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A common orchid, for a change!

May 9, 2011

Although many of the wild orchids in Thailand, Laos and Burma are endangered and decrease in numbers each year, some orchids are survivors. Eria pannea (Orchidaceae) is one example. This is the rat of the orchid world, capable of enduring heat, cold, dampness and roasting drought. It may grow into a large cluster of erect wooly leaves, and now in early May it is decorated with bright orange flowers.

At Dokmai Garden we keep one small specimen as a back-up in the nursery, while three pieces have been transplanted onto teak (Tectona grandis, Lamiaceae), makhaa (Afzelia xylocarpa) and tabek (Lagerstroemia sp.) in the garden.

The early rains have triggered early termite swarms (two nights ago) and this year we have more fireflies and more ung-ang frogs (Kaloula pulchra) than previous years, a result, we think, of organic gardening and banned fires and hunting.We have frogs in Mika’s toy box, in shoes, in drawers and I even had one in my pocket!

Text and photo: Eric Danell

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