Friday, December 28, 2012

Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight - A Big Yellow Cattleya

Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight is a bright, canary yellow Cattleya, typically with concolour yellow petals and faint red throat markings on the lip. As with many Cattleyas, the variability in this grex can be startlingly quite different, with some having a red splotch on the lip in lieu of the faint red/orange markings on the throat of the orchid.
Rhyncholaeliocattleya Ploenpit Golden Delight
Rhyncholaeliocattleya Ploenpit Golden Delight - a yellow and faintly red lipped Cattleya orchid.

I usually give yellow Cattleyas a miss (read - avoid them like the plague) as they have several issues attached to them that may result in the loss of the plant or the interest in the plant after some time. However, since the flower of this grex is quite stunning and my mum loves bright coloured flowers (Hmmm, I just realised that most of my orchids are yellow in colour or in shades of reds and yellows), I guess I will showcase this hybrid here.
Brassolaeliocattleya Ploenpit Golden Delight, Rhynchosophrocattleya Ploenpit Golden Delight
Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight or formerly Blc. Ploenpit Golden Delight is a tough cookie to photograph if you want to get the intensity of the yellow as well as the fine venation on the lips - seen here with a black background.

Yellow Cattleyas are not difficult for tropical growers, but they are prone to sulking severely when repotted and also prone to black pseudobulb rot if kept too moist in decaying potting media, besides some genetic issues that can affect the appearance of the flower.
Blc. Ploenpit Golden Delight
The lips of Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight is not purely yellow in colour. There are red/orange lines that outline sections of the lip. The plants were on sale during MAHA 2012, and a large plant (blooming size) was less than RM20! The joy of tissue culture is the large-scale production of plants which makes them cheap.

Yellow Cattleya hybrids, especially those with a high percentage of C. dowiana in its parentage can be pretty susceptible to black rot if the potting media is too moist. To add to the problem, repotting these plants when there is no new pseudobulb growth will result in a period with no root growth. So if the roots are not in good shape and needs to be pruned off, then you are stuck with a plant that won't make new roots until the next growth emerges, requiring careful misting to prevent the bulbs from becoming severely dessicated.

Another issue with yellow Cattleyas is the tendency for its petals to go crippled as the plant ages. Crippling of orchid flowers can be due to many factors, one of them being the genetics of the parent plants involved in the cross. This 'genetic aberration' can be seen in some Vandas and in yellow Cattleyas. Crippling results in the thickening of the petal tissue, usually along the long axis of the petal, as if the petal is attempting to differentiate into another flower part.
Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight, Rsc. Ploenpit Golden Delight
Another attempt to capture the delightfully yellow flowers of Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight. This hyrid has been used as both pod and pollen parents for further improvement on yellow and red crosses of Cattleyas.

In Cattleyas, crippling of petals due to genetics seems to be age related - with crippling becoming more severe as the plant ages. An interesting article regarding crippling in art shades and yellow Cattleyas that is worth reading up is by Ron Midgett, published in the Bulletin of the American Orchid Society, June 2010 titled A Genetic Problem in Yellow and Art-Shade Cattleyas.

Despite the drawbacks of using C. dowiana, it has several good characteristics that gets passed down to its offspring, namely clarity of petal and sepal colour and a pleasant strong scent. C. dowiana is also known to impart beautiful venation of the lips to its offspring, and is very dominant in this sense. These venation are, unfortunately not visible unless inspected closely in Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight, for they are of the same colour as the background.
A yellow orchid on the balcony - Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight. They remind some people of large daffodils.

Unfortunately, C. dowiana also gives its progeny sepals that slowly curl backwards as the flowers age,  thus forming a cigar-like tube; this destroys the flatness and the fullness of the bloom. This petal curl is present in Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight, which sadly is also weakly scented despite having many beautifully scented parents in its lineage besides C. dowiana.

Listed below are the parentage of Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight [syn. Rsc./Blc. Ploenpit Golden Delight]. The asterisks*, apetail@ and hash# symbols indicate the parentage of a particular grex that has been described to the root (the primary hybrids).

