Sunday, May 4, 2014

Arachnis Maggie Oei "Yellow Ribbon' a mass of stems around a coconut palm.

Today I saw a massive clump of stems of this orchid growing near San Sebastian, Puerto Rico.  Arachnis Maggie Oei is a hybrid of Arachnis hookeriana var. luteola and Arachnis flos-aeris.  This hybrid was made by John Laycock in the thirties in Singapore. It bloomed for the first time in 1940.  It became an important element in the cut flower market for the next thirty years.  The most common clone of this hybrid in Puerto Rico is 'Yellow Ribbon'.  Back in the 1980's this orchid was seen only on orchid collections.  Now it is found everywhere, even in the gardens of people that don't grow other types of orchids.  It owes its popularity to the fact that is is very hardy and the tropical climate of Puerto Rico suits it well.  Also it can survive when cut into pieces that are only a few feet long, something that allows for cuttings to be shared far and wide.  This mass of stems originally were planted, along with some Epidendrums, at the base of the coconut palm.  But as the plant increased in size and vigor, it grew around the palm and climbed all the way to the top, the palm is roughly sixteen feet tall.  Arachnis do well in most places in the island, however lack of water stuns it and slows growth greatly.  Growing it under shady conditions inhibits flowering, only when the tip of the stem is exposed to full sun does the plant blooms.  Growers in East Asia report that this plant hs flowers almost all year when grown in a favorable location.

1 comment:

Hedrick Kwan said...

I am Hedrick, the last curator of Mandai Orchid Garden, singapore. I am very happy to read that our heritage orchid is doing well and alive in another part of the globe. The garden has sadly closed and I have started my own landscaping company. Do have a look at my blog: