Moon Orchid

>> Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scientific Names: Phalaenopsis amabilis
Common Names: Moon Orchid, Moth Orchid, Butterfly Plant, Anggrek Bulan (Indonesia)
Plant Type: Small-size vines flower.
Height: 12-18 inch (30-45 cm). Flowers can grow up to 10cm even more.
Native Habitat: Grow in warm conditions. Way of life with a stick in epiphyte on trunk or branches of trees in rainforest and lives up to 600 meters above sea level. Can also be maintained in a pot in medium fir bark and keep in partial shade. Water about once a week. Keep plant fairly moist but not wet.
Native Range: This species is usually found in the eastern to the Southeastern regions of Asia. Plants in this genus are typically widespread in the areas of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua, up to Australia.
Conservation Status: This plant in Indonesia is categorized as a protected plant. This is done as an effort to maintain the viability of this plant.
Related Species
  • Phalaenopsis amabilis subsp. amabilis (Indonesia to Papuasia).
  • Phalaenopsis amabilis subsp. amabilis forma Grandiflora (Philippines - Palawan island).
  • Phalaenopsis amabilis subsp. moluccana (Northeastern Borneo to the Moluccas).
  • Phalaenopsis amabilis subsp. rosenstromii (New Guinea to Queensland).
Flowering Time: Orchids are sporadic bloomers and, if happy, could flower up to 3 times each year.

Moon Orchid was first discovered on a small island off the east coast of New Guinea by local botanists Georgius Rumphius Everhardus in 1653, but he called it Angraecum majus ablum. It remained undiscovered until 1825, when Karl Ludwig Blume discovered in the same way and gave him the name is known by now. Phalaenopsis amabilis included in monopodial orchids are like little natural light as a supporter of his life. Green leaves with elongated shapes. The roots are white and elongated round shape and fleshy feel. Most are epiphytic shade plants. In the wild they are typically found below the canopies of moist and humid lowland forests, protected against direct sunlight, but equally in seasonally dry or cool environments. The species have adapted individually to these three habitats.

Phalaenopsis amabilis are the largest family of flowering plants. The numerous hybrids of mainly tropical origin are of great horticultural significance. The wild ancestor species of many of these hybrids are now endangered because of habitat destruction, especially through the loss of tropical lowland and montane primary forest . Phalaenopsis hybrids have great economic value as house and garden plants as well as cut flowers. Recently, many wild species of Phalaenopsis amabilis are extremely rare in nature because of habitat loss as well as overcollection. Phalaenopsis amabilis, with its large white flowers, is one of the most important ancestor species of Phalaenopsis hybrids. These hybrids are usually clonally propagated. A problem in this respect is the circumstance that seedlings initially form only a single vegetative shoot. Development of a method for improving orchids through genetic modification could be extremely valuable for horticulture and, indirectly, also for conservation. Establishment of transformation methods for Phalaenopsis amabilis is important to understand functions of genes and to manipulate them in orchids.

Many people use this plant as an ornamental plant, because this plant has a very beautiful flower. On the other hand these plants began to be threatened in their natural habitat. This causes the market price of these plants become quite expensive.

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Mountain Holly

>> Sunday, January 15, 2012

Scientific Names: Ilex montana
Common Names: Mountain Holly, Mountain Winterberry, Big-leaf Holly
Plant Type: Deciduous small-tree.
Height: Up to 30 feet.
Native Habitat: Understory and openings in hardwood forests.
Native Range: Mostly mountainous areas from southern New England south almost to the Gulf Coast.
Conservation Status: NatureServe lists Ilex montana as Critically Imperiled in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and possibly Vulnerable in Mississippi. The species is officially classified as Threatened by Massachusetts, Endangered by New Jersey, and Exploitably Vulnerable by New York.
Cultivation: Give this plant moist slightly-acid soil with good drainage. It can survive in shade, but will grow faster and produce more berries in a sunny spot.
Related Species: The best-known relative in the United States is the American Holly (Ilex opaca), one of the most cold-hardy large evergreens and an excellent landscaping plant. Nurseries sometimes sell special female cultivars with glossy leaves and abundant berry production. Two smaller evergreens, Dahoon (Ilex cassine) and Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) grow in coastal areas of the Southeast. The most common native deciduous species is Possomhaw (Ilex decidua). Many other hollies can be found in Europe, Asia, and other regions.

