Helping out to make a greener earth

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Taiwan's Gems: Phalaenopsis Orchids, Part 3

Orchid breeders have indeed come a long way.

This is best seen in the case of the fancy colored phalaenopsis. Taiwan is  THE leader in this area at this point in time, something that the US have been quite famous for many years ago.

Below are some photos taken from a few shops selling phals in Taiwan. These are basically red- spotted, pink-spotted or striped ones.

Spotted phals can either have a few dainty spots to so many spots that the color almost look like its solid. The spots can either be pink to red to almost maroon. The flowers can be small to large in size and the patterns of spotting can take so many variations.

Red-spotted phalaenopsis

Below is a good example of solid and dispersed spotting on a single flower,  and on a miniature plant at that!

This is a spotted large-sized bloom.

(Left) The contrast between the white base and the deep red-violet spot have to be seen to be believed.  Though the flowers are only medium-sized and the length of the spike is short compared to most, the color is breathtaking.
 A group of uniformly grown, tissue-cultured red-spotted beauties.

This surely is one of the most attractive spotted phals I have seen so far.  The flowers are huge, beautifully contrasting red and white, good shape, long spike with lots of flowers.  

A plant I would have wanted to bring home, if given the chance.  

This is a good example of progressive breeding where the outstanding traits of two plants are brought together through breeding and hopefully transfer these traits to the offsprings. 

 Obviously a big standard white was crossed with a strongly red-spotted plant and the outcome shows the two characteristics really well.

I was quite surprised with the picture above as the actual plant is very pretty and was one of those that immediately caught my attention given the huge number of plants in bloom.

Unfortunately, it did not register quite well in the photograph.  Just like with humans, I must concede that some flowers are more photogenic than others.

To round up the red spotted phals, here is a medium sized bloom that really photographed well,

Pink-spotted phalaenopsis

The quality of spotting in phals have improved over the years.  The intensity of color, the evenness of distribution have all been better thanks to the dedication of breeders and fanciers.

Unlike the large whites or even the pinks, what may be improved with these types would be the number of flowers per spike as these do not send out as many.  The arrangement of the flowers on the spike may also be improved.  

The main reason for this is the characteristic of the original species from which the colors were derived.  Whereas whites and pinks would have large flowers on long spikes, the yellows and dark reds and lavenders typically have small flowers and few flowers per spike.

This flower is a definite shoo-in for an award in any show.  It has all the qualities of a show winner.  The individual flower is large, more than 3.5" with very thick substance, good color and pleasing shape.

The patience of the growers in nurturing these plants in Taiwan which is easily seen from the quality of the roots, leaves and spike, is amazing.

Serious hobbyist could actually equal such care on a limited basis, with only a handful of plants to look after.

With the volume that Taiwan nurseries produce,  one cannot help but admire that  the quality has not been compromised.  Even while the numbers have gone beyond hundreds to the thousands, one can expect, and see, the same outstanding culture and plant quality.

The striped phalaenopsis

Striped phalaenopsis are formed when the base color of the flower and the veins would have a contrast in color.  The contrast may be in the form of difference in shade (light versus dark) or seemingly two different colors altogether.

There are standard-sized striped phals but the the most interesting to me personally are either the small or the medium sized ones.

One of the best looking I saw during this trip is this medium-sized striped phal.  The contrast is so beautifully distributed and the shape is likewise good.  The spike is also branching resulting to potentially more flowers for each spike.
There are also those with more subtle striping, low key and understated.

Beautiful enough to eat! The pink-orange mix of the color makes these look like flowers in a cake or colored candies shaped like flowers.

So many beautiful flowers, so little time, so small a greenhouse. . . . .


  1. Really enjoyed the photos of the Phalaenopsis orchids. I keep a few (I recently did a quick blog about some of them), and whilst I can't get too fanatical about them (I know for some it becomes a full time passion), I keep enough to have something in bloom at any one time.
    This summer I placed a few outdoors and, despite the fact that the UK summer was pretty poor this year, they seemed to do well.

  2. I love your pictures! I have a spotted dark maroon orchid and was wondering what it's latin and common name are since my beauty didn't come with a tag :(

  3. Beautiful photos. Would have loved to see them properly named!