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A Thai wild orchid with the fragrance of violets!

February 20, 2011

I have a new favourite orchid! Dendrobium albosanguineum is an orchid native to northern Thailand and Burma. I have seen it many times in books, but like with people, a picture says very little. When this nobility opened its first flowers I could not believe my eyes. The flowers are large for being a wild Dendrobium, 8cm between the tips of the side petals. The petals are modestly cream-coloured with purple spots in the throat, like drops of red wine. Without any expectations I put my nose inside the flower, and a refreshing candy-like smell of violets brought joy and surprise. There was a faint touch of cantaloupe too, which became much more pronounced when the flowers matured.

The flowers can be admired at Dokmai Garden (Chiang Mai, Thailand) right now. They are a part of the Corien and Folbert Bronsema Orchid Donation.

Eric Danell

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