The Orchid Thief

I’ve been using an orchid as litmus.

It may not be the best method; and definitely not the most scientific, but this is just for leisure! I’ve planted a lot of Phalaenopsis schilleriana orchids and these continue to give me an indication of the climate in my weekend farm.

Firstly, these plants need to receive enough moisture to survive. For now, I can only visit the farm during my free weekends which means that I’m incapable of watering my plants regularly. Also, I can’t afford a caretaker to live at my plot; hence I’m at the mercy of nature for now. So far, the orchids I have planted have grown roots and a lot of them are actually blooming! Apart from those, I planted fruit trees like cacao and mangosteen and these are growing without watering.

More than that, these orchids gave me an indication of what other crops I can plant. Phalaenopsis schilleriana plants will only bloom in cooler weather. This means that I can try to grow cooler weather crops (at least relative to my location here in the tropics) like more exotic/non-local fruits and vegetables.

These plants have been in my plot for months, and a few plants have just been in flower recently. Apparently, it has caught the attention of a few people who may have chanced upon my area. During my last visit I found that two plants which were in flower have been plucked from the branches. I wasn’t surprised that this happened; but now I realize that my area is too open and some people might think it’s alright to pluck a few plants for them to take.

And so this plant is telling me to do something about it.

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the first plant that was plucked by a stranger… see how the roots got severed and the twine was still there

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during my last visit, this was the photo of the plant which existed on the branch, but now it’s gone, taken home by someone

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Plant number 2 gone… this time the roots were almost cleanly taken out (notice the white stuff on the upper left portion on the right bump on the branch – those are the remains of the attached roots which were plucked)

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This plant is still at the branch and will be in full bloom soon, I’m glad it wasn’t taken by the person who got the other plants

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close-up shot of the flowers

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another plant in bloom

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this Vanda lamellata var remediosae was almost plucked from this coffee tree. I guess the person felt bad that he might be getting too much already :))

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Some newer Phalaenopsis schilleriana plants which I attached to a coffee tree a few weeks ago. These are now showing signs that they’re about to flower

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This Phalaenopsis aphrodite is also about to bloom

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Phalaenopsis amabilis from Palawan also about to flower

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This Phalaenopsis lindenii thrives at a higher elevation, but it is also about to send out flowers

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A newly planted Phalaenopsis stuartiana

It’s interesting that someone has found plants growing on my weekend farm attractive!

I just continue to hope they’ll admire it and not take plants from my weekend farm. Still, I should work on that nice looking bamboo fence already :))

 

 

A new Vanda lamellata variety from Mindoro?

I attached some Vanda lamellata plants to this coffee tree a few months ago and now a lot of them are flowering.

One plant which came from Mindoro looks very distinct.

It definitely does not look like the variety from calayan islands nor the type species.

But it does resemble the variety remediosae and variety boxalli a bit.

I wonder if this could be new.

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The coffee tree where a few Vanda species were attached

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a Vanda lamellata (the normal variety or type species) which had flowers

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This is a strange variety of a Vanda lamellata originating from Mindoro. It does not clearly resemble a Vanda lamellata var. boxalli nor a Vanda lamellata var. remediosae

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close up of the Vanda lamellata from Mindoro. It fragrance was really strong

Vanda ustii

This is a native plant from Nueva Viscaya.

It was named after the University of Santo Tomas which is popularly known as UST, hence Vanda ustii.

I have several plants. The two biggest plants bloom every month in the lowlands of Quezon City.

The flowers smell like overly ripe banana.

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The first plant which I was able to bloom in Quezon City. It came from Nueva Viscaya from a Sunday market. Although its roots are not well established this plant continues to bloom every time there is a dry spell right after some constant rain.

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I did not notice that I captured 2 plants in bloom for this picture. I gave the plant in the foreground to my aunt.

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This is the first instance where one of my big plants sent 2 spikes. I can’t wait for it to send 3 or more at the same time.

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Photo taken at night time