Shy slippers…

August 7, 2008 at 5:32 am | Posted in orchids, paphiopedilum, slipper orchids | Leave a comment

I love slipper orchids and greatly admire them for their elegance. At the same time I feel extreme frustrated for not being able to get them to flower and for some species, keep them alive! Vanity drives me going after them but if death is an eventuality, then perhaps not. Cannot take credit for being able to bloom these as they were bought on bargain from Ching Hua during the SGF 2008 which just ended last weekend. Hopefully I would have better luck in these fellas.

Paphiopedilum superbiens, not sure which variant this is, i.e. var. curtsii or var. superbiens. Have to wait for it to bloom properly.


I was told that this is Paph. lawrencenum but from the looks of it, it’s more likely to be a  “maudiae”, a primary hybrid made between P. callosum and P. lawrencenum.

I really love how these blooms look before opening. Like one wearing a helmet. Will update more pictures when the blooms develop further 🙂


Kota Tinggi – A Reprise Part 4 : Nepenthes Land!

July 29, 2008 at 7:07 pm | Posted in fieldtrip, nepenthes, orchids, travel | Leave a comment

A short drive away from our last locality, we reached Jermaluang. It was a hot and lazy Sunday afternoon and many shops seems to be closed or in a siesta mood. In fact, the whole town seem to be in siesta. We settled for a home-operated “restoran” for lunch. It was a simple fanfare, but the Kampung food was really sedap.

After recharging our body with drinks and a quick makan, we were back on the road again. Azmi suggested that we make a short detour to visit some Nepenthes locality, to make the trip “more inteesting”. I couldn’t resist. 🙂

He hadn’t been to the location for sometime now. So we called Lim for help. After a quick confirmation on the locality and driving instructions, we were on the road again. And it wasn’t before long that we struck gold. We knew that we had entered Nepenthes territory. It was not a full Kerangas type of habitat but the ferns and other vegetative landscape suggest that pitcher plants could be near by and true enough there they were. First to be stopped were N. gracilis, possibly the most abundant species in southern Peninsula.

Not bad for a first stop we thought. The pitchers look a big and robust but they seem to be infected by the “red stain” problem caused by a fungal attack ,as mentioned in Phillipps, Lamb and Lee’s new book.

We drove on to another location and through a quiet sliproad, we were greeted by a magnificent upper pitcher of N. rafflesiana standing erect and proud amongst the resam fern backdrop.

The peristome displayed a psychedelic spectrum of colours!

Then we saw A. gramatifolia, another indication of entering Nepenthes land!

An interesting dark red N. raffesiana lower pitcher.

A typical speckled lower pitcher

We also found a red clone of N. gracilis.

And some green N. ampullaria which are commonly found in these areas.

Couldn’t locate any N. xhookeriana and N. xtrichocarpa but we felt glad to be able to see these tropical pitchers nonetheless. 🙂



to be continued….

Singapore Garden Festival Part 3 – Orchid Show (2) : Dendrobiums

July 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Posted in books, exhibitions and events, orchids | Leave a comment

Next comes the Dendrobium. Decide to take pictures of the more unusual ones.

D. erosum?

 D. farmeri

 D. macrophyllum

A lot of aunties were fascinated by how D. braeteosum could have flowers growing near the base. *laughs*

And other same aunties commented how the flowers of D. similieae look more like bunches of berries than flowers.

 Then comes my favorites, the antelopes of the Spatulata tribe. yummy!!!

D. lasianthera, one of the most flamboyant of the spatulatas.

D. sutiknoi. one of my personal favs!

A down dropping D. lasianthera. 

More D. lasianthera!

D. strebloceras 

The elegant D. stratiotes. This shot kinda reminds me of the cover of Lavarack’s latest edition of “Dendrobium and its Relatives”, except that the featured dend on the book cover is D. anntenatum I think.

 Speaking of which , there is a book on sale at the show on the Spatatula Orchids of Papua New Guinea, published two years back by the Orchid Society of PNG. This beautiful book covering all the known species from PNG then as well as some probable new species yet to be described. The only place I could find this book for sale online is over at orchidbooks, at twice the price of what’s being offered during the show. Wasted no time in getting a copy for myself. 🙂

 to be continued…

SGF 2008 part 1 :

SGF 2008 Part 2 :

 SGF 2008 part 4 :


Singapore Garden Festival Part 2 – Orchids Show (1) : Bulbs & Slippers

July 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Posted in exhibitions and events, orchids | Leave a comment

The other much anticipated component of SGF 2008 is of course the orchid show. This years Orchid show and competition is held separately in Hall 401. Below are some random shots of orchids being showcased during the competition and exhibition

First the Bulbophyllum. Not a genus which I’m particularly fond of, so not many pictures.

