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Many of the endemic species have contributed significant roles in the orchid hybridization work in various countries. Dendrobium — the genus Dendrobium contains a very large number of heterogeneous species. They have an erect, cane-type pseudo bulb and have flowers with relatively long vase life. They are naturally distributed in the warm and humid areas with an elevation of m above sea level. In the Philippines, the Dendrobium group includes d. Some Dendrobium hybrids which are promising for cutflower production in the Philippines classified according to flower color are the following:.

Pink — D. University of Hawaii Crosses, D. Tomie, D. Sonia, D. Jacquelyn Thomas, D. Cesar, D. Waipaho Beallty. White with Red Hip — D. Bangkok Fancy, D. Youpadeewan, D. Palolo Beauty. White — D. Singapore White, D.

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Walter Oumae, D. Multico White, D. University of Hawaii , D. Madame Vipar, D. Clomen White. Vanda — the members of this group are generally sun loving and robust with a wide range of colorful, beautiful shaped flowers which are of heavy substances and long lasting. Vandas are grouped according to leaf types, namely: strap leaf, terete leaf and semi-terete.

The strap leaf vandae have flat, broad and channeled leaves like Vanda Sanderana waling-waling. Semi-terete vandas have midway between terete and strap leaf vandas. Semi-terete vandas are highly floriferous. The following hybrids are found to flower well under local condition. Josephine van Brero Crosses V. Eman van Deventer Crosses V.

Velthius Crosses V. Walter Gumae V. Penang Manila. Phalaenopsis — the graceful bearing of the Phalaenopsis whether our native species or more advance hybrids is quite pleasing to the eye. The long, slender flower stalk bears the flowers high and arcs away from the leaves giving it is fragile and pleasing appearance. Some promising species are P. Arachnis — Renanthera Type — Arachnis and Renanthera type flowers range from fiery red, brilliant orange, yellow brown to white.

They are monopodial, terrestrial and the flowers come in long stiff sprays. They are more tolerant to full sunlight. Cattleya and its Alies — modern Cattleyas actually consists of a complex group of hybrids created by combining Cattleya species or hybridization with closely allied genera such as Laelia, Brassavola, Broughtonia ans a few others. The genus Cattleya presents a very interesting group of orchid with broad spectrum of colors, types and more diversified.

Basically, the growth requirements of any plant are temperature, water, light, aeration and nutrition. These are the environmental factors to which orchids will have to adapt themselves. A good grower should thus attempt to stimulate the optimum levels of these factors for each type of hybrid orchids. Light — sun loving orchids are the Arachnis, Renanthera, Aranda and terete and semi-terete Vandas.

Some Dendrobium hybrids can also tolerate full sun, but their leaves turn yellowish and sometimes lose some of their leaves. Semi-terete vandas flower profusely when exposed to full sunlight. However, they should be protected from intense heat during the hot summer months by temporarily placing one layer of fist net over the plants.

Partial shade orchids need lower intensity for healthy growth. Most of the Dendrobiums, Phalaeopsis, Cattleyas and strap leaf Vandas belong to this group. Orchid plants receiving enough light have short plump stems with yellowish-green leathery leaves. Those receiving too much light are yellowish, stunted and even scorched. Those under too much shade become green, soft and succulent with thin spindly stem.

Water — the need and frequency of watering should depend on several factors such as potting media, size of containers, temperature, light intensity, air movement or kind of plant. Orchids grown in large containers dry out slower than those in pots. Plants in baskets, twigs or slabs require more water than those in pots or with coconut husk. During rainy days, plants should not be watered for days depending on the remaining moisture in pots.

Because of the presence of pseudobulb in Cattleyas or Dendrobiums, the frequency of watering is much less needed than in Vandasa. Plants grown under high wind velocity, high temperature, low relative humidity and high light intensity require more frequent watering. Plants suffering from lack of water become placid, stem or pseudobulb becomes shriveled. Beginners more often kill the plants by over watering.

Aeration — orchids must have free circulating air and high humidity around them. Stagnant air does not allow drying of potting medium and foliage. The occurrence of diseases is very minimal when there is excellent ventilation.

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The intermediate groups such as Cattleyas, some Dendrobius, some Oncidium prefer night temperature of Most of the orchid grown in the Philippines are warm growing plants where night temperature is below Walking around Brugaletta's Freshwater greenhouse, he explained that orchids exploit various lifestyles. They live in trees as epiphytes, on bare rock and pebbles as lithophytes and even terrestrially on humus-rich forest floors.

So why the mystique, the drama, the charisma? What has an orchid got that most flowers have not got? When they do bloom, the flowers are brightly colored, long-lasting, usually deeply scented, and associated with mystery, romance and intrigue. Turn-of-the-century Eureka was not immune to orchid fever. John C. Cottrell, a top millwright built his ornate home on C Street in Sometimes described as "mini-Carson Mansion," the Cottrell house has been lovingly maintained in nearly its original condition by a series of owners, most recently Katharine and Michael Eagan, who proudly showed me the only known intentionally built orchid room in town.

Just to the side of the main door, there's a view window into it from the grand stairs, so Cottrell could see his flowers on the way up and down the stairs. The room has nearly perfect conditions for orchid growing, north and east facing light under shady overhangs, no heat and lots of windows to provide the gentle drafts these exotic flowers crave.