Rlc. Ploenpit Golden Delight = Rlc. Chaweewan Greengold x Rlc. Siam Gold

Date of Registration - 10/11/1998
Registrant Name - B.Pumploenpit
Originator Name - M.Srisook

Pod Parent (Maternal)

Rlc. Chaweewan Greengold = Rlc. Green Hood x Rlc. Destiny

Rlc. Green Hood = Rlc. Green Eagles x Rlc. Mount Hood

Rlc. Green Eagles = Rlc. Golden Slippers x C. Christopher Gubler

Rlc. Golden Slippers = Rlc. Helen Morita x Rlc. Golden Galleon [syn. Rsc. Golden Galleon]

Rlc. Helen Morita = Rlc. Gillian x Rlc. Consul Greig

Rlc. Gillian = Rlc. Lotus x C. President Wilson (1918) [syn. Lc. President Wilson]

Rlc. Lotus = Rlc. Digbyano-mossiae x Cattleya rex

Rlc. Digbyano-mossiae = Rhyncholaelia digbyana [syn. Brassavola digbyana] x Cattleya mossiae

Rlc. Destiny = Rlc. Xanthette x Rlc. Primate

***Rlc. Xanthette = Rlc. Midenette x Rlc. Xanthedo

Rlc. Midenette = Rlc. Zante x *C. Mrs. Medo [syn. Lc. Mrs. Medo]

Rlc. Zante = Rlc. Sofrano x **C. Luminosa (1901) [syn. Lc. Luminosa]

*****Rlc. Sofrano = Rlc. Mrs. J. Leemann x C. Iridescens

******Rlc. Mrs. J. Leemann = Rhyncholaelia digbyana [syn. B. digbyana] x Cattleya dowiana

Rlc. Mount Hood = Rlc. Déesse x C. Claris

Rlc. Déesse = Rlc. Ferrières x C. Lamartine

Rlc. Ferrières = Rhyncholaelia digbyana [syn. B. digbyana] x C. Dionysius

C. Christopher Gubler = C. Memoria Albert Heinecke x Cattleya aclandiae

C. Memoria Albert Heinecke = C. Grandee (1937) [syn. Lc. Grandee] x C. S. J. Bracey [syn. Lc. S. J. Bracey]

C. Grandee (1937) [syn. Lc. Grandee] = C. Mrs. Medo x C. Aeneas

*C. Mrs. Medo [syn. Lc. Mrs. Medo] = C. Luminosa (1901) [syn. Lc. Luminosa] x ********C. Venus (1908)

**C. Luminosa (1901) [syn. Lc. Luminosa] = Cattleya dowiana x Cattleya tenebrosa [syn. Laelia tenebrosa]

Rlc. Golden Galleon [syn. Rsc. Golden Galleon] = ***Rlc. Xanthette x Rlc. Camilla

Rlc. Consul Greig = Rlc. Golden Crown x ****C. Thyone (1912) [syn. Lc. Thyone]

**********Rlc. Golden Crown = Rlc. Joan x ********C. Venus (1908)

Rlc. Joan = Rlc. Mrs. M. Gratrix (1899) [syn. Bl. Mrs. M. Gratrix] x C. Octave Doin

*********Rlc. Mrs. M. Gratrix (1899) [syn. Bl. Mrs. M. Gratrix] = Rhyncholaelia digbyana  [syn. B. digbyana] x Cattleya cinnabarina [syn. L. cinnabarina]

C. President Wilson (1918) [syn. Lc. President Wilson] = C. Thyone (1912) [syn. Lc. Thyone] x Cattleya dowiana

****C. Thyone (1912) [syn. Lc. Thyone] = C. Ophir [syn. Lc. Ophir] x Cattleya dowiana

*******C. Ophir [syn. Lc. Ophir] = Cattleya dowiana x Cattleya xanthina [syn. L. xanthina]

Rlc. Primate = Rlc. Primrose x Rlc. Heatonensis

Rlc. Primrose = Rlc. Impératrice de Russie [syn. Bc. Impératrice de Russie] x C. Primrose [syn. Lc. Primrose]

Rlc. Impératrice de Russie [syn. Bc. Impératrice de Russie] = Rhyncholaelia digbyana  [syn. B. digbyana] x Cattleya mendelii

Rlc. Xanthedo = Rlc. Xanthea x *C. Mrs. Medo [syn. Lc. Mrs. Medo]

Rlc. Xanthea = Rlc. The Baroness x *****Rlc. Sofrano

Rlc. The Baroness = ******Rlc. Mrs. J. Leemann x *******C. Ophir [syn. Lc. Ophir]

