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Friday, April 25, 2008

Our Ground Orchid

Our Ground Orchid
This ground orchid has been with my mother since the mid-1970s until she handed it down to me in the mid-1980s. I had fancied the plant because of its beautiful flower that comes only once a year. The size of the flower is about 6 inches in diameter. It looks like a knitted ball all around. It is formed actually by smaller flowers with thread-like petals that precisely overlap each other at their tips. There could be a hundred or more of those smaller flowers. Truth is, I have not then asked my mom the name of the plant. I learned it to be a ground orchid from a friend after I described it to him.

Also, it has made me wonder why it totally vanishes from the surface of the ground a few months after the flower and its stem-leaves have wilted. If I am not mistaken that would be the characteristics of weeds, right? Anyway, I haven't dared cut it down like a weed to find it out for myself.
The ground orchid is not very dependent on human care and attention. I only water it and rarely put a little fertilizer as a precaution. It would sprout out from the ground, grow, bloom, wilt and then totally vanish from the surface of the pot on its own. There was a time though, about 3 to 4 years back, when it did not produce any flower. I concluded then that it might be nearing the end of its life span. On the years after however, its flower again bloomed.

For the ground orchid’s reproduction or propagation, it did have two or three smaller ones that started to sprout out alongside the main plant about 10 years ago. They were not however as consistent every year. I was scared of transplanting them to another pot because they might be part or dependent on the mother plant. Should those smaller ones crop up again this year, I might have the courage to try and transplant them.

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