each. The flowers are 4–5 cm across and open widely with a pleasant fragrance. The sepals and petals are somewhat translucent, yellowish cream to whitish, more or less strongly suffused and marked with pinkish violet. The lip is trumpet-shaped, variable in width (from 2.0–3.8 cm wide when spread), pale yellow or less often white, whitish at the base, with dark violet branching veins inside the tube-shaped part, and densely covered with soft, short hair on the exterior surface and along the margins, except in the basal part.

Breeding

It was early December 2014 when some of the Dendrobium aphyllum ( Laguna / Quezon clone) bloomed . ( I think it was due to the freak weather pattern ) and Dendrobium aphyllum ( Marikina clone) bloomed. I tried a few attempts in self pollinating the orchids, but all were unsuccessful. Some local orchid growers and hobbyists told me that it is quite hard to pollinate this species.

Dendrobium aphyllum ( Marikina ) pod parent

Dendrobium aphyllum ( Laguna / Quezon clone) pollen parent

I  got some pollen from ( Dendrobium aphyllum ( Laguna/ Quezon clone ) and cross it with the Dendrobium ( Marikina clone) pod parent  . I choose to get the pollen from this plant because of the wide lip and large flowers.

Dendrobium aphyllum ( seed pod ) March 4, 2015

Cross Pollination

The results was quite successful ! I manage to pollinate the 2 different clones of Dendrobium aphyllum which resulted on the wilting of the flower just 1 day after the procedure was done. I think the seed pod might be ready for sowing in about 1 month or so depending on the temperatures and capsule development .

Note: I am still in the process of collecting some Dendrobium aphyllum in different provinces for possible breeding and study purposes . I would like to ” Thank” Mr. Reynaldo Lucas for a small keikis given to the author last February 22, 2015 .

Website Link: IUCN

Dendrobium cucullatum flowering in our garden

Dendrobium cucullatum R. Brown 1822 with over 200 flowers

Our family had been growing orchids and ornamental plants for several generations.  My grandmother is a plant and orchid lover, I have several aunts who cultivate and grow different flowering plants in their backyard or at  their farms.

Dendrobium cucullatum grown on a Mac Arthur palm  (Ptychosperma macarthurii )   for  about 3 -years

Mac Arthur Palm was introduced to the Philippines during the American colonization and was a popular ornamental palm : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptychosperma_macarthurii

http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/tree_fact_sheets/ptymaca.pdf

I think we got curious and have acquired our first pendulous -type of Dendrobium species  Dendrobium cucullatum aka Dendrobium pierardii  in the mid-1990’s when my mother went to her hometown in Bicol . According to her,  This particular orchid species  was widely cultivated in Bicol.  She also reminiscent  that when she visited the last time, around mid- 1980’s . she saw  massive clumps in one of her second cousin’s backyard.   She only took some photos and did not bother  to ask for a few keikis ‘ anaks” .

 Dendrobium cucullatum  clumps more than one ( 1) meter -long attached to the trunks of Mac Arthur palm

This orchid, Dendrobium aphyllum (Roxburgh) C.E.C. Fischer is previously called Dendrobium pierardii Roxburgh ex Hooker, which is now considered a synonyms.

Common Names:

Here in the Philippines ,  people  called this  orchid  species ” fairy sanggumay ” ,  ” dainty sanggumay ” , ” lesser sanggumay ” ” salome ”  or simply ” sanggumay” .   The flower are not as massive compared to the local sanggumay  ( Dendrobium anosmum ) and the flowers are pale in color , There somewhat  faint smell on the flowers .  The pendulous canes are thinner compared to the typical Dendrobium anosmum. Some neighbors in Novaliches would also have some small clumps of these orchid species tuck in one corner of their garden.

Renaming:

Then, in 2003, orchid experts Mr.  Eric Christenson and Mr. Howard Wood turned everything upside-down when they pronounced that D. aphyllum was not the same species as D. pierardii after all. They asserted that the plant William Roxburgh had illustrated back in the eighteenth century was a related but rather different species, which in 2003 was widely known as D. macrostachyum (never popular in horticulture due to its small, dully coloured flowers, but unusually widespread in the wild, from Sri Lanka to Australia and most areas in between). They also pointed out that the long-neglected name D. cucullatum was slightly older than D. pierardii.

It was again returned back to its original name Dendrobium aphyllum sometime 2010 after the some errors was reported .  But for the purposes of writing this article , i will stick to the 2003 re-naming .

Economic and Ethno-Botanical Importance:

Some internet sites call this hooded orchid, hooded cow orchid , since the flowers looked like a cone shaped -lip .  My father would call this Tiāngōng shíhú 天宮石斛 in reference to the pendulous habitat and it grow epiphytic . Some Chinese drugstore in Manila and in many Asian cities would used the dry canes for medicinal purposes .

In the Philippines, superstitious beliefs may vary from one town to another. It may depend on one person to another on ‘why’ they would cultivate and propagate these lovely orchid species in their backyard or properties.

One orchid collector  considered them as lucky plants ( when they started growing and collecting Dendrobium anosmum and Dendrobium cucullatum – Their business gradually flourish and got more clients  .

Dendrobium cucullatum / aphyllum were mounted on old trees

A backyard grower  believes that it is considered unlucky since they are pendulous and growing downward position thus gave away all their orchids ( Sayang ! ) . Another collector believes that they ward -off evil spirits and thus  planted their orchids near the entrance of one’s abode or house.  Another neighbor told us that she saw some Aetas using the canes for their native handicrafts in Zambales .

Dendrobium aphyllum / cucullatum grown within Far Eastern University campus

This orchid is also popular among landscapers and property owners with large trees or palms .  I saw a lot of mature specimen -sized orchids on large trees in Ayala-Alabang Village, Greenhills Village, Corinthian Gardens, Valle Verde,  Forbes Park, Rizal Park , Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Street , De La Salle University and Ugu Bigyan Pottery Compound .

a fairy sanggumay mounted on a duhat tree  ( Syzygium cumini ) within  Mrs. Adelina Almerol residence

When i attended an eyeball of the Pinoy Coke Fanatics  last March 1, 2014 held at Ipil street , Marikina Heights, Marikina City  – I walked from Ipil street  number 1 to 150 plus.  Along Ipil street ,  I saw several homes growing this particular orchid species mounted on living tree such as caimito, mango,  jackfruit  ( langka/ nangka)  ,guava, madre de cacao ( Gliricida sepium ), duhat tree and even in boungainvillea ! I was surprise the almost total neglect that the homeowners gave to their orchids, and some even thought that are  almost dead!!!!!

bougainvillea with a small clump of fairy sanggumay on the trunks

Although i did not not won any major prize during the raffle and contest held at the premises  . I was rewarded by Tita Adelina Almerol , the owner of the place whom i tried to ask some keikis . She  told me to just get some keikis in one of the duhat trees. ” Maraming Salamat po Ulit” rest assured that i will propagate those keikis!

 Dendrobium cucullatum orchid festoon this guava tree

Her garden is simple but with a lot of big trees and full of native Dendrobium anosmum, Dendrobium cucullatum and Dendrobium crumenatum .

a jack fruit tree with orchids ( Dendrobium anosmum and  Dendrobium cucullatum ) attached to its main trunk add beauty to the landscape

Some of her neighbors also have some orchids too!!!! I tried to ask her about when did she started growing them?  According to her,  The   sanggumays, she refers to both small ( Dendrobium cucullatum ) and big types  ( Dendrobium anosmum )as she brought from the province. Most of the orchids are more than a decade -old.

Another duhat tree with  Dendrobium anosmum , Dendrobium cucullatum/ aphyllum and a Philodendron species

We used to have at least 100 fully grown specimen sized- plants of Dendrobium cucullatum collected from  Nueva Ecija, Masbate, Sorsogon, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Bulacan , Pampanga, Albay, Marinduque , Ilocos , Pangasinan and even Metro Manila .  Some were bought at the Manila Seedling Bank,  sunday market,  orchid peddlers , some are just given to me as keikis  by neighbors and friends . I carefully tagged the different kinds or localities . However during the BIG construction boom ,  Almost half of our 100 specimen -sized  Dendrobium cucullatum orchids were among the first casualties due to theft, concrete cement pouring by construction workers who cared-less for these native orchids ! Hindi man lang kayo nagpasintabi ….Tsk tsk tsk….

BUT just not to spark any flame wars with our neighbors who cared -less for these native orchids. HUH they do not have an idea it took almost 20 -years of collection ?

We just rescued all the orchids, hoyas, native ferns and attached them to a living host palms, trees and even re-potted some of the remaining survivors . We hope to re-collect some of the species we lost ! Ganyan talaga ang Buhay !