##C. Iridescens = Cattleya bicolor x Cattleya eldorado [syn. Cattleya wallisii]

C. Claris = C. Clementine Goldfarb x C. Eucharis

C. Clementine Goldfarb = C. Cybele (1902) x C. Snowdon

C. Cybele (1902) = Cattleya gaskelliana x Cattleya lueddemanniana

C. Lamartine = C. Lord Rothschild x Cattleya trianae

*************C. Lord Rothschild = Cattleya dowiana x Cattleya gaskelliana

C. Dionysius = C. Fabia (1894) x Cattleya warscewiczii

C. Fabia (1894) = Cattleya dowiana x Cattleya labiata

C. S. J. Bracey [syn. Lc. S. J. Bracey] = *C. Mrs. Medo [syn. Lc. Mrs. Medo] x C. Thebes

C. Aeneas = Cattleya dowiana x ********C. Venus (1908)

********C. Venus (1908) = Cattleya dowiana x C. Iris (1901)

Rlc. Camilla = Rlc. Zamilla x Rlc. Capella (1938)

Rlc. Zamilla = Rlc. Ophelia x C. Weedonaurea

#Rlc. Ophelia = Rlc. Tucuman x **C. Luminosa (1901) [syn. Lc. Luminosa]

Rlc. Tucuman = Rlc. Cooksonii x C. Rhoda (1908)

Rlc. Cooksonii = *********Rlc. Mrs. M. Gratrix (1899) [syn. Bl. Mrs. M. Gratrix] x Cattleya dowiana

**************C. Octave Doin = Cattleya dowiana x Cattleya mendelii

Rlc. Heatonensis = Rhyncholaelia digbyana [syn. B. digbyana] x ***********C. Hardyana (1896)

C. Primrose [syn. Lc. Primrose] = C. Trimyra [syn. Lc. Trimyra] x Cattleya schroderae

C. Trimyra [syn. Lc. Trimyra] = C. Myra (1895) [syn. Lc. Myra] x Cattleya trianae

C. Myra (1895) [syn. Lc. Myra] = Cattleya trianae x Cattleya crispata [syn. L. flava]

C. Eucharis = C. Cowaniae x Cattleya mossiae

C. Cowaniae = C. Intertexta x Cattleya mossiae

C. Intertexta = Cattleya mossiae x Cattleya warneri

C. Snowdon = Cattleya labiata x C. Suzanne Hye

C. Thebes = C. Adula x Cattleya dowiana

C. Adula = Cattleya bicolor x ***********C. Hardyana (1896)

************C. Iris (1901) = Cattleya bicolor x Cattleya dowiana

Rlc. Capella (1938) = Rlc. Golden Queen x C. Orebus [syn. Lc. Orebus]

Rlc. Golden Queen = **********Rlc. Golden Crown x C. Miguelito

C. Weedonaurea = Cattleya aurea x C. Weedoniensis (1899)

C. Rhoda (1908) = C. Hardyana (1896) x ************C. Iris (1901)

***********C. Hardyana (1896) = Cattleya dowiana x Cattleya warscewiczii

C. Suzanne Hye = Cattleya gaskelliana x Cattleya mossiae

C. Orebus [syn. Lc. Orebus] = C. Appam [syn. Lc. Appam] x ********C. Venus (1908)

C. Appam [syn. Lc. Appam] = C. Scylla (1909) [syn. Lc. Scylla] x Cattleya dowiana

C. Scylla (1909) [syn. Lc. Scylla] = C. Cappei (1889) [syn. Lc. Cappei] x *************C. Lord Rothschild

C. Cappei (1889) [syn. Lc. Cappei] = Cattleya warscewiczii x Cattleya cinnabarina [syn. Laelia/Sophronitis cinnabarina]

C. Miguelito = Cattleya dowiana x **************C. Octave Doin

C. Weedoniensis (1899) = Cattleya granulosa x Cattleya mendelii

Pollen Parent (Paternal)
Rlc. Siam Gold = Rlc. Gloria Schmidt x C. Doc Stacy [syn. Lc. Doc Stacy]

Rlc. Gloria Schmidt = Rlc. Blanche Okamoto x Rlc. Ophelosa

Rlc. Blanche Okamoto = C. Canberra [syn. Lc. Canberra] x Rlc. Nanette

###C. Canberra [syn. Lc. Canberra] = C. Litana [syn. Lc. Litana] x ********C. Venus (1908)

