Just in time for today’s expo the MRSN Orchid shade house became fully operational with the seedlings students deflasked hanging in baskets and some adult Sarawak orchid species donated by SARORSO members. Zoe as our professional horticulturalist lead today’s training.
It is all go at MRSM this morning with all of year 8 and year 9 students visiting four groups of MRSM and Mendip / Writhlington to learn all about the project and progress so far. Massive well done to all the students involved.
We have been seeing this species all over Sarawak and it really deserves to be orchid of the day. The largest orchid in the world (by mass) this species is truly immense with thick leafy pseudobulbs 3m or more long and gigantic many flowered spikes, some of which are beginning to open here in Sarawak in November.
The young plant near the top of the trunk of an ancient dipterocarp species shows the niche occupied by this species which we have always found on the truck or in the crown of large trees. The pseudobulbs become more pendulous as they grow older.
There are plants cultivated in the UK and I have seen large plants in the collection at Kew but few have room for a plant several meters wide weighing several tonnes. The plants we have seen have all been at altitudes below 200m and so plants grow hot and wet.
A massive well done to all our fantastic team, not just the Eds. Tomorrow we have the public event in MRSM where all the students present their work – should be a lot of fun.
We found some new orchids on Pueh and here are a few of them. Acriopsis ridleyi (above) was growing on a tall tree fern near the waterfall along with a small dendrobium that we haven’t yet identified, Flickeringia bancana and Agrostrophyllum majus.
Not far away on the path we found a big colony of the terrestrial Malaxis ophrydis (below) just coming into flower.
As we arrived back at the bus, dripping and squelching, we spotted this lovely Aerides odorata in full flower. A very fitting orchid to end our forest exploration as it was the first flowering orchid we saw on the first Saturday on Mount Singai.