Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nervilia aragoana

This is one of the most wide-ranging orchid in the world... recorded from Deccan, India all the way across subtropical Asia to Ryukyu Island, Japan in the North and Pacific Islands of Guam, Fiji, Niue to the South and even further east to Samoa.  

My beautiful N. aragoana originates from peninsular Malaysia, which is in between the 2 extremes of India and Pacific Islands.  It is like a miniature Gunnera or Petasites from cool temperate zone contained in a 4" pot.  During the growing season a new leaf grow from a underground globular tuber; as the leaf mature and "harden", new-stolon like root runners grow from the base of the leaf stalk into loose humus rich soil to form new tubers. It is an easy terrestial orchid that require generous watering and humidity during the vegetative growing season and a bit of a dry-out between watering during the dormant stage. Depending on origins and habitat and general health of the orchid, the leaf can range from 2" to 7" across. The flowers are nothing much to talk about. Since i've only a single clone.. it seems to have an ability to self pollinate for the last few terminal flowers to propagate ifself when cross fertilization mechanism is not available.

An unfolding young leaf:

Friday, November 07, 2008

Pyrrosia lingua

This fern is notionally tagged Pyrrosia lingua. Despite my efforts of digging into some fern literature and combing through images on the net.. i can just say it is probably a miniature form of P. lingua. It is a beautiful xeric/resurrection fern. When it is water-stressed, the fronds curl-up exposing the copper/silver underside (top).  Give it a good drenching, it revives very quickly (bottom).

The new fronds appear to be covered with whitish trichomes, showing special adaption to get atmospheric humidity.  

This beautiful fern was given to me and it is said to have originated from China. It is remarkably adaptable and heat tolerant; having survived 37 C tropical heat and drought without tissue damage:

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Sedum booleanum

When i first saw this plant at the rooftop C&S nursery/shop at Seibu Ikebukuro, Tokyo, i told myself it must be a crassula sp. With a compact crassula-like plant, the odds of it surviving tropical Singapore is very low.  The general rule of thumb - anything white, tight and compact is doomed from the start. Still it is too charming and must be tried and tested. Well, it turned out to be a sedum from subtropical Mexico which is a good start versus crassula sp from temperate S. Africa.  The Japanese harakana script had it phonetically translated as S. "boulesnum" which is very close to the published latin name of S. booleanum. This species is described from Nuevo Leon, Mexico and it occurs in gypsum outcrops.  It is unique and special being very similar to habit of Villadia. (Go to this wonderful website and search for S. booleanum in the botanical database).

After growing for 3 mths, it has retained its compact form and colour; something to cheer about for a sedum occuring at 1340 m a.s.l!