C. Litana [syn. Lc. Litana] = ****C. Thyone (1912) x C. Sibyl (1914)

C. Doc Stacy [syn. Lc. Doc Stacy] = C. Edgard Van Belle [syn. Lc. Edgard Van Belle] x C. Lorraine Shirai [syn. Lc. Lorraine Shirai]

C. Edgard Van Belle [syn. Lc. Edgard Van Belle] = C. Cloth of Gold [syn. Lc. Cloth of Gold] x C. Gallipoli [syn. Lc. Gallipoli]

C. Cloth of Gold [syn. Lc. Cloth of Gold] = C. Firminii (1909) [syn. Lc. Firminii] x C. Verviers [syn. Lc. Verviers]

C. Firminii (1909) [syn. Lc. Firminii] = C. Ceres (1900) [syn. Lc. Ceres] x Cattleya dowiana

C. Ceres (1900) [syn. Lc. Ceres] = C. Hippolyta [syn. Lc. Hippolyta] x Cattleya mossiae

C. Hippolyta [syn. Lc. Hippolyta] = Cattleya mossiae x Cattleya cinnabarina [syn. L./Soph. cinnabarina]

Rlc. Ophelosa = #Rlc. Ophelia x C. Mimosa

Rlc. Nanette = Rlc. Everest (1914) x C. Annette (1919)

Rlc. Everest (1914) = ******Rlc. Mrs. J. Leemann x C. Canhamiana [syn. Lc. Canhamiana]

C. Sibyl (1914) = Cattleya dowiana x ##C. Iridescens

C. Lorraine Shirai [syn. Lc Lorraine Shirai] = C. Derna x **C. Luminosa (1901) [syn. Lc. Luminosa]

C. Derna = C. Nugget [syn. Lc. Nugget] x Cattleya dowiana

C. Nugget [syn. Lc. Nugget] = ###C. Canberra [syn. Lc. Canberra] x *C. Mrs. Medo [syn. Lc Mrs. Medo]

C. Gallipoli [syn. Lc. Gallipoli] = C. Carmencita [syn. Lc. Carmencita] x C. Suvla [syn. Lc. Suvla]

C. Carmencita [syn. Lc. Carmencita] = **C. Luminosa (1901) [syn. Lc. Luminosa] x Cattleya dowiana

C. Verviers [syn. Lc. Verviers] = C. Purple Emperor [syn. Lc. Purple Emperor] x **************C. Octave Doin

C. Purple Emperor [syn. Lc. Purple Emperor] = C. Callistoglossa [syn. Lc. Callistoglossa] x Cattleya warscewiczii

C. Callistoglossa [syn. Lc. Callistoglossa = Cattleya warscewiczii x Cattleya purpurata [syn. L. purpurata]

C. Mimosa = C. Triumphans x ********C. Venus (1908)

C. Triumphans = Cattleya dowiana x Cattleya rex

C. Annette (1919) = Cattleya quadricolor x Cattleya warscewiczii

C. Canhamiana [syn. Lc. Canhamiana] = Cattleya mossiae x Cattleya purpurata [syn. L. purpurata]

C. Suvla [syn. Lc. Suvla] = C. Endymion (1902) [syn. Lc. Endymion] x Cattleya dowiana

C. Endymion (1902) [syn. Lc. Endymion] = Cattleya gaskelliana x Cattleya tenebrosa [syn. L. tenebrosa]

List of abbreviations:
L. = Laelia, Soph. = Sophronitis, C. = Cattleya, B. = Brassavola, Bl. = Brassolaelia, Bc. = Brassocattleya, Lc. = Laeliocattleya, Rlc. = Rhyncholaeliocattleya, Rsc. = Rhynchosophrocattleya, Blc. = Brassolaeliocattleya

Recent taxanomic revisions of the Cattleya alliance has resulted in Sophronitis being reduced to a synonym of Cattleya by the International Orchid Committee, thus extinguishing the nothogenus Rhynchosophrocattleya, Potinara, Sophrolaeliocattleya and Sophrocattleya.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Colours of the 19th Shah Alam Orchid Festival (FASA-19)

The 19th Shah Alam Orchid Festival (Festival Anggerik Shah Alam ke-19 aka FASA19) is currently on at SACC Mall in Shah Alam from the 6th - 9th of December 2012. The theme for this year is Dendrobiums, hence there's a whole lot of Dendrobiums placed on the centre court of the shopping complex atrium.
The best plant award goes to a Dendrobium macrophyllum - the flowers are a little 'scary' with hairy buds and pedicels, but pretty in an ugly duckling way. Also, this specimen plant is huge.

