Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Nulu Akinabalu (Part I)


At just over 4000 m in height (4095 m/13,435 ft), Gunung Kinabalu is a culturally and biologically significant place on Borneo. 'Kinabalu' is a derivative of Nulu Akinabalu, the name of given by native Kadazan Dusun residents to this mountain. Nulu Akinabalu roughly translates as the 'revered placed for the dead' because the lofty heights of this mountain is thought to be a sacred resting place for their ancestors to the Kadazan Dusun. Further iterations by non-native speakers perhaps shortened this name to Aki Nabalu, and finally to the form 'Kinabalu' in the Malay language as it is known colloquially today.

This is Part I of a series of posts on some of the plants and animals (perhaps a little orchid heavy) encountered on the hike up to the summit of Kinabalu on January, 2017.

To begin, here are two miniature Bulbophyllum species that we saw on the hike.

Bulbophyllum catenarium





Possible Bulbophyllum catenarium clumps high up on the trees? Except, they appear more orange rather than yellow.



And this is probably Bulbophyllum anguliferum in bud; wasn't able to see any in bloom unfortunately..




Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Moving a Phalaenopsis collection

A lot has happened the past two months. I've taken up a job opportunity that required a move across the country. That really meant a series of decisions to focus the collection a little more and finding some of the phals a new home. Because the core of this collection has been focused on Borneo, I kept most of the species that are endemic or occur in Borneo. In the next few weeks, I'll hopefully have more details on how the collection is doing and some projects that are underway.

In the meantime, here are some photos of some bloomings before they were ripped away from their acclimatized setting to their current not-as-ideal one.

Phalaenopsis San Shia Appendo (Phalaenopsis pulcherrima fma. alba 'Gold Wings' x Phalaenopsis appendiculata fma. alba)





Phalaenopsis bellina


Thursday, August 4, 2016

First bloom Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi is a rather widespread species in South East Asia and is also found on Borneo. This species is generally the easier one to grow among the sister species in this complex but remains a challenge my current home-growing setup. They generally flower gregariously and continuously when given lots of light, warmth and water.

This is the first blooming of a selfing of a line-bred cultivar that has taken many years to acclimate to the growing conditions. The upside is that this flower does have good color, petal size and is very flat compared to the wild species. It's also quite fragrant, which is always a plus when growing Phalaenopsis species!

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi




Monday, July 4, 2016

Borneophals list updates

I have not updated the borneophals species list in a while because there has not been too much activity. Since the last update, I lost a Phal. maculata and a Phal. pantherina, but managed to reacquired another Phal. pantherina plus a very small seedling of Phal. doweryensis for the collection. Other species that have been acquired are Coelogyne odoardi (endemic to Borneo) and Sarcochilus falcatus (endemic to Australia).

This past month has seen a few nice bloomings including a first bloom from an 'Amami Island' Neofinetia falcata. This plant was left outside for a month in the California "winter", but brought in when temperatures dropped below 35F. It appears that this treatment is enough to induce blooms in the summer which are very fragrant at night. It's a delightful species, and I can definitely understand the current obsession for this species, especially with its long history in Japan.

Neofinetia falcata




Borneo Phalaenopsis species list

SpeciesDistribution
Phalaenopsis amabilisBorneo, Indonesia, Australia, Papua New Guinea 
Phalaenopsis appendiculata Borneo, West Malaysia
Phalaenopsis bellinaEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis borneensisEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis cochlearisEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis corningianaEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis cornu-cerviBorneo, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand
Phalaenopsis deliciosaBorneo, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines
Phalaenopsis doweryensisEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis fimbriataBorneo, Indonesia
Phalaenopsis fuscataBorneo, West Malaysia, Philippines
Phalaenopsis giganteaEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis lamelligeraEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis maculataEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis mariaeBorneo, Philippines
Phalaenopsis modestaEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis pantherinaEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis rundumensisEndemic to Borneo
Phalaenopsis sumatranaBorneo, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand

- Species highlighted green are the ones I currently have in the collection.


Other orchid species from Borneo in the collection

SpeciesDistribution
Cymbidium ensifoliumWidespread, including Borneo
Coelogyne odoardiEndemic to Borneo
Dyakia hendersonianaEndemic to Borneo
Paphiopedilum kolopakingiiEndemic to Borneo
Paphiopedilum lowiiBorneo, West Malaysia, Indonesia 
Paphiopedilum rothschildianum Endemic to Borneo
Paphiopedilum sanderianumEndemic to Borneo
Paphiopedilum stoneiEndemic to Borneo
Paraphalaenopsis labukensisEndemic to Borneo
Pteroceras hirsutumEndemic to Borneo

Other Phalaenopsis species in the collection

SpeciesDistribution
Phalaenopsis lindeniiPhillipines
Phalaenopsis javanicaIndonesia
Phalaenopsis speciosaNicobar Islands
Phalaenopsis stuartuania Phillipines
Phalaenopsis violaceaWest Malaysia

Other orchid species in the collection

SpeciesDistribution
Bulbophyllum lasiochilum West Malaysia, Thailand, Burma
Cymbidium goeringiiIndia, Bhutan, China, Taiwan, Japan
Neofinetia falcataChina, Korea, Japan
Sarcochilus falcatusEndemic to Australia

Monday, June 6, 2016

Two Phalaenopsis species from section Zebrinae

Two species that have been found on Borneo from section Zebrinae are Phalaenopsis corningiana and Phalaenopsis sumatrana. Of the two, Phalaenopsis corningiana is endemic to Borneo, and has one of the coolest scent that smells like grape soda with hints of cloves, which is quite unique.

This is the second bloom for this Phalaenopsis corningiana, but I have yet to figure out how to grow this species well without stressing it out too much.




The sister species, Phalaenopsis sumatrana, is really quite different. This plant had previously bloomed but it's the first time it has bloomed here. Unlike Phalaenopsis corningiana, Phalaenopsis sumatrana produces an acrid, turpentine-y, burnt-plastic scent. Because the number of bloom it carried produced massive amounts of scents, it became quite uncomfortable to even stay in the room it was blooming in (!), which unfortunately meant I had to prematurely cut the flowers after a few days. These will definitely have to be grown in a separate room in the future.





Saturday, May 21, 2016

Two first bloom Phalaenopsis fimbriata

Phalaenopsis fimbriata was discovered in 1921 in Java, and has purported a range from Sumatra to Sarawak (Borneo). As the name suggests, it has a distinct fimbriate lip that looks like a raised fringe with small projections on the edges at the midlobe of the lip. It is quite fragrant but it is not pleasant -- smells like burnt rubber and ammonia to me.

These are siblings from the same cross but have very different shape and forms. The one I've labeled #1 has larger flowers and "flatter" blooms, while #2 has the normal form of this species. 

Phalaenopsis fimbriata #1



Phalaenopsis fimbriata #2



Monday, May 2, 2016

First bloom Phalaenopsis cochlearis

Very excited to finally be able to bloom this Phalaenopsis cochlearis that's been growing here for about three years now. The first thing I noticed was that it's quite fragrant, very much like orange blossoms to me, but others have described it as lemony. It's a really cool flower and is my new favorite species!

This species has a purported limited range in Sarawakian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia, and according to the Nortons from Orchidview, Phal. cochlearis may already be extinct in the wild. It's not the best news, but reminds us of the importance of keeping this species in cultivation.

Phalaenopsis cochlearis