Chiang Mai Orchid Farm
Orchid The flower of elegance
A tall, slender stalk leads to an exquisite flower composed of three inner petals, three outer petals, and a cupped petal distinct from the rest. Labellum, inflorescense, sepal the names of the anatomical parts sound as fabulous as they look. The whole exotic composition is almost alien in appearance, extravagant in the extreme, yet possessed of a delicate intricacy. Orchidaceae is arguably the most stunning and elegant family of flowering plant known to man. For millions of years, the orchid family has thrived and expanded, defying evolution, Mother Nature, and the exploitation of its greatest opponent Man.
One hundred and twenty million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, a magnificent flowering plant came into being the orchid. Evolution led to the demise of many plants and animals, but the orchid flourished, thriving on every continent save Antarctica. Orchids have adapted to live in all kinds of Environment Mountain, bogs, grasslands and rainforests. At least 35,000 orchid species now populate the planet, with unparalleled varieties to be discovered in Chiang Mai and there is always the possibility that unknown species still await discovery.
Orchid attract pollinators for reproduction by several ingenious methods, scent, mimicry and stealth. Orchids with sweet scents usually attract bees; those with a rancid smell lure files. The orchid can also draw pollinators through visual mimicry, imitating insects including bees and butterflies with the patterns on its petal. A third technique is stealth. The slipper orchid lures a prospective pollinator to the edge of its slippery pouch, and the insect falls in. When it finds the single exit, it brushes against the pollinia. Some orchids are pollinated by crawling insects, and thus have long petals that brush the ground. And insects alone do not pollinate orchid small mammals, hummingbirds; bats and the wind also contribute to the survival of the species.
For centuries, the orchid has been a symbol of love, luxury and beauty. To the early Greeks, the orchid represented virility, and the Chinese called it “the plant of the king’s fragrance.“ During the middle Ages, the orchid was considered and aphrodisiac and was used in love potion. Serious orchid collecting began in the 18th century, but because of their rarity at the time, only a few botanists and wealthy amateurs could enjoy them. In 1818, William Cattely became the first person to bloom an orchid, an event that changed the flower world forever. Forests were stripped of millions of orchids, putting many on endangered species lists. A single orchid sold for thousands of dollars. This practice has since been banned, and species are now bred and cultivated specifically for sales.
What will the future bring for Orchidacae? Its greatest challenges are now those imposed by Man. Will our environmental blockades prove overwhelming? Or will the orchid’s resilience, tested over millennia, outlast even our own? In spite of the obstacles to its survival, the orchid will retain its elegance and prehitoric mystery in the minds of all admires.
The orchid family is the largest of the flower kingdom, with so many wild species and as many hybrids. Thailand s tropical forests and mangroves host an amazing diversity of both terrestrial and epiphytic species, presenting a vast array of shapes, sizes, vibrant colors and intoxicating perfumes. Breeders in orchid farms continually produce new hybrid species using artificial cross-pollination and propagation methods.
The common name of Paphio – pedilum is Lady Slipper Orchid, referring to their unusual cup-like pouch in the flower. These fascinating plants display flowers it have an incredible variety colors and last for 6 weeks or more.
A common sight in mangroves and wetlands, this flower belongs to the largest group of orchids. It rhizomes creep on tree roots and branches, producing clusters of golden spiky petals.
Most people are introduced to orchids through phalaenopsis orchids. These are the thick- leaved plants with elegant, arching sprays of blooms that can be seen in so many design magazine
Native to Southeast Asia, the genus Dendrobium is one of the largest of all orchid groups. There are about 1,200 individual species, and they can grow in all manner of climates, from hot, wet lowlands to high-altitude, colder mountains.
This spectacular blue orchid native to Thailand belongs to the Vanda family. It grows at high altitudes between 3,300 feet and 4,600 feet, and can be found in the mountains around Chiang Mai.
This variety of orchids is the most popular orchid in cultivated collections. Orchidists and breeders artificially cross-pollinating species within a genus or intergenetically, can create the most dazzling hybrids, many of which are developed for the cut flower market.
Rhynchostylis (also called Foxtail Orchid) is an exotic blooming orchid, belonging to the Vanda alliance. This orchid has a bunch consisting of more than 100 pink-spotted flowers.
Where to see Beautiful Chiang Mai Orchid Farms
Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden
Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden offers you the chance to see a wide variety of species of plants and trees. It houses a wonderful orchids conservatory (see article page 28). Mae Rim-Samoeng Road., Mae Rim. Chiang Mai. Tel. 053-841 234, 053-841 234
Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Chiang Mai Flower Festival from Feb. 1-3th witnesses the Chiang Mai Flower Festival. Sculptures crafted from flowers abound and they come in all shapes and sizes and range. Feb. 1-3th @ Suan Buak Hat, Chiang Mai.
Orchid Farm Mae Rim
Orchid Farm Mae Rim, Visit an orchid farm in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai and have your eyes dazzled by the array of color and the wealth of variety. MaeRim – Samoeng Road, Mae Rim. Chiang Mai.
Kamthieng market : Located behind Lotus store, Kamthieng market is a huge market presenting all kind of plants, potted flowers and home decorative items. There are 5 beautiful shops of orchids. Kamthieng Market, superhighway, behind Lotus store.
Royal Flora Rajapruek
Royal Flora Rajapruek: Park Rajapruek houses a beautiful Orchid Pavilion and is located only 10 km. from centre town. Mae-Hia, Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Thailand, aside from being a great holiday destination, is a wonderful place to see masses of orchids in a host of displays. Because of its unique climatic and growing conditions, the city has proven to produce orchids which are more beautiful and stronger than all others.
Orchids are at their best during the cooler months of Chiang Mai’s winter although, especially with hybrids, they splash into color also in August. In the wild, orchids drape themselves from tree branches and let their roots dangle so they may draw moisture from the air. They are not parasites feeding off the tree as some people may think. Also, they are full of little surprises for example, some medicines are derived from orchids and the pollen can be an ingredient of expensive face creams. The flavoring, vanilla, also comes from the beautiful orchid.
In Thailand, there are some 1,000 species which range from the quite rare to relatively common. White blooms are among the rarest because of their scarcity in the wild; when we see a spectacular spray of white blossoms, it is thanks to the painstaking research and work of the orchid horticulturist. Classic, exotic, stunning, gorgeous… these words describe the unparalleled variety of exotic orchids to discover in Chiang Mai. Although they’re commonly reputed to be difficult to grow and care for, when brought overseas certain orchid plants are easier to take care of than given credit for. Dendrobium Orchids, are available for delivery and will grow well in many climates. Dendrobiums have adapted well over time to different habitats including the high altitudes of the mountains, the humidity of lowlands or marsh environments and tropical forests, and they even thrive in more arid and desert-like climates. Similarly, Phalaenopsis Orchids are equally gorgeous for their breathtaking hybrid colors. Plus-their somewhat low-maintenance reputation gives them an edge; easy to care for, the Phalaenopsis Orchid requires only low-light (so no direct sunlight needed). These thick-leaved Orchid plants have elegant, arching sprays of blooms in multiple stunning colors.