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A blushing orchid

November 23, 2011

We have some nice orchids in bloom right now, but due to a sudden boost in visitors to Dokmai Garden we have been quite busy. As you may have noticed we have not had much time over for blogging, although we experience interesting things every day.

Ketsanee thought she closed a deal yesterday, helping a neighbour selling his land south of Dokmai Garden for 600 000 Baht/rai (1 rai=1600 square meters). Getting the traditional 3% as a broker would indeed boost the Orchid Ark. When she phoned the owner to tell him the happy news, he said his wife had just sold that land for 1 million Baht/rai. This is a land with a dirt road, no electricity, no house, no other trees than longans. The increase in land value in the immediate neighbourhood is about 100 000 Baht/rai/month (the previous two sales were 750 000 B/rai and 850 000 B/rai), a huge contrast with the rest of Thailand where land prices went down due to the flooding. Ketsanee considers selling shares of Dokmai Garden to boost the Orchid Ark, as land is her greatest asset and the Orchid Ark needs cash. The current value of Dokmai Garden is 2 million Baht/rai, but that figure was set by a broker a long time ago. Ketsanee considers making a re-evaluation after New Year.

While humans worry about cash-flow the orchids at Dokmai Garden go on with their lives. One species which just finished blooming is the blushing orchid, Coelogyne fuscescens (Orchidaceae). It is native to the evergreen forests of the Himalayas including northern Thailand:

Coelogyne is Latinized Greek based on the words ‘koilos’ (hollow) and ‘gyne’ (woman). The name refers to the female flower part, the stigma, being a hollow in the column (a common feature in many orchids). The species name ‘fuscescens’ means ‘darkening’ since the flower darkens with age. In fact, it is more of a blushing.

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

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