Ilex montana is a small deciduous tree found mostly at high elevations from southern New England to Georgia. The species is notable for having the largest berries of any native holly, up to one-half inch thick. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 9–12 m tall. The leaves are 3-9 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, light green, ovate or oblong, wedge-shaped or rounded at the base and acute at apex, with a serrated margin and an acuminate apex; they do not suggest the popular idea of a holly, with no spines or bristles.

The leaves turn yellow before dropping in late autumn. The flowers are 4–5 mm diameter, with a four-lobed white corolla, appearing in late spring when the leaves are more than half grown. The fruit is a spherical bright red drupe 8-10 mm diameter, containing four seeds. Usually these berries are orange-red, but red and yellow forms are sometimes seen. They are more oblong than the berries of most hollies. The bark of the tree is an attractive reddish-brown, and its leaves generally turn yellow before dropping in late autumn. As with other hollies, a plant is either male or female, and a female won't produce berries unless a male is nearby. This is a good choice for a semi-wild area in open woods.

Because the sexes of young plants are difficult to determine, you should plant at least four or five specimens and hope that some are female. Actually, one male can normally pollinate several females, but in most cases you won't know the sex distribution when you do the planting. Holly berries are consumed by many bird species, including Wild Turkey, Bluebirds, Catbirds, Mockingbirds, Robins, Thrushers, Blue Jays, Cedar Waxwings, and Thrashers. White-tailed Deer eat the foliage and twigs.

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Rafflesia arnoldii

>> Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scientific Names: Rafflesia arnoldii
Common Names: Giant Padma, Rare Padma, Corpse Flower, Meat Flower
Plant Type: Giant flower.
Plant Size: 12-100 cm in diameter.
Native Habitat: Rafflesia arnoldii is found in tropical rain forests in Indonesia.
Native Range: Rafflesia arnoldii is found in tropical rain forests in southeast Asia, especially in the rainforests of Sumatra, Java and Borneo.
Conservation Status: How many of these plants still survive is unknown, but as the remaining primary forests of Borneo and Sumatra disappear, it can be assumed that their numbers are dwindling. Many are known to be nearing extinction. Some environmentalists are developing ways to recreate the species environment in an effort to stimulate their recovery. This has proved unsuccessful so far. Steps are also being taken to conserve the forests of Sumatra and Borneo. To help counter the over-collection of this rare plant, residents that have Rafflesia on their private property are encouraged to save the flowers and charge a small fee to see them.

Rafflesia arnoldii is a member of the genus Rafflesia. It is noted for producing the largest individual flower on earth, and a strong odor of decaying flesh - the latter point earning it the nickname of Corpse Flower or Meat Flower. It is an endemic plant that occurs only in the rainforests of Sumatra Island, Indonesia. Although there are some plants with larger flowering organs like the Titan Arum and Talipot palm, those are technically clusters of many flowers.

Rafflesia arnoldii is one of the three national flowers in Indonesia, the other two being the White jasmine and Moon orchid.  It was officially recognized as a national Rare Flower in Presidential Decree No. 4 in 1993. Several species of Rafflesia grow in the jungles of southeast Asia, including the Philippines. Many of them are threatened or endangered. The flower of Rafflesia arnoldii is the largest, growing to a diameter of around 1 m (3 ft) and weighing up to 11 kilograms (24 lb).

Rafflesia lacks any observable leaves, stems or even roots, yet is still considered a vascular plant. Similar to fungi, individuals grow as thread-like strands of tissue completely embedded within and in intimate contact with surrounding host cells from which nutrients and water are obtained. This plant produces no leaves, stems or roots and does not have chlorophyll. It can only be seen when it is ready to reproduce. Perhaps the only part of Rafflesia that is identifiable as distinctly plant-like are the flowers; although, even these are unusual since they attain massive proportions, have a reddish-brown coloration and stink of rotting flesh, which is why it was nicknamed the Corpse Flower. This scent attracts insects such as flies which then pollinate the rare plant. It is not to be confused with the Titan Arum, Amorphophallus titanum, which is also commonly referred to as the Corpse flower.

