Scent of a Sanggumay Orchid

Quezon City , Philippines

Sanggumay orchids may refer to several pendulous Dendrobium orchid species that is found in wide range of habitats in the Philippines . Usually the common name refers to  Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumay ) , Dendrobium aphyllum ( lesser , fairy, dainty sanggumay ), Dendrobium heterocarpum , Dendrobium rhombeum ( yellow sanggumay ) . They are also called Latigo, Salome in some parts of the archipelago .

 

 Dendrobium anosmum ( ordinary color )

Latigo – is a Spanish word which means a long strap on a saddle tree of a western saddle . Because of  its long canes and the ability for the canes to be used as some sort of saddle for children playing , Hence it was called as such by the locals.

Salome also refers to the pendulous Dendrobium species like Dendrobium anosmum and Dendrobium aphyllum which their long canes or pseudo bulbs add seductiveness and erotic elements to the cultivation of the orchid species, especially when grown into big specimen and its long danging roots adds mystery to its growth . Hence some backyard growers refer them as such.

Sanggumay orchid exhibit at the 70th annual orchid and garden show

The word Sanggumay was derived from Tagalog root words : Sangsang  which means nauseating ,overpowering, stench (smell), and “Umay” or ” Gumay”  meaning tired-some, surfeit , satiety.

Please try to visit related link:  Sanggumays Flowering in the City

There are several color forms and varieties which is found over wide range of Asian countries from China, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand , Indonesia, India , Cambodia, Papua  New Guinea, Philippines  from sea level of lower primary forests at elevations up to 1,500 meters.

Dendrobium anosmum variety dearei ( alba or virginalis ) plant is grown by Mrs. Anita Arebal -Are from Baras , Rizal province

Another orchid species often called sanggumay is  Dendrobium aphyllum . Sometimes , backyard growers and plant traders would call them as fairy sanggumays  , lesser or dainty sanggumays to connote the smaller flowers, thinner canes and less over powering smell compared to Dendrobium anosmum.

clumps of sanggumays being sold within the Quezon Memorial Circle

The white colored- Dendrobium anosmum variety dearei or white / alba variety had a slower growth compared to the ordinary form and it is not commonly sold in the market . Sometimes , a plant with few canes with some flowers would fetch a few hundred of pesos , while bigger clumps would fetch a few thousand !  Another rarer variety “huttonii ”  and “coerulescens ”  would cost more.

Sanggumay attached to a living host in Barangay Buhatan , Sorsogon City

Some other Dendrobium species includes Dendrobium heterocarpum , Dendrobium rhombeum, Dendrobium crumenatum ( General Nakar area, Quezon ) , Dendrobium busigerum, Dendrobium secundum and Dendrobium bullenianum would be labeled as sanggumay by dealers or backyard growers.

Scent , Fragrance or Nauseating Smell ?

The scent of the sanggumay would vary from one person . The smell meant to attract insect pollinators particularly moth, butterflies, flies, wasps , gnats and carpenter bees . The scent is strongest during night time and early morning . The smell quickly fade by late morning .

It smells like Raspberry , Grape flavor , Bubble gum or Artificial candy .

Sanggumay grown in Barangay Sisigon, Matnog, Sorsogon province

I think this is one of the most popular native orchid that is frequently cultivated in many parts of the country . In my recent road trip to Southern Luzon and Bicol provinces , Almost every houses on main streets and those with large trees have some Dendrobium anosmum or Dendrobium aphyllum that are growing almost in carefree situation.

Dendrobium anosmum and Dendrobium aphyllum grown on a pomelo shrub in Barangay Sisigon, Matnog, Sorsogon province

Since the weather and climate of Southern Luzon and Bicol provinces is different from Western part of the country , Most of the sanggumays that i have seen have only started to shed their leaves.  The weather is always cloudy with slight drizzle when we are there .  ( Type 4 climate ) Please visit : PAGASA for climate reference. Majority of the sanggumays still have leaves and it could be a month or so before they bloom.

Dendrobium anosmum and Pteroceras pallidum grown in live kakawate tree (Gliricidia sepium ) within Barangay Sisigon , Matnog , Sorsogon province

Ethono Botanical Uses:

The flowers are strung to form a garland , used as corsage during graduation ,  processional carriages are also decorated with the flowers.

In some places , They are grown near the entrance of one’s house, as some superstitious folks believes that it could ward off evil spirits or even black dwarves .

There is one orchid grower from Sorsogon province which told me that they consider the orchid species as “Good Omen” plant , during its blooming season , before the flowers would fully open , they would whisper their wishes to the orchid .

References:

Orchid Species : http://www.orchidspecies.com/denanosmum.htm

Stuart Exchange : http://www.stuartxchange.com/Kakawati.html

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

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

Fairy Sanggumays Flowering in the City:

Antipolo City – Rizal province ,  Philippines

fairy sanggumays mounted on a living mango tree ( photo credit  :  Architect Patricia ” Wendy” Fernando- Regalado

fairy sanggumay, dainty sanggumay, lesser sanggumay, purple rain shower orchid, salome, cow hooded orchid or simply called sanggumays ! These pendulous and deciduous -type of orchid bloom are a big ” welcome” to the height of summer heat and Easter holiday. They are called Dendrobium aphyllum or Dendrobium cucullatum depending on the orchid authorities.

Architect Patricia” Wendy ” Fernando -Regalado together with her orchids within their residence in Antipolo, Rizal province ( photo credit )

closer view of the orchid with flowers  ( photo credit: Architect  Patrica ” Wendy” Fernando- Regalado)

One can estimate that there were several thousand of flowers  producing  cascading -type or shower -like effect to the landscape. The owner is a certified architect and a landscaper which explains the beautifully arranged orchid  mounted to the mango tree. According to her , They probably grown this orchid species from some clumps about 5 or 6 years ago , dividing them once in a while , While the keikis  ( orchid plantlets / suhi/ anaks ) where also attached to the mango tree, adding more  orchids to the tree ! The mango tree is about two- decade or so -old.

Dendrobium aphyllum or Dendrobium cucullatum grown on this jack-fruit tree ( photo credit: Mr. Edward Ines Agdeppa )

Another friend who lives in Fairview area, Quezon City attached his fairy sanggumays to a jackfruit tree  (langka / nangka ) which he bought at the sunday market some years ago, mounting them on several branches . Now , the jack fruit tree is laden with fruits and flowers from the orchid.

dainty sanggumay blooming in Paete , Laguna ( photo credit: Mr. Hans-Blooming Vanda )

 flowering dainty sanggumay in our backyard

same clump

This clump had about 350 flowers with its almost 2 -meter long canes / pseudo-bulbs.

a smaller clump, with blooms !

This blooming orchid was attached to a different Mac Arthur palm facing north- east position. This clump had about 50 flowers .

our version of the cascading effect

We are expecting more clumps and more blooms in 2015 flowering season. This orchid species had a faint smell unlike its Dendrobium anosmum cousin.

close-up view of the flower

Note: This orchid species is easy to grow under Philippine condition.   Try to grow them as clumps in one tree or several trees to give a shower or curtain -like effect during its blooming season .  Try to give them an ample “rest period ” drying period once their growth have matured by November and December . You can surely expect them blooming by February , March , April or even May. It depends on what part of the archipelago that you live, some have a very short dry period , while some areas had almost no dry period .

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

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

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

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

Click to access 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

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