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

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

Cymbidium Finlaysonianum Peak Summer Bloom

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

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

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

3rd inflorescence

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

4th inflorescence

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

Cymbidium Finlaysonianum Care and Fertilization

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

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

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

4th and 5th inflorescence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note: all photos are taken by the author

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.

Holy Cross Memorial Park Horticulture Walk

Holy Cross Memorial Park is one of the private memorial parks located in Barangay San Bartolome , Novaliches , Quezon CityMetro Manila that is a favorite place for joggers and a perfect place to relax .

rows of anahaw palm

ficus trees lined the street going to the park

The park is home to more than 150 species of trees and flowering plants  plus about two dozen known birds. Every Year there were at least  75,000 to 150,000 people who visit the  their beloved ones who are buried . There is a also a group joggers from different associations.

Spathodea campanulata or African Tulip Tree

This tree species  was probably introduced to the country  from tropical Africa during the American regime. In certain parts of the world, it is known as the Fountain Tree as well as the Flame of the Forest.

This is a popular ornamental tree in the tropics and is much appreciated for its showy reddish-orange or crimson flowers. It can provide ample shade and because of its bright flowers, it’s always a colorful addition to any garden. The wood is difficult to burn, so the tree is also valuable for fire resistant landscaping. It is cultivated in parks, gardens, and along roadsides. It is commonly seen growing around Metro Manila and Tagaytay area and is often considered an evergreen, though it sheds its leaves during summer.

The flower buds form a ball-shaped cluster. Each brown banana-shaped flower bud is filled with water, forming a natural water pistol when squeezed. The outer buds bloom first before the inner ones. The tree blooms year round and a flower lasts about 3 days. The ripe pods split open into a woody, boat-shaped form. Children use them in boat races, by placing the opened pods in a fast flowing drain.

Medicinal Value:

Though there is no reported folkloric use here in the Philippines, Its leaves, root bark, stems, and fruits yield alkaloids, tannin, saponin, steroids, terpenoids, and flavonoid and are used in African medicines. In some African countries, the stem bark is used as a paste for healing wounds as it has anti-microbial properties. In Ghana, the stem bark and leaf are used for treatment of dyspepsia and peptic ulcer; while the leaf, root bark, and fruit is used for arthritis and fractures.

Though there is no reported folkloric use here in the Philippines, its leaves, root bark, stems, and fruits yield alkaloids, tannin, saponin, steroids, terpenoids, and flavonoid and are used in African medicines. In Africa, the stem bark is used as a paste for healing wounds as it has anti-microbial properties. In Ghana, the stem bark and leaf are used for treatment of dyspepsia and peptic ulcer; while the leaf, root bark, and fruit is used for arthritis and fractures. The stem bark is also used for toothaches and stomach aches while the root bark and seeds are used for stomach ulcers.

a traditional Chinese-style family mausoleum

This tree can survive in shaded areas, but it requires full sunlight exposure to be able to grow fast and bloom with an abundance of flowers. It can even grow faster when there is plenty of moisture though it endures droughts by shedding leaves.

Couroupita guianensis or Cannon Ball Tree

Couroupita guianensis, whose common names include Ayahuma or  Cannonball Tree, is an  tree allied to the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), and is native to tropical northern South America and to the southern Caribbean . In India it has been growing for the past two or three thousand years at least, as attested by textual records; hence it is possible that it is native to India also. It’s part of the family Lecythidaceae and grows up to 25m (82ft) in height.

flower

The “Cannonball Tree” is so called because of its brown cannon-ball-like fruits. The majority of these trees outside their natural environment have been planted as a botanical curiosity, as they grow very large, distinctive flowers. Its flowers are orange, scarlet and pink in color, and form large bunches measuring up to 3m in length. They produce large spherical and woody fruits ranging from 15 to 24cm in diameter, containing up to 200 or 300 seeds a piece.

Introduction:

This introduced species was probably brought to the country during the American regime . Its decorative flowers and fruit makes this tree ideal as a focal point in large gardens and estate. However it is not recommended to plant this tree in small garden spaces .

