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The scooter orchid is in blossom

August 2, 2011

Thecostele alata (Orchidaceae) is a small but beautiful orchid. It is native to both dry and wet forests of Southeast Asia and is now in impressive blossom at Dokmai Garden in northern Thailand.

As explained earlier, we need catchy vernacular names also in English to create a broader interest in the indigenous Thai orchids. Making knowledge about orchids widespread is essential in  preventing them from extinction. I suggest scooter orchid, because the column in the middle of the flower has two horns looking like the handlebars of a motor scooter, and the lip looks like a saddle. The maroon and pink blotches are quite adorable, like a Thai girl’s pink scooter. This is the only species in the genus Thecostele, so to identify it simply look for the handlebars and the blotches.

Weather: 91 mm of rain since July 31 in the evening until this morning at 08.45. 36% of the average monthly precipitation in 48 hours. Still raining (10 am).

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

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