The first day (6th Dec) is when they set up the show plants and the judging of these plants takes place. There is a stall that sells orchids located in the vicinity of the exhibition area for those who want to increase their orchid collection or have decided to delved into growing orchids as a hobby.
Vascostylis Prapawan - the label says Asco. Prapawan, which is incorrect. This is a vividly blue-lilac Vascostylis that comes from crossing Vascostylis Tham Yuan Hae with Vanda coerulea.

So here are a few pics of the plants on show. I will upload more as I go through the 200 over photos of orchids in various shapes, sizes and colours.
Rhyncholaeliocattleya (syn. Brassolaeliocattleya) Chia Lin - this is the 1st place winner for its category. It is a large-flowerded Cattleya type, and various clones of this hybrid exist. The tag reads Blc Cairling or something that sounds like that. Poor flower, her name got mangled by its owner or the seller.
Rhyncholaeliocattleya (syn. Brassolaeliocattleya) King of Taiwan. Another winner (2nd place) and a showy red-burgundy coloured Cattleya.
Here's another beautiful Cattleya-type orchid with its name 'mangled' by its owner or the seller. I took one glance at the flower and thought it was one that I had seen before. Took a second look, and then checked the tag. The tag (you can see it in the picture) reads something like Crime Sin Rozles. Based on the appearance of the flower and how the name got 'mangled' it should be the lovely Rhyncholaeliocattleya Memoria Crispin Rosales. A real Crime Sin indeed!!!
Vascostylis Pearl Cooper, Rhynchostylis coelestis x Ascocenda Pralor
Vascostylis Pearl Cooper - the tag gives the name as a cross of Rhynchostylis coelestis x Ascocenda Pralor. I love how the yellow petals look so good with the reddish-orange lip.
An unnamed hybrid in the exhibition. It looks like a Rhyncovola (syn Brassavola) David Sanders, based on the lip and the leaves on the plant.
Rhynchovanda Herbert Kurihara, Vandachostylis Herbert Kurihara
Vandachostylis (syn Rhynchovanda) Herbert Kurihara - this is the 1st place winner for the Vascostylis/Ascocenda category. The plant was labeled as Vascostylis Kulihara! The parents of this cross are Vanda Winifred Kurihara and Rhynchostylis coelestis. Vanda Winifred Kurihara is a 3/4 terete Vanda made by crossing Vanda Nellie Morley with Vanda Miss Joaquim. The white outline on the petals and sepals plus the darker chartreuse-quartered lateral sepals of Vandachostylis Herbert Kurihara are reminiscent of Vanda Nellie Morley.
Dendrobium venustum - and interesting Dendrobium species with frilly lips and long cascading inflorescence.
Ascocenda Somsri Gold. A beautiful lime green-lemon yellow large-flowered Ascocenda that looks like a Vanda.
For the Vascostylis/Ascocenda category, the first and third place were taken by two diffferent clones of Vandachostylis Herbert Kurihara (both labeled wrongly, one as Vascostylis Kulihara and the other as Vascostylis Herbert Kulihara). The second place went to a Vascostylis Prapawan (labeled as an Ascocenda!). There were two Vasco. Prapawan and two Vandachostylis Herbert Kurihara entered in this category.

So if you have some time to spare, and love orchids, do drop by Shah Alam City Centre (SACC) Mall this weekend to have a look at the orchids on display there for the 19th Shah Alam Orchid Show (FASA-19).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

MAHA 2012 - Expectations and Exhibitions

Here's a short article for MAHA 2012. Yesterday, I spent 4 hours there but only managed to visit a few of the exhibition sites, namely the farm animal site, the main exhibition halls and the associated bazaar, plus the floriculture bazaar. I have not stepped into the pineapple farm area, the paddy area, the birdnest/swift site, the floriculture park, the mini fun fair park (with water activities), the state pavillions, the stage area, the fisheries area, the state food section and God knows what else is there. The very first shortcoming is the lack of clear site info on the expo ground. So do your homework before you leave for MAHA 2012 at MAEPS.
Tolumnia Golden Sunset (formerly Oncidium Golden Sunset) unknown cultivar. This is one of the orchids in the competition display at the exhibition hall. Tolumnia Golden Sunset is a highly variable grex, with colours ranging from pink with magenta spots to clean yellow.