The tree gets its common name from the large, spherical fruits it produces. The fruit falls from the tree and cracks open when it hits the ground when mature, often causing the sound of a small explosion. The fruit emits an unpleasant aroma when exposed to the air. Individual seeds within the “ball” are coated with hair, which is thought to protect the seed when it is ingested and may also help in the passage of the seed through the intestines.

Traveller’s palm

Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as  Traveller’s Palm, is a species of plant from Madagascar. However , horticulturists do not consider this plant as a true palm(family Arecaceae) but a member of the bird-of-paradise family, Strelitziaceae.this plant is the sole member of its genus. This plant was introduced to the country during the early American regime and is widely distributed as a common landscaping plant material.

Chrysalidocarpus  lutescens called palmera / butterfly palm

  Local folk called this palmera because of its fronts and commonly used as an ornamental plant and backdrop for flower arrangements . This is a common palm found in most pan-tropical countries around the world.

A slender , clustering palm that can grow height to more than 12 meters. The graceful yellow green leaves and can reach up to 2 meters. This palm is native to Madagascar and was introduced in the early 20th century in the country as landscaping material. It is now commonly found in parks , private homes and this palm is also popular as indoor potted plant.

a flowering palm

Cassia fistula, known as the Golden shower tree , is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae,   native to southern Asia, from southern Pakistan east through India, Mayanmar and south to Sri Lanka.

Golden shower tree or Cassia fistula

It is the national tree of  Thailand, and its flower is Thailand’s national flower. It is also state flower of Kerala in India and of immense importance amongst Malayali population.  This is a very popular plant throughout its range and has medicinal and folkloric uses.

Hyophorbe lagenicaulis or bottle palm

Bottle palm was introduced to the country some  20 to 30 years ago via Bangkok, Thailand  and Florida nurseries  , Filipino landscapers usually used this palm to landscape the front lawns  of the houses. The compact growth of this palm is ideal for those who do not have large spaces. There are specimen sized palm planted in some exclusive villages in Forbes Park , Corinthian Garden, Valle Verde, Ayala- Alabang  and in Greenhills .

Chua family mausoleum

Bottle Palm has a large swollen (sometimes bizarrely so) trunk. It is a myth that the trunk is a means by which the palm stores water. Bottle Palm has only four to six leaves open at any time. The flowers of the palm arise from under the crown shaft.

Roystonea regia or Royal Palm

Royal palm was introduced to the country during the late Spanish period and was planted in public places such as in Malecon drive ( aka Bonifacio Drive) , Intramuros , Hardin Botanico de Manila now known as Mehan Garden .

Roystonea is a genus of eleven species  of monoecious palm, native to the Caribbean Islands and the adjacent coasts of  Florida , Central and South America. Commonly known as the royal palms, the genus was named for Roy Stone, an engineer in the US Army . It contains some of the most recognizable and commonly cultivated palms in tropical and subtropical regions.

Champaka trees planted in one of the family graves

The flowers are used in Southeast Asia for several purposes. They are primarily used for worship at temples whether at home or out, and more generally worn in hair by girls and women as a means of beauty ornament as well as a natural perfume. Flowers are used to be floated in bowls of water to scent the room, as a fragrant decoration for bridal beds, and for garlands.

rows of anahaw palm

Aside from its wealth of plants and birds, Holy Cross Memorial Park  is the final resting place of controversial massacre victims of Vizconde family and Mr. Renato Victor A. Ebarle Jr. son of  Undersecretary Renato Ebarle Sr.who works for the Office of the Presidential chief of staff during the Arroyo presidency.

final resting place of Mr. Renato Ebarle Jr.

Mr. Renato Ebarle Jr. died in a tragic road rage shooting incident which involve the son of  Mrs. Marilyn Aguilar -Pollard in November 18, 2009 .  There are also unique tombstone and family mausoleum located within the memorial park .

castle inspired mausoleum

Assistant Pastor Lina C. Almeda tomb

Assistant Pastor Lina C. Almeda is the wife of Pastor Wildie E.Almeda of Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry , her tomb is a mecca for the followers of JMIC members.

