Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Growing Orchids in Vietnam

"An old saying..."Vua choi lan, quan choi tra" (A king collects orchids, a mandarin collects camellias)....anyone with VND40,000-50,000 (US$2.50-3) can buy a pot of orchids – and many Hanoi residents are doing so...To successfully make an orchid bloom, enthusiasts say, the gardener must have a pure heart and the patience of a saint.Orchids won't bring their owners material wealth or social status, they explain. So those with enough dedication to tend to these delicate flowersand wait for their... blooms must do so simply to enjoy the personal challenge and test of their patience.Duong Xuan Trinh, chairman of the Ha Noi Orchid Association, says this challenge gives orchids their appeal... orchids demand daily care...As orchid owners slowly coax their babies to bloom, they can have temporary respite from the stresses of daily life. For a few minutes a day, orchid owners can forget blaring motorbike horns and grumpy clients and concentrate their attention on a single quiet, deliberate task."Nurturing orchids relieves my anxiety after the working day," says Vu Quoc Viet, a 37-year-old orchid lover.For the retired, tending orchids provides a perfect form of personal entertainment. "Growing orchid plants is suitable for the elderly as it doesn't requiretoo much time or physical exertion," Trinh says.Orchids have become so popular that they are joining the list of plants used as Tet (Lunar New Year) decorations, which has long been limited topeach-blossom branches and kumquat trees.... From a handful of original members, the Ha Noi Orchid Association has expanded to over 200 enthusiasts. The group, mostly retired people andamateur orchid growers, meets every two months to exchange ideas and techniques for growing..."Growing orchids requires a great deal of [some...] scientific knowledge," Trinh says...."... based on the diversity of orchid species in Vietnam, it could be said that Vietnam is the world's cradle of orchid growing," says Tran Tuan Anh, an orchid hunter with 20 years' experience....According to the 2003 statistics of Russian researcher Leonid V Averyanov and his daughter Anna L Averyanova, there are 897 orchid species inVietnam. Tuan Anh puts the number over 900, saying that a number of species in the forest and his garden haven't yet been identified....Tuan Anh's orchid-searching adventures in Vietnam's most remote areas have produced a garden with over 300 types of orchids - more varieties than any other garden in Hanoi, he boasts.He even helped to identify four orchid species in Vietnam (and then named three of them after himself): Hoang thao Tran Tuan (Dendrobium trantuanii), Vanda Tuan Anh (Vanda tuananhii), Lan hai Tuan Anh (Paphiopedilum trantuanhii) and Hoang thao Viet Nam (Dendrobium V[v]ietnamica).Tuan Anh still remembers his first glimpse of lan hai (Paphiopedilum) on a trip to Son La, a mountainous province in northern Vietnam, in October 2003. At an elevation of 1,000m above sea level, he happened to spot a bundle of flowers that were distinct from any he had ever seen. The largeblossoms were brownish red in colour, with white calyxes in the front and green in the back. Struck by the beauty of the flowers, he shot photographsuntil he ran out of film and then hurried back to Hanoi.Considered a local expert, Tuan Anh has set up a website on Vietnam's orchids and assists both researchers and amateurs with information.With only a handful of experts like Tuan Anh, however, Vietnam's orchid-growing industry remains in its developing stages. Breedingtechnology and training in Vietnam remain limited, so some orchid growers have headed to Thailand for education.Le Xuan Truong spent two years learning from the expertise of a Thai grower, and the 38-year-old now owns a 1,000sq.m garden and 2ha farmproducing dendrobium. Every day, between 5,000 and 7,000 branches of flowers are sold wholesale, and sales hit 100,000 on special occasions likeWomen's Day. With branches selling for VND30,000 ($2) a piece, Truong's business has proven lucrative.As word gets out that business is booming, others will like[ly] follow suit to supply the many people who have fallen for the flower that plays hard toget."URL : http://english.vietnamnet.vn/lifestyle/2008/02/768024/