The next thing you must remember is which entry point you came into the expo: Site 1 or Site 2. You will be given a parking card (parking fees is RM3 per entry), which states which area you parked in. Make sure you bring that along. If the number starts with 1, you entered through Site 1 (Arrival Area 1), if it is 2, then Site 2. Site 1 is closer to the main halls and floriculture area. Site 2 enters directly into the animal husbandry area. These two sites are connected by trams (need to do multiple changes to cover all sites) or by bus, which sort of skirts the entire loop of all the exhibition sites. Hence the bus may take a while to come by.
Rhyncholaeliocattleya (syn. Brassolaeliocattleya) Haadyai Delight. A beautiful yellow-orange concolour orchid with a very sunny disposition.

When you need to get back to your parking area, do ask the volunteers dressed in green polo shirts. And make sure that they tell you where to get off, and what tram to change to. While trying to get back, I was told to take the tram from Site 1 entry  to the pavillion, and transit. I got on to the next train, and was told to get on another tram. On this tram, I took a leisure ride round the loop as I was not told that I need to change to another train, i.e. at the paddy area to tram D (yes, there are 4 routes for the tram, the fifth route being the bus route) to get to Site 2 entry point. So round-and-round I went (makan angin tengok pemandangan), with a few others who were in the same boat, er...tram. Mind you it was late and I was tired.

So there are a few things that I want to sum up about MAHA 2012. Since the word MAHA also means great or supreme in Bahasa Malaysia, I have come up with a MAHA list. For me the expo was...
  1. MAHA Besar (huge) - so many sites and so many things to see.
  2. MAHA Bazaar (like a huge bazaar) - many stalls selling all sorts. Very much like an oversized pasar malam (night market). I think it can go into the Book of Records as the biggest night market.
  3. MAHA Belanja (spend big) - you can buy lots of stuff, be it food, plants, machinery, animals etc. So keep an eye on the cash flow. Luckily I went with only RM20 in my pocket.
  4. MAHA Memakan masa (takes up a lot of time) - Too many things to see and a large ground to cover. 4 hrs that I spent there I have only scratched the surface.
  5. MAHA Pening (Great confusion) - Very poor onsite indicators and signs. Which is why it also takes a lot of time to get to where you want to go to.
  6. MAHA Membuka mata (A great eye opener) - You can see how to milk a cow or buffalo and realised how difficult it is to do it manually. Also all the strange plants, weird breeds of poultry and goats, different kinds of fruits and processed foods.
  7. MAHA Kecewa (Great disappointment) - The exhibition halls are pathetic, except for the Government and GLCs hall. The international hall is quite empty with a bizarre array of exhibits (P. Ramlee pun ada) and the local halls are more like pasar tani crossed with a supermarket.
  8. MAHA Becak (Really muddy) - The grounds gets muddy with rain, and they have to put 'walkboards' (read planks) for people to cross the bazaar area or exhibits. The toilets are wetter still and muddy with all the mud tracked in by peoples shoes.
Understandingly they are still improving on the Expo, as it has only been held on this site (MAEPS) for 4 times (since 2006, if I am not mistaken). Lastly, here are some photos. Most of it are dark as I arrived there in the evening.
Lembu di MAHA 2012
A Brahman cow. Apparently she is expensive. I didn't ask exactly how much (why in the world would I be interested in buying a cow?).
Gobble, gobble, gobble...Saved from Thanksgiving, perhaps not from Christmas. They must sense that I had a Christmas turkey with stuffing on my mind when I took this shot as they were running around trying to get away from my camera!
A camera-shy Silver Sebright Bantam (Ayam Serama Silver Sebright). He kept on turning the other way...perhaps he only wants to be shot by professional photographers.
Anggerik sepatu
Paphiopedilum dayanum (right) and Paphiopedilum barbatum (left) according to their labels.
The label reads Vanda Dr Anek x Suksamran Gold - I believe it should be properly labeled as Vanda Doctor Anek x Ascocenda Suksamran Gold. This cross is registered as Ascocenda Chantra in 2008 by Api Orchids.
Phal Permata Rosmah Mansor, Orkid Kak Ros
This intensely magenta-shocking pink Phalaenopsis was labeled as Phal. Tan Lee Moy x Taiping Ruby. A check with RHS Orchid registry indicates that a reciprocal cross has been registered...and guess what is the name of the reciprocal cross - Phalaenopsis Permata Rosmah Mansor! Patutlah kalernya menarik semacam je. In orchids, reciprocal crosses are considered the same, and hence carry the same registered grex name. The reciprocal cross, sempena Kak Ros kita, yang lagi garang warnanya berbanding yang ini telah didaftarkan oleh R.Ang Chee Soong pada 2010.
The tag says Vanda limbata. Most Vanda limbata floating around on the market are hybrids.
Buah Cerapu
The Agricultural Department also have an exhibit on rare local fruits. Pictured here is Cerapu (Garcinia prainiana). If you think it looks like a mangosteen or Asam Gelugor then you are not mistaken. They are all related i.e. from the genus Garcinia. If you haven't seen buah engkala, dabai or kelubi before, please visit this exhibit.
Jambu ungu, Purple guava
One of the 'strange' trees on sale at the floriculture bazaar - Purple Guava. So move aside the white guave, and push the pink guava off the stage. Here comes purple guava!
At the Agri Bazaar, you can sample processed food by local companies to your hearts content. A lot of them seems to be selling kuih lapis Sarawak. Why ah?

