Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pure Beauty - Habenaria myriotricha/medusae

This is a jaw-dropping beauty from Laos or Thailand. I've seen it once in Bangkok and that beautiful memory stayed with me. Recently, i was very lucky to purchase what i suspected is a H. myriotricha plant from a local orchid nursery. They had imported some plants from Thailand in preparation for a plant exhibition cum trade fair. Keeping my fingers crossed... and it turned out to the plant of my dreams.

According to Seidenfaden, there are 3 species - H. medusae from northern Sumatra, H. myriotricha from Thailand/Laos & H. beccarii from Sulawesi. H. medusae and H. myriotricha are almost identical while H. beccarii has broader and shorter fringes on the side lobes. Knowing that my plant originated from Thailand i'm sticking to H. myriotricha. The inflorescences is erect and measured 40-50 cm tall from ground. Each flower is about 3 cm across, with long graceful thin fringes on the sidelobes and a long spur.

Again this is a deciduous terrestial from monsoonal belt - Indochina, northern Sumatra, Sulawesi with a very distinct dry/wet season. When the plant is growing, water generously and feed it with dilute fertilizer regularly to promote strong growth and flowers. After flowering, once leaves start to yellow reduce watering as the plant prepares for dormancy by withdrawing starch from the leaves and stem to form the tuber. Slowly, water less and less. Once the tuber is fully form, it can be kept dry for about 3-4 mths.

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