 Next the slippers orchids of paphs and phrags. Mostly hybrids

Firstly, a Phragmipedium hybrid. Think it won something.

A cross within the Polyantha subtribe…. I like 🙂 Reminds me of Paph. “Sander’s Pride” which is essentially P. sanderianum x P. stonei. 

 Then there’s Paph. “dollgoldii” the infamous hybrid between Paph. armeniacum and Paph. rothschildianum.

Some alba forms of Paph. “maudiae” from P. callosum and P. lawrenceanum. Though the one in the second picture reminds me of P. sangii‘s downward drooping petals.



The next two of hybrids made across various tribes. Not to my liking.


This is a multi-floral hybrid that has P. hangianum influence in it.

And the famous P. “Magic Lantern” which is P. delenatii with P. micranthum. And that’s P. emersonii in the right background I think. Wonder how it’s going to survive in our weather.

 One of the very few species I saw at the show, P. liemanum

to be continued….

SGF 2008 Part 1:

SGF 2008 Part 3:

SGF 2008 Part 4:

Singapore Garden Festival 2008 Part 1 – Overview and Nepenthes Galore!

July 28, 2008 at 11:23 am | Posted in exhibitions and events, nepenthes, orchids | Leave a comment

On 24th July,  I attended the media preview of the 2nd Singapore Garden Festival (SGF) 2008. The preview was well-attended by members of the press and TV media, e.g. LianHe Zaobao, ST, ZaoAn NiHao, Morning Singapore, Peak Magazine etc. After a short introduction by the CEO of National Parks (NP) we were divided into groups led by NP personnel on a tour around exibition Hall 601.



Some exhibits are really interesting, designed to astound one’s senses in sound, sight and even smell! Others unfortunately IMHO are lesser desirable. What really caught my eye was the dome-shape structure which was constructed for a feature by Robert and Diana Cantley from Sri Lanka showcasing a glimpse of Nepenthes and some other tropical plants in their natural habitat. To be able to see such a wide variety of tropical pitcher plants all at once, outside their natural habitat, I got very excited about this and decided to “abandon” the other media folk and the tour and indulge myself in this tropical paradise!

 The ambience was just right…

 The chorus of Nepenthes!





The highlight of the feature was three gigantic pitchers of what is supposed to be N. truncata. Those pitchers are massive! Easilt the size of a young baby. Not to mention rare too! Having their natural habitat destroyted, the world is with no more than a handful of N. truncata specimens from the wild. Thanks to the dedication of Rob and Diana, this species which was almost driven to the brink of extinction was given a new breath of life through cultivation in their facilities located in Sri Lanka.

One of my personal favorites at the show however was N. lowii, which produced bizarre toilet-bowl like pitchers. And toilet-bowls they are indeed. Scat have been found within the pitchers and on the narrow opening of the peristome, suggesting that animals like tree shrews and birds have visited the pitchers to enjoy the rich source of resin-like nectar secreted through glands under the lid. As these animals enjoy their free meal while perching on the peristome, they “conveniently” defacaete into the pitcher, much to the delight of the plant of course, as that would provide nitrogeneous matter which is in turn injested by the latter. What a unique case of mutualistic symbiosis! Nature’s profound meaning to barter trade I guess!

This particular plant displayed within the feature is not quite within the visionary enjoyment of the public; due to the delicacy of the pitchers, the dome-shaped enclosure would be out-of-bounds to the public during exhibition days. Members of the public could only see the pitchers from afar outside the enclosure, being separated from it by a water feature which runs around the external perimeters of the enclosure like a moat. However, I had the rare opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with this highlander to admire its sheer beauty.

The first pitcher, which has a dark burgundy peristome shows an accumulation of the crystaliised resin which the animals feed on. The second pitcher however, shows a more colourfully variegated peristome. And if my eyes do not fail me, they are produced by the same plant!

to be continued….

SGF 2008 Part 2:

SGF 2008 Part 3:

SGF 2008 Part 4:

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