DixPix Photographs

     

INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO

 
     
  THE ORCHIDS  

 

Orchidaceae, the Orchid Family competes with that of the aster for the title of most species.  Estimates vary, but there are roughly 25,000 in 880 genera, and more being defined regularly.  There is also something like 100,000 hybrids to confuse things.  The plants grow in many habitats and come in an incredible variety of shapes and colors.  Orchids have many admirers, with countless clubs and forums, in bahasa it is often written Orkid. Given the huge number of species, identification from photographs is difficult or impossible, even for an expert in the field, which the author is not.  The family has adapted to temperate climates, but most species are tropical, and New Guinea is considered especially rich in species.

 

The Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis) is one of the three national flowers of Indonesia, also occurring in Malaysia.  You won't see it like this in the florists, however.  Here in Sarawak in the rain forest the pollen and colors run.  It is known here as Anggrek Bulan, the Moon Orchid. Click to see big picture (397x480 pixels; 60 KB)
And this is the National Flower of Singapore, known as Vanda Miss Joaquim.  As the name suggests, it is a hybrid, between V. hookeriana and V. teres.  Perhaps a hybrid is well suited for Singapore, which is itself a Chinese-Malaysian fusion.  In some systems, Vanda is replaced by Papilionanthe. Click to see big picture (417x480 pixels; 73 KB)
The Bamboo Orchid (Arundina graminifolia) may be the only orchid species that could be classified as a weed.  Widespread in southeast Asia, it has proved invasive outside of its native range. Click to see big picture (537x480 pixels; 74 KB)
Bamboo Orchids are tall and the flowers of variable appearance as this photo shows.  It is sometimes called Tapah Weed.  An alternative latin name is Arundina bambusifolia. Click to see big picture (600x480 pixels; 72 KB)
From the middle levels of Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah, another genus of orchid with the ladder style of foliage Click to see big picture (483x480 pixels; 71 KB)
Mt. Kinabalu has an incredible variety of Orchids, in part because its great relief passes many ecological zones.  I suspect that this one is Dendrochilum glumaceum native to the Philippines and here in Borneo.  Note the pseudo bulbs. Click to see big picture (470x480 pixels; 130 KB)
And this one appears to be Calanthe transiens, about mid level on Kinabalu. Click to see big picture (616x480 pixels; 109 KB)
From the upper forests of the mountain, this is approximately Coelogyne papillosa.  The guides tend to pass most of the family off as 'necklace orchids", a pleasant term but not too helpful. Click to see big picture (311x480 pixels; 67 KB)
An unidentified species, again from near timberline. Click to see big picture (358x480 pixels; 62 KB)
And from high on the mountain, this would be a Dendrochilum sp.  There are several alpine species in the genus on Kinabalu. Click to see big picture (349x480 pixels; 101 KB)
Two unidentified string or necklace orchids from the lower levels of the mountain. Click to see big picture (573x480 pixels; 110 KB)
A striking orchid from moderate elevations, apparently Eria grandis. Click to see big picture (449x480 pixels; 82 KB)
Even more striking from the same elevations is Paphiopedilum rothschildianum, sometime called the 'King of Paphs'.  It is native only to the lower slopes of Kinabalu. Click to see big picture (486x480 pixels; 107 KB)
A better look at the same flower in a garden near the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu.  Another name is Rothschild's Slipper Orchid. Click to see big picture (640x426 pixels; 109 KB)
Also confined in range to the Kinabalu area is the Sabah Beauty Orchid, Renanthera Bella.
An unidentified species from the Mesilau area near Kinabalu. Click to see big picture (458x480 pixels; 66 KB)
And from near the same locality, this dainty orchid leans over a trail. Click to see big picture (631x480 pixels; 89 KB)
Also from the mountains of Sabah, this is Dimorphorchis rossii, whose main claim to fame is that it has two different flower colors on each stem. Click to see big picture (304x480 pixels; 92 KB)
Phalaenopsis pantherina is an attractively decorated orchid from the lowlands of Borneo, in this case displayed at the Tenom Orchid Center, Sabah.  It is also known as P. cornu-cervi, although resemblence to a deer horn is hard to imagine. Click to see big picture (478x480 pixels; 65 KB)
This wild-looking striped orchid is from the Batang Ai Reservoir area of Sarawak.  Arachnis flosaeris or A. flos-aeris is native from Malyasia to Java. Click to see big picture (553x480 pixels; 78 KB)
The flowers are arranged on a long chain, making a very large plant.  The locals call it Orkid Harimau (tiger orchid), but this could confuse it with another species. Click to see big picture (527x480 pixels; 102 KB)
Back in the lowlands of Sabah, this appears to be Eria ornata, which may be found from Thailand to Suluwesi.  It is indeed ornate, as its species name suggests. Click to see big picture (558x480 pixels; 119 KB)
Eria (or Callostylus) pulchella at the Tenom Orchid Center.  The natural range seems to be mainly Malaysia and Sumatra. Click to see big picture (524x480 pixels; 76 KB)
The Malayan Ground Orchid (Spathoglottis plicata) is native to much of southeast Asia.  It has become naturalized and very common in Hawaii. Click to see big picture (531x480 pixels; 118 KB)
A closer look at the flowers of the Malayan Ground Orchid. Click to see big picture (640x468 pixels; 82 KB)
A large cluster orchid of unknown identity growing on a log in southern Sarawak. Click to see big picture (500x480 pixels; 135 KB)
This appears to be a Coelogyne verrucosa at the Tenom Orchid center.  It is native to northern Borneo. Click to see big picture (507x480 pixels; 75 KB)
Known as the Keeled Thelasis, Thelasis carinata has a home range from Malaysia to Australia. Click to see big picture (640x474 pixels; 73 KB)
And while out to the east, this lovely orchid was photographed in Papua New Guinea.  No identification. Click to see big picture (640x372 pixels; 79 KB)
Robiquetia spathulata approx., is a lowland species from India to Java. Click to see big picture (412x480 pixels; 76 KB)
Dendrobium is one of the larger genera of orchids, with roughly 1200 species.  This one at the Tenom center was left without a species identification. Click to see big picture (276x480 pixels; 74 KB)
Known as Splendid Calanthe, Calanthe pulchra has a range from Laos to Java. Click to see big picture (307x480 pixels; 82 KB)
Bulbophyllum is a huge genus with a couple of thousand species.  Some are unusual in appearance, and the following are from the Tenom Orchid Center.  This is B. acuminatum of Malaysian extraction.  It is sometimes called the Tapering Bulbophyllum. Click to see big picture (571x480 pixels; 88 KB)
Bulbophyllum lobbii is native to Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo. Click to see big picture (640x443 pixels; 104 KB)
While the well named Medusa Orchid, Bulbophyllum medusae, is found more widespread in southeast Asia. Click to see big picture (559x480 pixels; 122 KB)