Steve Peralta

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sobralia orchids

"Bruce Rogers has a passion for...Sobralias-- the... tallest [not all...] orchids in the world...
Rogers has been raising, hybridizing and decorating with orchids for morethan 25 years, but it's the Sobralias(sew- BRAIL-eyah [Well, EnglishLatin...]) that have captured his heart...
at next weekend's Pacific Orchid Exposition... He will bring manyexamples... which he says will thrive in California gardens....[Bruce said :] it was love at first sight. I had little glimpses of themfrom afar, illustrations from books and magazines. My first encounter witha blooming plant left me speechless... Years ago, I was asked to decorate alarge urn as a backdrop for a statue unveiling. I used a large eight-footSobralia rogersiana in full bloom, and stood aside ready to receive praiseand compliments. No one there had ever seen a Sobralia before. Peoplethought I had tied Cattleya orchid flowers onto a bamboo plant so well thatthe wires could not be seen. No one believed it was a real plant!...Sobralias... grow very well here and can be found in older gardens andestates...the flowering season lasts all summer and into the fall. They can be grownboth in pots and in the ground, in sun or shade, rain or shine. There areSobralias for every microclimate that occurs in our area, from the warmerareas to the cooler spots. Sobralia macrantha seems the most adaptable withblooming plants reported from the top of the Santa Cruz mountains to theflats of Fresno, the hills of Marin to Santa Rosa and everywhere south....The scarcity of Sobralias has kept them from the public eye. While theyhave been in private and civic gardens for many years, availability hasalways been a problem, as they are difficult to raise from seed and takefrom four to eight years to raise to flowering size. Sobralias only have asmall window for dividing, which also hinders propagation.
After working with several local laboratories with little success, my...friend Terry Root and I decided to form a nursery business specializingonly in Sobralias... after much work we now have production numbers thatcan begin to satisfy demand....Once established, Sobralias are as tough as a jade plant or any othergarden plant. They can take dirty water and dirty air. The only thing fussyabout them is they can only be divided or repotted when showing both newgrowth and new roots...
There is no other orchid genus that is so diversified in terms of size [?],from Sobralia elegans, which grows less than a foot tall to Sobraliaaltissima, which is over 40 feet tall. The most popular group, the fieldtype with species such as xantholuca, macrantha veitchii and their hybridsgrow from 2 to 6 feet tall. There are new hybrids, which grow from 2 to 4feet, making them ideal for patios and gardens....I often tell people that Sobralia flowers are so big, you can use them towrap gifts, as tablecloths, or as clothing for small children. The modernSobralia field types have huge Cattleya-looking flowers from one to 10inches across, with some species such as Sob. rosea and Sob. rogersianahaving flowers as large as dinner plates. When you read orchid reports fromVictorian times, you read about even larger Sobralia flowers and onewonders what is now extinct in the wild [in the literature / smile...]