11-28-2011, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Manhattan, NY
Vanda luzonica (on its 3rd bloom)
Vanda luzonica is one of the unique and distinctive orchid species from the Philippines
and is worth saving, since its natural habitat – the Pinatubo volcano area, was devastated during
the volcano’s last eruption. Luckily, local residents in the area were able to acquire samples of the plants and is now being propagated in gardens and in labs.
The genus name Vanda which came from a Sanskrit word was adopted by William Jones
for epiphytes and later retained by Robert Brown in establishing the genus in 1820. The specific
name “luzonica” refers to Luzon island, where this orchid is found. Augustus Loher first
described this plant in 1915 in Orch. Rev., but rather briefly. Robert Rolfe gave a better
description in The Orchid Review the same year. Professor Ames described the plant as a
distinct species in 1920 in Orchidaceaus.
The plant is very similar to the Vanda tricolor. In fact, it was for some time considered as
a variety of V. tricolor. However, Professor Ames, described it as a distinct species. Vanda
luzonica differs from Vanda tricolor through its markings and lack of fragrance. Like V. tricolor it
is one of the largest orchid species of the Vanda genus. It is a hardy plant, and can withstand
long periods of dryness because it is accustomed to the dry season of central Luzon from November through April. It is found growing on trees in forests of Bulacan, Rizal, and Zambales
(Mount Pinatubo area) at altitude of 500 meters.
Vanda luzonica is an epiphytic, upright, monopodial, large plant, with twisted or bent
stem, about a meter long. Old plants become semi-pendulous. The plant can grow very tall,
reaching heights of over 1.5 meters; specimens this size can have many side growths. The
leaves are 2-ranked, leathery, sometimes twisted. Inflorescences are racemose,
axillary, and loosely flowered. The flowers are waxy, the sepals and petals are white with purple spots and markings near the tips.
The plant prefers exposure to morning sun and could tolerate direct sun, but must be protected from it during very hot months. Luckily; this gets shaded by 10 am by the tall buildings in my area near the fire escape.
This plant prefers and tolerates a little bit drier condition. I water the plant once
a day or even less, and now that it is indoors I water it every other day: I provide it with a 2 gallon humidifier to provide high moisture. It also loves the small oscillating fan on its opposite side.
*I dont know why 7 of my vandas decided to bloom this fall...I have 4 more vandas in spike and I will post pictures when they all open up their blooms