Pesanan khas dari tuan punya blog: Saya sudah MAHA, anda bagaimana??

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

MAHA 2012 is Coming

The biennial Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism International Show, better known as MAHA is back for 2012. It will be held from the 23rd of November until the 2nd of December 2012. The venue remains the same, i.e. the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), Selangor. You can go to their website and download or view the showground map as well other details pertaining to the exhibition.
Showground map for MAHA 2012 - from

If I am not mistaken, the opening hours are usually from 10am - 10pm, with longer hours for the weekend. Do drop by and have a look if you have the time. The last MAHA that I went to, I looked like a mobile jungle (think of Mrs. Bucket's Outdoors Indoors Luxury Barbecue and Finger Buffet episode) when I left the show site, so be warned!

UPDATE: Click here to see some photos and info in my next post about MAHA 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Magic Pearls from Mother Nature

I wanted to go out and get a few things done, but Mother Nature decides to be a biatch and took the Sun away with her veil of dark clouds that soon poured over KL. When it appears that a perfect, sunny Saturday is ruined beyond redemption, I saw this on my Kai Lan leaves on the balcony...
Mother Nature's magic pearls - luscious black, gleaming white or crystal clear, you take your pick. But enjoy it soon, for it will be gone in a minute.

Lo and behold, Mother Nature had given me her magic pearls! Gleaming in the light, I was delighted to see her exquisite gift. Oh how beautiful they were. Magical they were, for the pearls appear to be change from crystal clear to luscious black and back again.
Beautiful but ephemeral - droplets of water on the leaves of my Kai Lan.

But before I could collect them into my bag of treasures, the Sun came out in all of his glory and took those magic pearls away. Darn... Now I am left with only memories and a few photographs...At least I can go out now. Oh rain, when will you come again?
Flower buds are emerging from the terminal stem whilst the lateral buds below are forming side-shoots.

The Kai Lan on the balcony are bolting now. This is probably due to the neglect and stress that they experience during the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, when I wasn't really looking after them. Vegetarian Fair, but I didn't touch a leaf of those Kai Lan...I think I had more gluten and starch than vegetables for the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Goes Up Must Come Down - Taking Down the Lantern Pole

Feeling a little overwhelmed with the Nine Emperor Gods and all the photo taking (read if I hear another discussion about the Nine Emperor Gods again, I will punch you in the face),  I had to drag myself up and get ready for the Taking Down the Lantern Pole ceremony. Perhaps this is a case of too much of something…

With hair smelling like joss-sticks despite numerous shampooing attempts, eyes that are still watery from all the smoke exposure, and severe lack of sleep, I trudged towards the temple. The sun was up and bright, and the heat and humidity was quite uncomfortable.
She's hot and on fire...Oh wait, it is just the heat and flames from the still burning charcoal.

At the temple, locals were still collecting the charcoal from yesterday’s fire-walking. Buckets and bowls and anything that can contain the rather hot charcoals were employed to carry these ‘lucky’ lumps of carbon back home. It must be a good way of getting free labour to clear up the mess by spreading the word around that the charcoal is lucky or blessed.
Have you any charcoal? Yes sir, yes sir, three buckets full.

