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January blossom

January 18, 2011

Currently we have the orchids Coelogyne flavida, Dendrobium farmeri, Rhyncostylis gigantea var. vivaphandhul and Papilionanthe teres in blossom. Many other orchids are dormant.

Our snapdragon tree, Gmelina arborea (Lamiaceae), just opened its fist few flowers – ever!  When I planted it three years ago it was the size of a pinky, and now it is at least 5 meters tall with a trunk thicker than a thigh. It is deciduous, but new leaves are being formed now. The young leaves of this Chiang Mai tree can be eaten raw like the leaves of the  jungle pepper Piper sarmentosum.

Papilionanthe teres from Dokmai Garden. This is a native Thai orchid, an original design, not a man-made hybrid! You can grow it in a light position, even in full sun. The lower part should be buried in soil or in coconut shells. The plant may grow up to 2 meters. It is as splendid as Voltaire’s thinking!

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