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A rare orchid found on Doi Inthanon

March 6, 2011

Visiting nearby national parks with tourists can be fruitful. Two days ago we went to the Doi Inthanon national park, and among the many spectacular blossom we found a very peculiar orchid: Diploprora truncata. We found it at about 1400 meters altitude in a mixed stand of Pinus kesiya, Betula alnoides and Engelhardtia spicata (Juglandaceae). This is one of the most species-rich orchid sites I have seen in my life. This rare epiphytic orchid is hitherto only known from northern Thailand, but might occur in nearby Burma and Laos.  The problem is that only a handful of people would be able to recognize this species, and the chances this handful of people go out on excursions to the right places during the narrow window of blossom is very small. We therefore encourage tourists to sign up for jungle tours to support weekly surveys of benefit to the knowledge of the local flora.

Eric Danell (info@dokmaigarden.co.th)

Diploprora truncata (Orchidaceae). Photo by Duncan Smart, Newcastle, England, who joined a Dokmai Garden tailor-made excursion.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ricky Ward permalink
    March 6, 2011 3:06 PM

    Lovely find – but location details are best kept secret, even flowering times perhaps. This happens in Australia where rare orchids are concerned to minimize the threat of theft.

    • March 6, 2011 5:25 PM

      I figure the mountain is big, so the exact location is very hard to find, but you are right, we have to be careful with precise locations.

      Eric

  2. Folbert Bronsema permalink
    March 6, 2011 3:50 PM

    In 2010 also observed blooming on Doi Pui. But it is difficult to spot when not in flower anyway.

    • March 6, 2011 5:27 PM

      Yes, it is impossible to identify solely based on the leaves. So we know it occurs on at least two peaks. Would any of our readers have additional observations?

      Eric

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