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Small is beautiful!

October 29, 2010

Behind the teak house at Dokmai Garden is a mango crowded with orchids. The native Thai orchid Cleisostoma fuerstenbergianum (Orchidaceae) just opened its flowers. It is small, but far more interesting than many painted Jezebel orchids, since this one is a survivor if left alone.

It has cylindrical leaves, which normally indicates it prefers a sunny position. Some authors use the term ‘terete’, which means cylindrical with a tapering end. The position in our mango is about 50% shade and morning sun. Although native to the evergreen forests of Chiang Mai and other parts of Thailand, we keep it dry throughout the dry season.

Eric Danell

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