Phalaenopsis maculata in situ
by Sarawaklens on Sunday, November 15, 2009
|I consider myself very lucky to have seen this species in situ. It truly was a chance sighting as I never expected to come across it while exploring a limestone hill. Limestone hills are full of surprises! Even though they are difficult and dangerous to climb, I love exploring them as they often present many good photo ops.|
|Phalaenopsis maculata is locally known in bahasa Melayu (Malay language) as kupu-kupu batu. Literally translated, it means rock (batu) butterfly (kupu-kupu) or rock moth. 'Butterfly/moth’ because phals are known as moth orchids and ‘rock’ because this species is lithophytic. These are photos I took some time ago.|
|Limestone habitat for Phalaenopsis maculata.||The orchid grows on top of thick humus collected on the limestone.|
|Two seedpods on this inflorescence.||A bug chewed plant growing in a thick layer of humus on limestone.|
|Click the picture for the larger photo and note the thick layer of debris and humus it grows on.|
|It is not as difficult a species as say,
Phalaenopsis corningiana, which requires a very humid environment and
plenty of moisture. However, judging from my own plants, P. maculata
does seem to like some lime (alkaline) in its media.
I have one large plant in a basket with leaf litter, debris, charcoal and limestone chips and it flowers often. It has even produced a little keiki. I have two more in a pot with moss and limestone chips and those are doing well and have spiked before too (but snails chewed up the spikes). Then there is another mounted on a piece of tree fern, while healthy and fairly large, has never flowered or even spiked before.
Sometimes when trekking in a limestone area, I like to collect the natural humus off the ground for some of my orchids such as paphs and terrestrials.
Phalaenopsis maculata, the rock phal. Hope the photos give a better idea of how to make your own plants happy. :)
You can see Sarawaklens's original post in his own homepage here. He very kindly provide me the authorization to use his text and pictures here. Thanks a lot for sharing this great information!