* Black Orchids are always beautiful

Gestart door Kano, woensdag 21 september 2011, 14:43:28

Vorige topic - Volgende topic


Black Orchids are always beautiful

Manila Bulletin Sept 21  2011,

MANILA, Philippines -- A unique orchid that is in bloom this season is the Trichoglottis brachiata, or as it is commonly known, the Black Orchid.   Dark or black colored flowers are a rare feature among orchids. But the plant became popular in the late 1950s when Sophia Loren played a widow who made artificial flowers in the 1958 film "The Black Orchid."

The genus Trichoglottis got its name from the Greek word "thrix," meaning "hair," and "glotta," meaning "tongue." The latter refers to the hairy surface of the labellum, a landing platform for pollinating insects.  It's also known as Trichoglottis atropurpurea and Trichoglottis philippinensis. The latter got its name mainly due to the fact that it is found here in the Philippines.  This attractive Philippine species is a favorite plant among collectors as it is distinguished by its broader petals and sepals. Its flower has a rich dark maroon color, and the labellum has a unique shape and is red purple in color.

It is widely distributed in the Philippines, and is found in Agusan del Sur, Catanduanes, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Leyte, Palawan, Quezon, Surigao del Sur, and Surigao del Norte.  It grows as an epiphyte in mangrove swamps, and is commonly found in areas with elevations of 300 meters.

Being epiphytic, it is often found on top of tree trunks and branches with its monopodial stems tenaciously clinging on tree barks. The erect, rigid stems are about 30 to 60 centimeters long, and 2.5 to four centimeters wide.

The dark velvety-maroon colored flowers are about two inches or six centimeters in diameter and emanate a violet-like fragrance.  The star-shaped, mildly fragrant flowers occur individually at each leaf axil.  They have a lengthy life span as they can survive for weeks. Its flowering season happens from May to October. As several of these flowers open simultaneously on each stem, a blooming back orchid can be a stunning sight to behold.

This plant can survive in shady spots and can endure the sunlight. It requires daily watering and will thrive well with companion plants like ferns.  It needs a slow draft of ventilation or moving air but it has to be protected from strong winds.

The plant can be established in slabs of tree fern roots, drift wood, or charcoal, and in wood, clay, or plastic baskets.

It's also best to fertilize the plant regularly. A healthy Black Orchid is one that is sprayed with dilute orchid foliar fertilizer, just once a week.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/335089/black-orchids-are-always-beautiful

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