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Activity: orchid studies at the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden and at Dokmai Garden

July 7, 2012

Phuphaman Orchids Ltd has generously donated orchids to the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden and to Dokmai Garden’s Orchid Ark. Phuphaman Orchids is CITES-certified and can offer many native Thai orchid species, and also ornamental hybrids.

I plan to pick up the orchid donation at QSBG on Tuesday the 10th of July, and I cordially invite any interested orchid lover to join me behind the scene at QSBG and at Dokmai Garden. The aim is to chat about orchids, orchid cultivation, orchid conservation and anything else you want to know about orchids. We meet just outside the QSBG checkpoint by the large dipterocarp at 09.50 sharp, and then we enter together. After packing and tagging the orchids together we eat lunch at the Botanic Resort at our own cost and then we go to Dokmai Garden to unpack orchids and to demonstrate how to remove orchids from the original substrate, how to split orchids, how to mount orchids on new substrate or on a tree, we practice orchid pollination and chit chat. Bring beer or wine if you wish, otherwise you can order from our restaurant.

There is no cost involved, but I wonder if anyone could generously support the Orchid Ark by bringing a pick-up car to Dokmai Garden for transportation together? Our car is preferably needed elsewhere. Kindly e-mail me no later than Monday 9 a.m. if you intend to come: info at dokmaigarden.co.th

Eric Danell

The native Thai orchid Coelogyne rochussenii (Orchidaceae) is not included in the common orchid books, so you can take the opportunity to see it in blossom right now at Dokmai Garden. Our specimen has about 300 flowers, and the longest raceme is 96 cm carrying 50 flowers. To me the flowers have the fragrance of ‘flower shop’ or ‘lily of the valley’ (Convallaria majalis). It is native to the far south of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Although found in wet habitats in nature, it apparently did very well in our Chiang Mai nursery where we kept it dry during October-February. We grow it outdoors, two meters up in a wooden basket in a shaded area, facing east. Note the brown basal bracts which are characteristic. This specimen was kindly donated to us last year.

The hopeless scientific name ‘rochussenii’ was coined by the Dutch botanist Willem Hendrik de Vriese (1806-1862) in 1854 to honour  Jan Jacob Rochussen. He  became the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) in 1845 with office in Batavia (Jakarta). He supported the Indonesian orchid researchers Elias Teijsmann and Simon Binnendijk. An English name? How about ‘orchid of the valley’ or ‘meringue orchid’ due the lip’s resemblance with slightly burnt meringue?

Another amazing feature is the massive pseudobulb, 12 cm long, ridged and reminding one of bicycle handles.

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

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