She was fervent in teaching about loving, obeying, and totally surrendering one’s life to the Lord. She was passionate about living and teaching a life of holiness. She died on January 24, 2004.

Mussaenda philippica variety aurorae

This is a tropical shrub or sub-shrub that will grow to 10ft tall in tropical areas, but more likely will reach 1-3ft tall in containers. Clusters (corymbs) of small, tubular flowers with five spreading lobes bloom in summer, however it is the large and colorful, ovate, leaf-like sepals (to 3” long) that provide the real ornamental display. Some individual flowers in each cluster will develop a single enlarged sepal. Elliptic to ovate, bright green leaves (to 6” long). Hybrids typically feature flowers in red and/or yellow with showy sepals of white, bright red or pink.

Origin: named after Donya Aurora Aragon- Quezon , wife of a former President Manuel Luis Quezon of the Philippines .

White Mussaenda also commonly called  Virgin Tree or Donya Aurora can be grown as ornamental in parks and public gardens or along roadsides, byways and highways. Use in landscaping, this plant serves well as a decorative specimen with its showy blooms and would fit beautifully in home gardens too! Attractive to butterflies, bees,  and insect pollinators as a nectar plant.

tombstone with Tagalog inscription

family mausoleum with interesting cathedral -like dome

                                                            a circular family mausoleum ( some architectural details  have some  similarities of planetarium in Luneta )

The golden form of Golden Vietcha or Adonidia merrillii  golden is widely used as landscaping plant

This is a mutant variety of the, Bunga China , Bunga de Jolo, Manila Palm or Christmas Palm.The palm can reach up to  a height of 15-20 feet. The gently arching fronds are bright green and grow lushly from the top of the crown shaft. They grow to a length of 5 feet with leaflets up to 2 feet long by 2 inches wide.

Two foot long, branched flower stalks emerge from the area where the crownshaft meets the gray trunk. Pale green flower buds open into spidery cream-colored blossoms.

Tale of Discovery:

One mutant palm that has made a lot of growers much richer is the so-called Golden Veitchia. This is a golden mutation of the ordinary Bunga China or Veitchia merrillii. This was first discovered in the garden of Mr. Cesar Pecson in Singalong, Manila, in the mid-1980s. It came from the fruits of a Bunga China planted beside the gate of Pecson’s home.

According to Mr. Zacarias  Sarian , While having snack  in Pecson’s garden,  Mr. Sarian  saw some of the seedlings that sprouted from the fallen fruits on the ground had golden leaves. He suggested to Pecson that he pot those golden seedlings and then sell them at the Baclaran plant market where he had a stall. That’s exactly what he did and was glad to sell them at only P25 per seedling. When he observed that people were buying his seedlings, Pecson raised his price. He raised all the more when the plant traders from Bangkok learned about the Golden Veitchia and bought everything that was available.

Somehow traders from Bangkok and Malaysia were able to buy some seedlings of the mutant variety which they re-package the name Golden Butia or Golden Vietcha !

Many of the local growers made money by selling some of their full grown plants to landscapers at a high price. Some of the plants they retained bore fruit and they also produced Golden Veitchia seedlings which they were able to sell at a good price.

In Thailand, the Nong Nooch Garden Resort is now growing Golden Veitchia by the hectares and is selling them at a high price. The price of the mutant variety sky rocketed and even reach a several thousand of pesos !This has made not a few growers not just a little richer.

Since the Thai’s were very good in cultivating the mutant strain , they were able to successfully marketed in mass quantities  in just matter of years .

Now, the price of the mutant variety is more affordable but still more expensive then the ordinary form.

                                       Bread Fruit/ Kamansi/ Rimas (Tagalog ) Kolo

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a species of  the mulberry family, Moraceae  growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands. Its name is derived from the texture of the cooked fruit, which has a potato-like flavor, similar to fresh-baked bread.

The ancestors of the Polynesians found the trees growing in the northwest New Guinea area around 3500 years ago. They gave up the rice cultivation they had brought with them from ancient Taiwan, and raised breadfruit wherever they went in the Pacific (except Easter Island and New Zealand, which were too cold). Their ancient eastern Indonesian cousins spread the plant west and north through insular and coastal Southeast Asia. It has, in historic times, also been widely planted in tropical regions elsewhere.

