Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Visit to a Garden of Pitcher Plants and Wild Orchids

I went to this Pitcher Plant and Wild Orchids Garden, some 30 minutes drive from Kuching City center today. It is managed by a local municipal authority called Padawan Municipal Council. Entrance fees for adults is RM 2 and children RM 1, whereas for tourists RM 10.

The center covers a small area about an acre in size but is well shaded by gigantic trees including ferns . Note the many types of epiphytic plants especially ferns and scindapsus growing on the huge rain tree above.

These ferns are large called 'Paku Gajah'( angopteris evecta ) in the local Malay dialect to mean elephant fern.

The place was indeed shady and humid and only certain patches of the area was open and sunny to allow certain plants species of the warmer locations to thrive.

Pitchers are carnivorous plants that trick insects and small animals ( e.g. tiny frog) to go into the pitcher containing water and once drowned will be absorbed into the plant as food. The pitchers can come in various sizes,shapes and colours. Below are some that I mananged to shoot.

I find the above species very attractive. It is called the Nepenthes longifolia or commonly referred to as the tropical pitcher plant.

In the garden there are about 17 species that are native to Sarawak.

Wild Orchids

Mixed with the pitcher plants collection are a sizeable number of wild orchids of Sarawak/Borneo collection. ( Note: No cultivated or hybridised orchids are shown here as they are easily found in any orchids nursery in town).From the above picture two types of orchids that flowere well are the ones on the extreme left and right of the picture. A CU view of them are shown below.

Phalaenopsis violacea now named as 'Normah Orchid' in Sarawak . This species is highly scented.

Psychopsis species. This is an epiphytic orchid with a long stalk ( reaching a meter length) but bearing only a single flower.

In ensuing postings I will try to delve in more details of the other pitcher plants and wild orchids here.

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