Gammatophyllum wallisii the biggest orchid in the world

This is the specimen sized Grammatophyllum wallisii or Grammatophyllum speciosum native to the Philippines and was growing on a boulder in one of the houses near theĀ  town ofĀ  Dolores in Quezon .Ā Ā  According to the owner,Ā  this orchid blooms every 3 to 5 year intervalĀ  and based on the orchid sizeĀ  , the orchid is at least 50 years old . Several years ago an orchid collector offered to buy the orchid but the owner does not want to sell . Local taxonomist are still in a debate if this particular orchid found in Quezon is a distinct species or just a variety since the color of the flowers and marking are quite distinct .

The Giant Orchid, Grammatophyllum speciosum also called Tiger Orchid because of the spotting in the flowers which resembles tiger marks , Sugar Cane Orchid or ” Malatubong Dapo ” because the pseudoblubs resembles large sugar canes . People also call this particular orchid asĀ  Queen of the Orchids, since this is the world’s largest and bulkiestĀ  orchid .Ā  It is native toĀ  growing in crotches of large trees on exposed areas of the lowland tropical rain forest. This species was first described by botanist Carl Blume in 1825.

TheĀ  cylindric pseudobulbs reach 10 feet or 3 meters in height with leaves along the full length.

It is an Ā  epiphytic and occasionally a lithophytic plant, forming spectacular root bundles. It can grow to gigantic clusters weighing from several hundred kilograms to more than one ton. The orchid can produce over 10,000 flowers on a mature plant.

The orchid can be found growing within 100 to 1,200 meters elevation in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Borneo, Moluccas, the Philippines, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Bismark islands, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, East Timor and Solomon island and is recorded to be the heaviest orchid in the world.

A Giant Orchid weighing two tons was one of the highlights in the 1851 exhibition at Crystal Palace in London according to a scientific journal.

There are some growers of this orchid in Metro Manila however this orchid is quite temperamental in blooming within the metropolis. This orchid needed to be conserved and protected.

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