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Not surprisingly, Katharine, a master gardener, is herself in love with orchids. There are a dozen in the room and a few hardy outside growing Cymbidium orchids in pots around a fountain. Her husband even built her a greenhouse for her orchids, but she found they preferred the old room so they moved right back in to the Cottrell House. Elsewhere, orchid growing was an upper class hobby from the s until the s when cloning brought orchid prices down from unreasonable to affordable.

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Many people in Humboldt culture these new and less expensive varieties. The Eel River group meets the first Saturday of each month at 1 p. Members get orchids from each other and from the monthly raffle. Both groups participate in an annual orchid show in Arcata in October. Strawberry Creek Orchids is a mainstay at local exhibitions. Nestled right along the coast near the McKinleyville airport, visitors are greeted by Anna, a large white dog, and Patricia Hill, her owner, who specializes in classical Odontoglossum orchids and sells one-of-a-kind seed raised orchids to collectors all over the United States through her Web site.

Hill, who appears to be in her late 50s, also shows at Humboldt County farmers' markets, although she says they mostly sell carnivorous plants at the markets, not orchids. It may be a show orchid or a dud. You never know with seed-raised orchids. Below left: Odontoglossum like this one mimic insects that are their pollinators in the wild. They told her of the wonderful growing conditions in Humboldt. She and her late husband relocated here 20 years ago and started the business. Hill said, "Odonts aren't easy, but we're in Odont heaven here with the high coastal humidity and cool summers.

Just about then, a large Pacific tree frog started calling lustily from a bromeliad. The frogs are tolerated. The abundant ferns peeking out of every pot are not. Its long pod hung down from what once was a flower stalk. It takes from nine to 12 months to mature, then it will be harvested and sent to the lab for processing. Two or three years later, the babies will come back for planting. Another three years, and they'll be ready to flower.

Hill will be waiting for them. Just down the road I met with Blaine Maynor, 35, the energetic co-owner of Orchids for the People who had just returned from an orchid show and was busily directing his crew shipping a few orchids. Maynor grew up with orchids, graduated from HSU and began collecting weird and rare species.

Eventually he ran out of space in his house, moved to a greenhouse in Arcata in and moved again to his current McKinleyville site in The latter are native to Australia. Maynor said he sells through eBay, his own Web site and an orchid clearinghouse www. He shows at local farmers' markets, out-of-area judging shows, the local October orchid show and the Orchid Society meetings, as well as being open to the public four days a week. Perhaps his most interesting local idea is plant leasing. He explained, "I'll bring the orchids, place them, maintain them and put out new ones, all for a monthly fee.

Joel Bollinger, 44 [photo at left] , began growing orchids in when he lived in the Bay Area. He said, "When I saw my first Pahphiopedilum, it just grabbed me. That's why I specialize in only Paphiopedilum orchids. But what I really love is that many of my orchids were named for famous orchid growers whom I've actually known. Bollinger grows Paphiopedilum, also called the lady's-slipper orchid.

Bollinger first fell in love with the flowers in San Francisco back yards where old Cymbidiums grew in pots. True to form, the first orchids he bought died -- probably because of overwatering -- and he was hooked. Water them once a week and fertilize regularly, that's all.

Standing in his greenhouse, he pointed toward a shade house also full of orchids. As we went though his greenhouses, he gently touched various plants, old friends all. His kitchen has specially made flask racks, one contains a seed cross he made five years ago. Bollinger's only been growing in Humboldt since Moving up here and starting his business is his life's dream. So here I am. Regardless of the kind of orchids they grow, all the growers did their best to get me hooked.

They all repeated what the books said, "Beginners need full grown plants, not babies. I wonder, which will be the first to die? Maybe I'll get lucky and they will all live, letting me enjoy their flowers and perfume without the death-guilt from which springs so many cases of orchid fever. I know more orchids are killed by overwatering than underwatering but I still can't get over flowers that can last up to six months that grow on plants that will die in a couple of days if you put them in a bucket of water.

Orchids are contrary like that. Yellowish leaves are healthy and brownish little pseudobulbs sticking out of pots are not dead, merely waiting for conditions to be right. Then up goes the flower stalk, in search of a pollinator -- or a collector -- to appreciate their beauty, perhaps to spread them farther than they ever could go alone. Frae Wittwer warned me. As her husband put a pot of orchids in my truck, she said, "Just wait. First it's a plant or two in some corner, then watch out!

Ellin Beltz writes theater columns and occasional cover stories for the Journal. Pacific treefrog calls from the watery pocket inside a bromeliad in the Strawberry Creek Orchids greenhouse.

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Orchid fever Roy Wittwer's sprightly walk and infectious enthusiasm mask his 75 years. Below right: Maternity ward for baby orchids at Sequoia Orchids] I never saw a million orchids before. Patience required People used to believe that orchids were hard to care for, that they couldn't be raised from seeds, that they were best left for the rich to toy with, Ray said. Below right: John Brugaletta holds a Dracula orchid flower] Walking around Brugaletta's Freshwater greenhouse, he explained that orchids exploit various lifestyles.

What's the secret?