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Scientific Names: Rafflesia
Common Names: Corpse Flower, Meat Flower
Plant Type: Giant flower.
Plant Size: 12-100 cm in diameter.
Native Habitat: Rafflesia is found in tropical rain forest area of southeastern Asia.
Native Range: All found in southeastern Asia, on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand and the Philippines.
Conservation Status: How many of these plants still survive is unknown, but as the remaining primary forests of Borneo and Sumatra disappear, it can be assumed that their numbers are dwindling. Many are known to be nearing extinction. Some environmentalists are developing ways to recreate the species environment in an effort to stimulate their recovery. This has proved unsuccessful so far. Steps are also being taken to conserve the forests of Sumatra and Borneo. To help counter the over-collection of this rare plant, residents that have Rafflesia on their private property are encouraged to save the flowers and charge a small fee to see them.
Related Species:
  •         Rafflesia arnoldii
  •         Rafflesia aurantia
  •         Rafflesia azlanii
  •         Rafflesia baletei
  •         Rafflesia bengkuluensis
  •         Rafflesia cantleyi
  •         Rafflesia gadutensis
  •         Rafflesia hasseltii
  •         Rafflesia keithii
  •         Rafflesia kerrii
  •         Rafflesia leonardi
  •         Rafflesia lobata
  •         Rafflesia manillana
  •         Rafflesia micropylora
  •         Rafflesia mira
  •         Rafflesia patma
  •         Rafflesia philippensis
  •         Rafflesia pricei
  •         Rafflesia rochussenii
  •         Rafflesia schadenbergiana
  •         Rafflesia speciosa
  •         Rafflesia tengku-adlinii
  •         Rafflesia tuan-mudae
  •         Rafflesia verrucosa
Unverified Species :
  •         Rafflesia borneensis
  •         Rafflesia ciliata
  •         Rafflesia titan
  •         Rafflesia witkampii  

Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. It contains approximately 28 species, all found in southeastern Asia, on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand and the Philippines. Rafflesia was found in the Indonesian rain forest by an Indonesian guide working for Dr. Joseph Arnold in 1818, and named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the leader of the expedition.

The plant has no stems, leaves or true roots.  In some species, such as Rafflesia arnoldii, the flower may be over 100 cm (39 inch) in diameter, and weigh up to 10 kg (22 lb). Even the smallest species, Rafflesia baletei has 12 cm diameter flowers. The flowers look and smell like rotting flesh, hence its local names which translate to Corpse Flower or Meat Flower. The vile smell attracts insects such as flies, which transport pollen from male to female flowers.

Most species have separate male and female flowers, but a few have bisexual flowers. Little is known about seed dispersal. However, tree shrews and other forest mammals apparently eat the fruits and disperse the seeds. Rafflesia is an official state flower of Indonesia, also Sabah state in Malaysia, as well as for the Surat Thani Province, Thailand.

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>> Friday, January 13, 2012

Scientific Names: Tectona grandis
Common Names: Teak, Jati, Sagon, Sagwan, Tevaram
Plant Type: Large-size.
Height: 30-40 m.
Native Habitat: Tectona grandis is found in a variety of habitats and climatic conditions from arid areas with only 500 mm of rain per year to very moist forests with up to 5,000 mm of rain per year. Typically, though, the annual rainfall in areas where Teak grows averages 1,250-1,650 mm with a 3-5 month dry season.
Native Range: Scattered Populations Mostly in the Southeast Asia, Mainly India, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Burma but because the value of the wood, Teak is now also developed outside its natural distribution area. In tropical Africa, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Taiwan.
Cultivation: Teak is a yellowish brown timber with good grains and texture. It is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture, boat decks, and other articles where weather resistance is desired. It is also used for cutting boards, indoor flooring, countertops and as a veneer for indoor furnishings. The vast majority of commercially harvested teak is grown on teak plantations found in Indonesia and controlled by Perum Perhutani (a state owned forest enterprise) that manages the country's forests. The primary use of Teak harvested in Indonesia is in the production of outdoor teak furniture for export.
Related Species: Tectona hamiltoniana (Dahat Teak), Tectona philippinensis (Philippine Teak)