                                                                                         Banaba tree in bloom

Lagerstroemia speciosa  is a  decidious tropical flowering tree, 5 to 10 m high, sometimes growing to a height of 20 meters. Leaves, large, spatulate, oblong to elliptic-ovate, 2-4 inches in width, 5-8 inches in length; shedding its leaves the first months of the year. Before shedding, the leaves are bright orange or red during which time it is thought to contain higher levels of corosolic acid). Flowers are racemes, pink to lavender; flowering from March to June. After flowering, the tree bears large clumps of oval nut like fruits.

Author’s note: Most of the trees and plants that the author featured in the horticulture walk blooms on a seasonal basis. It is wise to plan  the tour in order to see what is flowering for a particular month.

References:

ANTIALLERGIC AND ANTIDIABETIC COMPOUNDS FROM SOME PHILIPPINE MEDICINAL PLANTS

http://home.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/~shoyaku/member/yamasaki/Philip99.htm
Hypoglycemic effect of extracts from Lagerstroemia speciosa L. leaves in genetically diabetic KK-AY mice
Kakuda T, Sakane I, Takihara T, Ozaki Y, Takeuchi H, Kuroyanagi M. / Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1996 Feb;60(2):204-8.

Balick, M. & Cox, P. (1996). Plants, People and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany. New York: Scientific American Library HPHLP, p.85

McLendon, Chuck (May 16, 2000). “Ravenala madagascariensis”. Floridata.com. Retrieved September 14, 2009

Spathodea Campanulata: an Experimental Evaluation of the Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Properties of a Traditional Remedy / Emmanuel E Ilodigwe and Peter A Akah / Asian Journal of Medical Sciences 1(2): 35-38, 2009

U. S. Department of Agriculture, William Saunders; Catalogue of Economic Plants in the Collection of the U. S. Department of Agriculture; Washington D. C.; June 5,

20th National Trade Fair

9.5 meter tall  giant scarecrow exhibited by the province of Cagayan (photo credit  : from   Mr. Allen Mayor and NTF organizers)

World’s Tallest Scarecrow unvield at the Philippine National Trade Fair – The 2011 National Trade Fair (NTF) unveiled the dual-sided Giant Scarecrow during its opening ceremonies on March 17, 2011. The 9.5 meter-high scarecrow vies for the title “Tallest Scarecrow in the World” as part of the celebration of the 1st Scarecrow Festival of Cagayan Valley Region, NTF’s first Fiesta Region. NTF is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm from March 17-20, 2011 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

entrance to the National Trade Fair 2011

The Philippines’s most comprehensive local trade show which features the best products, services, tourism spots from the country’s 17 regions. Now on its 20th year, the National Trade Fair (NTF) has served as a platform for launching new products, services and has helped over 3,000 small, medium scale business enterprises in brand building, product awareness, increasing their sales and finding new customer base.

Some of the countries biggest export oriented industry started their participation in the National Trade Fair. The show featured about 250 small and medium scale enterprises.

scarecrow greeted the visitors to the event

There is also an individual competition where several scarecrow life sized statutes were judged for their design.

Gawad Ginintuang Yaman honors the extraordinary contributions of individuals or institutions in uplifting the Philippine economy through their own advocates or respective businesses. It is a salute to the outstanding efforts of private or government organizations and individuals in supporting NTF and contributing to its legacy.

The Gawad Ginintuang Yaman sets a new standard for companies and institutions to perennially vie for excellence in the hopes of attaining this illustrious award.

NCAA Exhibit

National Commission for  Culture and the Arts (NCCA) also exhibited ” Banig“. Banig is a handwoven mat usually used in several southeast Asian countries like the Philippines for sleeping , sitting . Depending on the region or province of the country. The mat may be made from buri, pandanus . The leaves are dried, usually dyed, then cut into strips and woven into mats, which may be plain or intricate.