....Sobralia flowers and plants are divided into two groups: the ephemeralgroup, where the flower lasts only one day, and in some cases just amorning, and the field group, where the flower lasts from three to 10 days.With both types, the individual canes carry many flowers that are displayedsingularly, so the overall display lasts for many months with a matureplant carrying multiple canes. Some ephemeral species such as Sob.klotzscheana carry 20-plus flowers and bloom for over a year, although thejasmine scented flowers last only a day. The longest lasting flowers in thefield group are probably Sob. undatocarinata and Sob. pulcherrima, with10-day flowers, with five to seven flowers per stem, which give you twomonths of heaven. We are breeding for flower longevity also, and speciessuch as these are very intriguing building blocks....Although I have seen them grown beautifully in full sun, I prefer morningsun or filtered shady afternoon sun. Water drainage must be perfect.Sobralias love water and when in active growth, it is hard to over-water.They also love fresh air....When... grown outside, pests leave these alone except when they are inflower. Snails and slugs will travel miles and lie, cheat and steal to getto the flowers... Either use a safe product like Sluggo, or take a littlecopper garden tape and wrap the stem below the buds or new growth. Whengrown inside as a house plant in dry conditions, one must watch for mites,but this is seldom a problem in California....with Sobralias it's all about the roots. A strong root system is key forsuccess. You might hear from old garden talk that they need to be pot-boundto bloom well, but that is because usually a pot-bound plant will have agood root system. They do not have to be pot-bound, they just need goodroots. If growing outside, plant Sobralias in raised beds and pre-checkyour drainage....Sobralias are like women [and men...], there are many kinds... To pick asingle one as a favorite is impossible, so here are my three favorites.Sobralia fimbriata is an ephemeral type with beautiful dark green pleatedleaves. The 2- to 3-foot plant blooms twice a year with pastel flowers witha beautiful fimbriated (fringed) lip. The fragrance is incredible andunique. It is the only orchid flower that I will pick and carry with methrough the day just for the fragrance. Sobralia rogersiana var. Bolin ismy obsession. Sobralia callosa is my favorite miniature. Perfect littleflower, perfect little plant. It is truly a jewel of nature....I was not bitten by the orchid bug. I was assaulted by the orchid bug many,many moons ago. I've been growing, hybridizing and decorating with orchidsfor over 25 years. I began my professional career in the late 1970s whenthe city of Atlanta Parks Department hired me to work with its orchids inthe greenhouses in Piedmont Park. Returning home to the Bay Area, I washired by the Rod McLellan Co. as the head grower for the boardingdepartment and to hybridize Vanda orchids. In the early 1980s, I left tostart Bruce Rogers Orchids, an orchid consulting and management companybased in San Francisco. In 2002, I joined Terry Root of the Orchid Zone andco-founded OzGardens, a business devoted exclusively to hybridizing andgrowing Sobralias...
They will be available at the Pacific Orchid Exposition from severalvendors and at the San Francisco Orchid Society sale table. This isprobably the best venue in the world for Sobralias right now with speciesand hybrids, ephemeral and field types and both mature plants andseedlings. Sobralias can be found at nurseries such as BerkeleyHorticulture Nursery, Flora Grubb Nursery and Sloat Nurseries in Marin andSan Francisco. Large specimens can also be found at Living Green in SanFrancisco. In San Jose, Serene Orchids has Sobralia seedlings... expect topay around $15 for a seedling in a three- to four-inch pot...
in the entrance exhibit. We will have a few of the giants like Sob.calloglossa and Sob. cattleya and a few of the miniature and mid-sizedhybrids. Elleanthus is a close relative to Sobralia, with identicalfoliage, but pine cone-shaped flowers, and they should have flowers (butthe really big flowers don't come along until summer)...
Growing orchids is one of the few socially acceptable art forms that mencan get involved in and their masculinity is never questioned [except by...]."
URL : http://www.mercurynews.com/lifeandstyleheadlines/ci_8342105
photo : ["Sobralia mirabilis"]