Tectona grandis is a kind of high-quality timber-producing trees. A large tree, straight-trunked, it can grow to 30-40 m high Large-leaved, which is shed in the dry season. Tectona grandis is known world by the name of Teak (English). Teak, though easily worked, can cause severe blunting on edged tools because of the presence of silica in the wood. Teak's natural oils make it useful in exposed locations, and make the timber termite and pest resistant.

Teak is durable even when not treated with oil or varnish. Timber cut from old teak trees was once believed to be more durable and harder than plantation grown teak. Studies have shown Plantation Teak performs on par with old-growth teak in erosion rate, dimensional stability, warping, and surface checking, but is more susceptible to color change from UV exposure. Tectona grandis is a large, deciduous tree that is dominant in mixed hardwood forests. It has small, fragrant white flowers and papery leaves that are often hairy on the lower surface.

Teak is used extensively in Indonesia to make doors and window frames, furniture, and columns and beams in old type houses. It is very resistant to termite attacks. Mature Teak fetches a very good price. It is grown extensively by forest departments of different states in forest areas. Leaves of the teak wood tree are used in making Pellakai gatti (jackfruit dumpling), where batter is poured into a teak leaf and is steamed. This type of usage is found in the coastal district of Udupi in the Tulunadu region in South India. The leaves are also used in gudeg, a dish of young jackfruit made in Central Java, Indonesia, and give the dish its dark brown color. Teak wood contains a kind of oil and sediment in the cells of the wood, so it can be used in the open durable even without varnish (especially when worn under the auspices of the roof). Inside the house, but used as raw materials furniture or teak furniture, Teak is also used in building structures. Traditional Javanese houses, such as home Joglo Central Java, using Teak in almost all its parts: the pillars, roof frame, to the carved walls. Teak is used extensively in boat decks, as it is extremely durable and requires very little maintenance. The teak tends to wear in to the softer 'summer' growth bands first, forming a natural 'non-slip' surface. Any sanding is therefore only damaging. Use of modern cleaning compounds, oils or preservatives will shorten the life of the Teak, as it contains natural teak-oil a very small distance below the white surface. Wooden boat experts will only wash the teak with salt water, and re-caulk when needed. This cleans the deck, and prevents it from drying out and the wood shrinking. The salt helps it absorb and retain moisture, and prevents any mildew and algal growth. People with poor knowledge often over-maintain the Teak, and drastically shorten its life.

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>> Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scientific Names: Cananga odorata
Common Names: Kenanga, Ylang-ylang, Dwarf Ylang-ylang
Plant Type: Small-size tree.
Height: 15-40 ft.
Native Habitat: Tropical rain forest.
Native Range: Indonesia, Philippines and North Australian.
Flowering Time: Flowering throughout the year.

Cananga odorata is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family, Annonaceae, that exceeds 5 m (15 ft) per year and attains an average height of 12 m (40 ft). It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rainforest habitat. The evergreen leaves are smooth and glossy, oval, pointed, with wavy margins, and 13-20 cm (5-8 inch) long. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow greenish yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil. Cananga odorata var. fruticosa, Dwarf Ylang-ylang, grows as small tree or compact shrub with highly scented flowers.