NCCA representative wearing a colorful costume greeted the visitors –  Banig mat and banig woven bags served as background

The Samals of Sulu usually make their mats out of buri leaves. Often, dyed strips of buri are woven to produce a design.

Another region in the Philippines which is famous for intricately designed mats is Samar, where the mats are usually made of pandan leaves. The leaves are dyed green, then different colored buri strips are inserted into the plaits to make the design.

Banig woven mats are also made into Filipiniana items like Philippine terno , sandals, slippers and bags

The artistic works, were exhibited consists of mats, bags, national costume, interior, household items, and art pieces.

Bella’s  Calasiao Puto bagged the ” Best Exhibit Booth ” award

Bella’s different specialties- native puto , bibingka

Adolph Coco Beads from Butuan City

The company specializes in coco beads, coconut by-products , coco shells and started to export in other countries.

Contact : Ms. Amelia Cagorol – Marketing Manager

Address: P5 Lower Doongan, Butuan City

Telephone # 345-94-46

Fax : (085)815-1271 c/o DTI CARAGA Region

REV Fashion exhibit booth at the National Trade Fair

This company  specializes in beads, fashion accessories, beaded jewelry, necklaces, earrings, bracelets,eyeglass holders, dream catchers, patchwork , crosses and other crafts.

Address: Saac I Buaya, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, 6015 , Philippines
Contact No:  341-4550/495-8681
Fax No:495-8681

Klub Natur  Photography exhibit booth

For the past 17 years , Klub Natur is a nature photography society in which members explore different parts of the country for nature photography and the organization is also a butterfly club. The members are called kloobers. The club usually participate in several trade fairs and exhibits in different parts of the country.

Contact : Mr. Allen Hipolito – Mayor

Address: 50 Longbeach St. Merville Park, Parañaque,Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact No: 6597536/6976405

A woman in native costume together with admirers

Djaboy’s exhibit booth

Djaboy’s specializes in an array of semi-process products of jewelry components  like shells, coco beads, carabao horn, pig’s bones , mother of pearls, fresh water pearl.

According to the sales person manning the booth , The company is also into retail of their products .

Address  :0178 Enerio St. Pagadian City, Zamboanga Del Sur, Philippines
Contact No:(032) 4127967 /Mobile: 09189212511
Fax No:929-8403

Product display made from the fronds and fruits of  Manila Palm Veitchia merrilli / Adonidia merrilli ( semi- process materials and process materials like bags, components , frames

Crafters Joy Corn husk Handicraft

The company was formed in 2006. Basista which is located in the province of Pangasinan consists mostly of farmers which engaged in planting various staple crops like rice, corns, mangoes , garlic and fruit trees. The Basistans, young and old alike, have this inept ability in making handcrafted products. This god given gift has made Basista, the cottage industry town of Pangasinan in the 1970’.

artificial flower arrangement made from cornhusk

The company had various products made from corn husks like slippers, bags, ornamental, rope twine, artificial flowers. According to one of the sales executives,   several years ago , their company won several awards in design which was sponsored by DTI and CITEM .

Contact: Ms. Jocelyn Ong-Perez – Owner / Manager

Address: 15 JP compound , Magsaysay Avenue, Poblacion, Basista , Pangasinan

Telephone (075) 505-2095 /  Mobile: (0918)3464417

Website: htp://www.craftersjoy.com

Taguig Water Hyacinth  Livelihood Project exhibit booth

Gathering and processing the plant would greatly benefit not only the unemployed women residents of Taguig, but also help in the clearing up of clogged waterways and prevent floods. The water hyacinth is more popularly called water lily. Similar livelihood project is also being initiated by the local government of Las Piñas .

Company : VDM Waterlily Arts and Crafts

Contact:Ms.Trinidad Aquino- Adminstrator

Address: 12 Andres Bonifacio , Sta. Ana Taguig City , Metro Manila

Telephone (02) 223-7126

The aim of the national trade fair is not just to showcase the regional products , but also protection of the environment thru the usage of indigenous and natural made products . The beautiful products that were showcased in this fair is also a source of livelihood and income for many of the people in the country.


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