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Ascocentrum ampullaceum, a Lanna orchid for a dry garden

April 18, 2010

Chiang Mai is the capital of the former kingdom Lanna, which merged with the kingdom of Siam (today’s Thailand) in 1899. Lanna, meaning “one million rice fields”, is therefore another name for northern Thailand. The Chiang Mai valley is characterised by a long dry season, about six months. Right now, at the end of the hot dry season, numerous flowers thrive. The Thai national tree, Cassia fistula, is covered in golden blossom. As to native Lanna orchids, there are many species suitable for dry monsoon gardens. Ascocentrum ampullaceum is one species currently in blossom. At Dokmai Garden we grow it on a mango trunk (Mangifera indica) in a dry section, making sure it does not get watered in the dry season. As you can see from the picture below, such management rewards the gardener with very cute pink blossom.

Eric Danell

Ascocentrum ampullaceum, now in blossom at Dokmai Garden

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