This one blooms year round and the flowers are fragrant. It can also bloom very young. The Ylang-ylang is a tropical plant, but can take down to the mid 30's for short periods of time. It grows well in pots and can be brought inside during the winter time if you give it good light and the right conditions. It prefers to be outside in filtered light and can take a little bit of direct sunlight. It likes average moisture. It is perfect for small gardens or pots. Ylang-ylang has been cultivated in temperate climates under conservatory conditions. Its clusters of black fruit are an important food item for birds, such as the Collared Imperial-pigeon, Purple-tailed Imperial-pigeon, Zoe's Imperial-pigeon, Superb Fruit-dove, Pink-spotted Fruit-dove, Coroneted Fruit-dove, Orange-bellied Fruit-dove, and Wompoo Fruit-dove.

The essential oil of Ylang-ylang is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Samoan Islands where she did much of her research. The oil from Ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes and is said to be the key ingredient in Chanel #5. Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood smells. In Indonesia, Ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples. In the Philippines, its flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace and worn by women and used to adorn religious images. Ylang-ylang's essential oil makes up 29% of the Comoros' annual export (1998). Ylang Ylang is a common ingredient in the herbal motion sickness product MotionEaze.

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Scientific Names: Cladrastis kentukea, Cladrastis lutea
Common Names: Yellowwood, American Yellowwood, Gopherwood, Vergilia
Plant Type: Mid-size deciduous tree.
Height: 30 to 50 feet in height. The fragrant, white flowers are pendulous, forming clusters that reach 8 to 14 inch in length.
Native Habitat: Valleys or mountain slopes in hardwood forests.
Native Range: Relatively small portions of the southeastern United States; scattered populations mostly in the upper South and in the Ozark region of Arkansas.
Conservation Status: NatureServe lists Cladrastis kentukea as Critically Imperiled in Illinois, South Carolina, and Louisiana; Imperiled in Indiana and Mississippi; Imperiled or Vulnerable in Oklahoma and North Carolina; Vulnerable in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri; and possibly Vulnerable in Kentucky. Officially the species is classified as Endangered by Illinois and Threatened by Indiana.
Cultivation: American Yellowwood does best in moist neutral soils with good drainage. It tolerates partial shade but grows faster and blooms better in sun. Because of the long taproot, big specimens can be difficult to transplant. Keep young trees well-watered and don't over-fertilize.
Related Species: There are no other members of this genus native to the United States ,but a few are found in Asia. The plant is part of the Legume family and is therefore distantly related to Locusts and Redbuds.
Varieties: Rosea (also known as Perkins Pink) - Rare pink flowers form found in Watertown, MA and offered by many specialized nurseries. A new twist on a beautiful native tree.
Flowering Time : Blooms heavily every 2 or 3 years.

American Yellowwood can put on one of the most spectacular flowering displays of any tree species. The blossoms appear in late spring, when numerous wisteria-like foot-long flower clusters droop from the branches. The color is normally white, but can be pink. In either case, a mature tree in full bloom is a stunning sight. In recognition of its beauty, the species was given the prestigious Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Award in 1994. Unfortunately, many people have never seen the tree in bloom. The species is rare in the wild and seldom planted in yards. Also, most specimens don't flower profusely every year, but only at two to four year intervals. The blossoms develop into bean-like pods that can hang on the branches into winter. Leaves are pinnately compound, usually with about seven leaflets.

They turn a clear yellow, or sometimes gold-orange, before dropping in autumn. Smooth gray bark and a rounded form give the tree a handsome look in winter. Yellowwood can make an excellent mid-size lawn tree. It deep taproot gives it drought resistance and allows other plants to grow beneath it. It also tolerates alkaline soils. Its main drawback is that it is rather slow growing, and often doesn't begin to bloom until it is about ten years old. It also has brittle wood that can break in storms, so it shouldn't be planted near a house or other structure. Sometimes a young Yellowwood will begin to fork into several main branches just a few feet above the ground, and in such a case it might be desirable to prune it to a single trunk. But any pruning should only be done in fall or early winter, because the tree bleeds excessively if pruned at other times. The species is found over a large geographic area, but only in small scattered populations. Some large individuals can be seen in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, particularly along the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail.

Cladrastis kentukea usually used as a shade tree. Can also serve as an ornamental tree because of the beautiful flowers, for attractive winter bark and attractive fall foliage.

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