Growing and Propagation Method:

My growing techniques are simple and are tested , I would divide the clumps after the flowering season into 5 to 6 pseudo- bulbs from a specimen or “mother orchid” mounting them in small pre-cut kakawate wood putting a few mosses on top to keep the root in moist condition.  When tree fern slabs were still common in the garden stalls , I would use them as a material before.

a juvenile plant mounted on a tree fern slab with small cloth ( with slow release fertilizers)

I would put some mosses or fern roots ( pasdak  ) on the keikis in order for them to get establish before removing them when they reach at least 10- inch long with most of the roots covering the moss or fern roots. Thus the survival rate will be higher.

I would give them about 1- month rest period after blooming . Then  fertilize my Dendrobium cucullatum or Dendrobium anosmum with a diluted NPK 20-20-20 every twice a week  – reduce strength from the label.

Alternately giving them organic fertilizers and different brands of fertilizer once in a while  ( example Peters , Siam, Gaviota ) . During its growing season ( starts after they bloom , when you see new growth had started mostly around  late April or Mid- May  ) . I would put a small bag of slow release fertilizer (  gather used stockings, socks and old clothes sew them into a small tea bag -like pack .

I had to put between 20 to 30 pellets of slow release fertilizer for a full grown orchid  plant and between 10 to 15 pellets of slow release fertilizer for a immature orchid keikis , This will boost the growing rate of these orchid, normally since it is hot and rainy by the time their growing season started. I had to repeat putting the granules every 1 month , It is faster in tropical regions of the world that slow release fertilizers would leach-out their properties rather in the temperate areas ( mostly 2 months ) . The more frequent it rains , the more chances that we need to replenish the slow release fertilizers and start applying fungicide before the onset of the rainy season too ! I have to repeat this at least 5 to 6 times within the growing period from late March till October or November  ( growing season may also vary from region to region and by continents )  . I would slowly stop my fertilization to all my Dendrobium ( deciduous type  ) .

a smaller flowering sized – Dendrobium given to me as keikis 3 weeks -ago by Ms. Adelina  Almerol of Marikina City

I have to wait until the last growth and slowly minimizing my watering cycle from almost daily ( due to monsoon rains everyday – We get at least 91- inches of rain in Novaliches, Quezon City  area ) To almost twice-a  week by October and almost once a week watering cycle by November . When the growth is plump and the leaves are mature enough. Slowly reduce the watering and by late November or early December,  Start to dry the deciduous-type of Dendrobiums . I completely stop all watering and just reduce all  watering activities to just misting the surrounding areas and plants just to avoid too much shivering of the pseudo-bulbs. At this time all leaves are becoming yellow or had fallen -off the pseudo-bulbs.

Within 1 or 2 months period, Maybe late January ,  February until first week of March  , You can see small bumps at the pseudo-bulbs indicating that flowering is on its way . You can resume watering , flowers can last between a few days ( maybe due to thrips )up to at least 2 weeks.

Habitat and Distribution Range:

This orchid species can be found in wide range of habitat from 100 meter elevation up to more than 1,000 meters  elevation . It can be found  on trees and may grow on rocks or boulders as  Lithophytes.  This orchid species is widespread from  India, Sir Lanka, Yunnan, China,  Taiwan ,  Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Maldives, Himalayas, , Andaman islands, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Borneo, Lesser Sunda Islands, Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Queensland , Australia, Nepal, Bhutan and the Philippines.

According to some observations, This orchid used to be collected in Mindoro, Leyte , Quezon , Laguna , Batangas , Bicol provinces , Visayas and Mindanao area.  However  due to the nature of this species, It also invaded some lowland fruit tree plantations and can be found growing in cultivated areas such as lansones plantations, caimito , acacia , duhat tree. There were some Dendrobium cucullatum / Dendrobrium aphyllum that were deliberately introduced from neighboring Thailand, Malaysia and India in the late 1970’s by plant traders which introduced them to the Philippine market. They are larger and darker in color form compared to the type species that are normally encountered .

I hope that with what remains  in our garden will inspire , orchid species collector like me had gone through .” Kahit kaunti na ang natira ” , even if there are few that survive the onslaught . There is still a renewed HOPE that in our small way , we can nurture , care , help and propagate these valuable native species   ! I hope to seek the other forms from other sanggumay collectors in other parts of the country.

Note: Currently we are looking for some forms of this orchid species for eventual re-establisment in one of our group member who had a small farm in Antipolo, Rizal.

Philippine Orchid Conservation and Preservation Volunteers

Facebook Page ( Private group ) : https://www.facebook.com/groups/407610329339909/

The group currently had 75 members in different parts of the Philippines

 Kindly visit theses website links:

http://www.orchidspecies.com/dendaphyllum.htm

http://www.orchidsonline.com.au/node/4404

http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?461110

 http://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/229453

http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/dendrobium-aphyllum