There was a slight difference in the order of doing things this year when compared to last year’s ceremony. This year, they took down the pole and fed the Heavenly Soldiers before doing the prayers inside the temple with the priest in red robes whilst last year it was the other way around.
Priest - Damn, still no one that can blow my whistle, ring my bell, and tickle whip me fancy.
Assistant urn master - What! You parked my car where?? Shit, like how many times have I told you before?
Urn Master - Hmm, I wonder why my joss stick is producing dark smoke...
The looks on their faces is priceless. Only God knows what is going on in their heads.
Whoa Kau Ong Yah, I thought we had just sent you off this morning. How come you are back? Cashing in on your frequent flyer miles, eh?
Fat chance am I gonna give you a bit of my bamboo twig, go get your own. Or wait for next year! Temple workers showing off what they have managed to gather from the bamboo pole.
Guardian of the light, or rather the oil. People queue up with bottles, waiting for a share of the lantern oil.

As in the previous year, everyone scrambled for the bamboo leaves and twigs when the lantern pole was taken down. I also noticed that the Asisstant Urn Master gets the Heavenly Officer banner on the horizontal pole whilst the Urn Master gets the Heavenly Officer banner from the top of the vertical pole.
TIMBER!!!! Oh wait, that is just the lantern pole coming down.
Uggh! How do you untie these knots. Serves me right for not learning knots during my Boy Scout years.
Locals and devotees helping themselves to bits and pieces from the lantern pole.

After pole was safely taken down, they then directed themselves to the task of feeding the Heavenly Soldiers. It was quite amusing (the weird things that keep my simply mind entertained, sigh!) to witness the temple staff scrambling to light joss-sticks and put them into the buckets of food for the Heavenly Soldiers when directed by the medium in trance, for they had forgotten to do so in the beginning when the ceremony started!
And here's your lunch, Sir! Food for the Heavenly Soldiers.
Strike a pose. Let your body move to the music...Yeah, yeah, yeah... The medium and the priest in front of the Five General Gods' altar.
Where are the joss-sticks?? They are starving up there!!! The medium pointing out that no joss sticks have been placed in the food buckets!
The final touch to the food offering - a single joss-stick for each of the bucket.
And that, my dear Watson, is how you feed an army on a tight budget... Not quite Sherlock Holmes.

When the Heavenly Soldiers had been fed and then discharged from their guard posts, the locals take to the food, some bringing big plastic bags to take their share. Well, no sense wasting food here. After the feeding ceremony, the priest proceeded to do the prayers inside, with the meat offerings and wine. This is conducted with him wearing the red robe with green trimmings, dragons on the front and a Manchurian crane on the back.
Free food for the local folks. You can also see a table set with the meat and alcohol offerings in the temple.
Everything must go - bring your Tupperware or even Giant plastic bags... In the background, the priest dons his red robes for the next set of prayers.
What do you mean you gotta go now?? Just hold it in for a few more minutes. I have been holding it in since this morning. That's why I looked like a pregnant Korean lady!.
The Assistant Urn Master and the priest. There is duck, chicken, fish and a roasted pig head plus Chinese wine on the table behind the priest.

Since the roasted animals are also up for grabs at the end of this prayer, it resulted in a table hitting and shouting event as one of them demanded the roasted poultry back, to be divided fairly amongst those who are supposed to have a share in it.
Put my bird back you, you... A table slapping, shouting match over a roasted bird. Big Bird would have been proud :-p

After the bells and shouting spells, the main altar grew silent once more, leaving the Dou Mu Palace and the Nine Emperor Gods chamber a peaceful, quiet place…until next year. As I walk back home, the dragon flags along the road fluttered in the wind, and I could almost hear them say ,"Till we meet again next year".
All peaceful and quiet again. Probably now Dou Mu can finally get her beauty sleep back again.
A bit sad, but very glad that all is over - the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.

PS: Why is it that I am, like the only 'outside' photographer/onlooker for this event? Like where are the rest???

PPS: Next year's celebration dates are as follows: 1st day of lunar 9th is on Saturday, the 5th of October 2013 and the ninth day of the ninth lunar month will fall on a Sunday, the 13th of October 2013.

My links for the 2012 Nine Emperor Gods Festival @ Ampang Nan Tian Gong