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lady's Slipper Orchid

One of the easiest orchids to grow at home is the Lady's Slipper Orchid, Paphiopedilum sp.

The unmistaken physical characteristic of this tropical orchid is the slipper or moccasin shape of the lip (largest of the three flower petals). These exotic flowers do not resemble any others of the vast orchid clan.

It is not to be confused with the native wildflower Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchid, Cypripedium calceolus, which grows in wetlands, woodlands and swampy areas throughout Indiana.

Lady's Slipper is a terrestrial orchid with handsome, compact foliage. This orchid thrives in bright, indirect light with day temperatures in the 70s and night readings in the 60s.

An east window would be ideal, but a south or west window is a good location if a sheer curtain is used to soften the light. If the leaves begin to turn a pale green color, the plant is getting too much light.

Keep the soil mix moist, but not wet. Water once or twice a week, depending on the season. Less water is better than too much. Humidity levels of 50 percent or more are ideal. Misting is not suggested as a method of raising the humidity. This may cause the terminal growth to rot.

Repot the plants annually in the spring following bloom. Fertilize every month, using a balanced fertilizer at half strength.

During the summer, this orchid can vacation on the patio or deck in the shade. Just remember, the vacation is over when night temperatures go below 50 degrees.



Steve Peralta

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Moth Orchid - Phalaenopsis

The moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) is one of the most common orchids. Its popularity can be traced to the plant's elegant long-lasting flowers and ease of maintenance. The almost 60 species are responsible for the thousands of hybrids available today. In Latin, the word phalaen refers to a moth, opsis to an appearance. It has been said that a cluster of these flowers at dusk resembles a group of fluttering moths. The plant's large rounded petals lie flat, allowing the intricate lip -- with two wispy tails -- to gain attention. Moth orchids have been bred in a multitude of colors and combinations, including lavender, peach, pink, white and yellow as well as with stripes and spots. The plant grows as an epiphyte in the lower canopy, protected from direct sunlight. In the home, the ideal location is a window with eastern or southern exposure and protection from direct sun. Watering intervals depend on the plant's growing medium. The mix should be allowed to dry slightly before the next watering. After the last flower fades, the stem should be cut just above the first node, under where the first flower opened. Often, a second spike will form from this node and develop into a second flush of flowers. Moth orchids "flutter" throughout the Orchid Forest at the Franklin Park Conservatory.
-- Dave Brigner Franklin Park Conservatory


Steve Peralta

Friday, February 22, 2008

Singapore Will Be The Theme of the New York Botanical Garden's annual orchid show

"the New York Botanical Garden's annual orchid show... opens... and runs for six weeks...
The theme of this year's show is Singapore... one of the largest orchid producers in the world.

The major design elements of the exhibition... inspired by the classical parks and gardens of Singapore. There is a two-story pagoda fronted by a
pond, as well as a lane of trees arching overhead, covered with flowers.

Of the 4,000 or 5,000 plants that will be on display over the course of the show, a majority come from the Garden's own collection... Others by necessity are purchased from nurseries around the country...

The Garden has around 8,000 plants in its collection, many of them rare species and some over 100 years old. The Garden is also a federally
designated rescue center for plants confiscated by the Department of Agriculture. In 2005, for instance, 1,100 wild orchids were confiscated at
Miami International Airport, after having been imported under a permit that falsely identified them as artificially cultivated.

The plants were sent to the Garden... dehydrated, shriveled, and torn ? and the gardeners... immediately went to work to save as many as possible. In the end, around 80% of the plants survived... Some will be on display in
this year's exhibition.
The first known hybrid was created in 1856 by John Dominy, a grower for the English nursery of James Veitch & Sons.
orchid collectors... The most famous... was Benedict Roezl, a Czech botanist who worked for an English importer and commercial grower of orchids, Frederick Sander. Roezl, who traveled throughout North, Central, and South America, was famous for having lost a hand in a mysterious accident. Fortunately, the hook he had in its place made him particularly
adept at prying orchids out of trees."

URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/71598

photo : [caption : "Gardener Gary Bendykowski installs orchids for the upcoming orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden."]


"New York Botanical Garden...

The sixth annual orchid exhibition... fills the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and much of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library building, will run from Feb. 23
to April 6...

The exhibition... will feature miniature orchids... and a gallery devoted to the orchids of Singapore, which supplies 15 percent of the annual
worldwide supply. The library will feature more orchid plants and displays about the garden's efforts to save rare plants, scientific studies involving
orchids, and 18th- and 19th-century botanical illustrations."

URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/garden/21cal.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

"the New York Botanical Garden's Orchid Show opens in the Victorian-style Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
This... show will be the biggest scheduled in New York this year, since the Greater New York Orchid Society has just announced it will not be
producing its annual International Orchid Show for the first time in 27 years. For the past six years, that show was held at Rockefeller Center.
No date for resumption of the show has been proposed. "


"The New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show, Feb. 23-April 6, Bronx, N.Y.,

Atlanta Botanical Garden "Orchid Daze, Gargoyles & Grace," through March 30,

URL: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2008-02-21-us-garden-shows_N.htm

Wild Orchids of Alberta Canada on Display at the MacEwan College's South Campus

"26 or more - grow wild... in Alberta, a good number of them just outside Edmonton.The Wagner natural area is a haven for orchids, says Ben Rostron, an associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at the University ofAlberta. He'll be talking about those orchids and how to find them at the Orchid Society of Alberta's annual show and sale this weekend at theMacEwan College's South Campus.About 16 different varieties of orchids can be seen at the Wagner natural area, located along Highway 16, just east of Spruce Grove. A 1.5-kilometretrail with a boardwalk over the wet areas provides great viewing.The best time to see the orchids is around the end of May and beginning of June, says Rostron. Yellow Lady's Slippers are easy to spot from the trail,with their small, yellow, slipper-shaped flowers...the striped coralroot orchid, with its pinkish-orange stripes, or pink lady's slippers, which grows around Fort McMurray. The bog candle orchid can grow one metre tall, with white flowers that smell like cloves...Many of the orchids found in Alberta are boreal plants that have found their way down from the Arctic Circle and originally came across [walking ?/ smile...] the land bridge from Asia, he says. In Alberta, one can find orchids in Elk Island, Banff and Jasper national parks."URL :http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=b8005eab-3ecc-4e77-a36c-8019fa6795d0&k=32331

Steve Peralta

Thursday, February 21, 2008

OrchidSpecies.com now has 7902 species

OrchidSpecies.com has passed another milestone. I now have 7902 species in 702 genera. 8000 is just around the corner. I will be adding reference material over the next 2 months so expect lots more species information. I purchased close to 2000.00 in books at the WOC and was able to get Foldats 5 vol Venezuela set, Summerhayes East africa 2 volumes, Popes Flora zambesiaca, A Corybas monograph, The Ethiopian field guide, Orcids of Samoa, Orchids of Vanuatu, Orchidaceae Brasilensis vol 2, Orchids of Mt Kinabalu, Orchids of Ceylon, Orchids of the Dominican Republic, Angraecoid orchids, Orchids of Madagascar Dupuy, and all of Cribbs new books on Cyps, Paphs and Cymbidium.
Because of the expenditure I am in need of new funds so if your subscription has run out please renew or if you use the site and you have not subscribed please consider doing so. I have a set of Dunstervilles Orchids of Venezuela 5 vol set aside at 600.00, Hoehne's Brazilian flora and many other's awaiting purchase.
Thanks for your time
Jay Pfahl

Friday, February 15, 2008

South Africa will host the World Orchid Conference (WOC) in 2014

"South Africa will host the World Orchid Conference (WOC) in 2014...
This...will be confirmed at the next conference, to be held in Singapore in

... the Thebe Exhibitions and Events Group... with Thebe Conferences will
manage the event on behalf of the South African Orchid Society...

Approximately 3 000 delegates, many of them with spouses, are expected to
attend the September 2014 event at the Sandton Convention Centre in
Johannesburg, with some 80 exhibitors. The event will extend over five or
six days and include meetings of several international bodies, including
the International Orchid Commission.

The first WOC was held in St Louis, Missouri in 1954. Ever since it's been
held every three years, each time in a different city [two times in Miami /
1984 and 2008]... It was held in Durban in 1981.
Displays at the WOC include plants by amateur orchid societies and
professional and commercial growers, educational and scientific displays
and illustrations and fine, applied and decorative arts featuring orchids,
including photography, jewellery, ceramics and postage stamps."

URL : http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/94/21950.html