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Roth

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I wanted to share with you a picture from last year in China. Those are freshly wild collected armeniacum, there are about 800-1000 on that picture, I try to find out the other pictures, there were 5000 plants in bud at the time of my visit.

It was taken in a nursery in XiChou, who was in charge, for many years, and this year as well I guess, to supply 10.000 paph armeniacum and 15000 paph micranthum every year to a Taiwanese wholesaler.

The conditions are very clear with his customer: All plants in bud, no broken or damaged leaves, perfect roots, long 10-15 cm, not broken. All others rejected.

There was a thread on the other forum with pics from Hong Kong of armeniacum and micranthum in bloom on the market. Several professionnal growers posted that such a large quantity with beautiful leaves are for sure cultivated or propagated plants. You have the truth on the picture I post. Very, very fresh, and perfectly choosen wild collected plants, period.

Many people think that wild collected plants are ugly, with broken leaves and damaged, and bad roots. It is completely wrong. The truth is that some very big wholesalers, totally unknown usually to the public, orders 10.000 Paph armeniacum in bud, absolutely perfect plants. The collectors gathers 20.000, sometimes more. A part goes to the dustbin immediately. Another part, that has damaged leaves and/or roots, is sold to the "smaller" customers, including most of the professionnal growers that think they are smart enough to order straight from China... and the very best is sold openly, with proper paperwork ( the plants are soooooo clean!) worldwide.


 

JeanLux

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Uncredible! what a beauty ( or amount of money!!) gathered on this photo! To my opinion, there would be 1000ths of paph-hobbiists in the world, ready to take (buy) one of those, and try to guarantee its survival! Jean
 

Roth

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Not that much amount of money, I know that the 10.000 plants are sold for 5000$. Nearly all end up as pot plants, not for the hobbyists. The best ones are kept for breeding in Taiwan and elsewhere.

I know that some optimistic people will say that if it's only 5000$ for that batch, maybe we can teach those people to make flasks, blablabla...

I know of several projects like that, pay the people who collect so that they stop. It is useless, completely, plainly, and definitely.

The way it works all over Asia ( we have exceptions, and one Chinese on this forum that is extremely strict and honest regarding selling only artificially propagated plants !), is very simple. It is "business", not plant care, or whatever we could think of.

So if you offer to those people 20.000$ every week to make a tissue culture lab, with high quality plants etc etc etc, they will do it of course. But first of all, when this "business" is secured, they will think about those 5000$ waiting them if they get 10000 armeniacum, and they will do it as well. That's the real world, not Disneyland.

I know of such projects in Malaysia, Laos, Burma, Thailand. In all instances, and I cannot think of any exception, apart from Chinesegreen who really does what he says, and make his nursery only around tissue culture, propagating and breeding, the collectors or plant dealers are paid to make tourism, or protect sanderianum, rothschildianum... but that's one business, OK ?

The other business is that there is a lot of demand, and they can incresase their income, so they will always do it, forever, even if you give them a million US$ per hour. Punishment by the law or whatever will not deter any of them as well, because they know exactly where to go, how to do... and it is pretty safe for them.

The owner of the nursery in XiChou, that I know very well for several years told me that a 10.000 armeniacum in bud order, pristine plants, can be fulfilled from the forest in 2-3 days. It shows as well how many plants are left in the wild. I went to see the plants in the forest (not allowed to take pictures), and there were thousands upon thousands, blooming, or not...

One thing that surprised me is the way they really grow in the wild. There are not many multigrowth plants in the wild, but the most interesting is that the mature growth blooms, usually with some fresh new growth(s) around, and stolons. I found out that the currently blooming mature growth in the wild dies down nearly completely the coming winter, and the stolons catch up around february, throwing out massive leaves. In the wild, the stolons runs, not to escape or whatever, but to make a root system before making the growth. The stolons that can make a massive root system make a quickly mature growth, the others make small plantlets. That's maybe why in cultivation it is not very good to push the stolons to go up directly, they have to form roots before to sustain the coming growth to my mind. There is one "child" growth that usually catch up quite quickly to replace the mother plant, and is very close to the original growth, and a couple stolons ( not that many actually) on each plant. I would say on average that by the time the bloomed growth dies in winter, the new, leading growth is either complete, or half formed ( depending on the colonies).

It makes me thinking a little bit of cypripedium. Growth die after bloom, and the new growth starts to grow in february quite quickly. Furthermore, the plant storage is mostly in the roots and rhizome, and if there is an insufficient growth of the roots along the stolon or on the parent plant, the new growth stays seedling sized for a while.

Last, there are colonies that never make stolons, only clumpy plants. Malipoense is ubiquitous, and growing nearby, they found only rarely the natural hybrid. wenshanense x armeniacum occurs sometimes as well, but the most surprising is the pH at the roots.

I checked with an IFSET probe the pH. 10 cm from the roots, where there is the degraded limestone, it is about 7. 2 cm from the roots, around 6.8, and on the roots, it was 5.4 after a big rain. Another colony grew in fern roots, pH below 5 (!), and the limestone was really far...


I start to think that the roots of the parvis like to be in a neutral to slightly alkaline mix, but they acidify their mix very quickly and sharply. Most of them were in fern roots as well.

I cannot figure out how the measures were taken for the various papers, or articles. Or maybe I can, the people tested the substrate pH far from the plants, not exactly at the plant roots, and in the wild there are many pockets with more acid, more alkaline, etc... areas.
 

smartie2000

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At least the plants look like they are in somewhat good care. I notice armeniacum and micranthum are always offered for sale in these trades. Are they that abundant in the wild?

I am just curious what is armeniacum and micranthum in chinese characters. I don't know what to call them in chinese.
 

Roth

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At least the plants look like they are in somewhat good care. I notice armeniacum and micranthum are always offered for sale in these trades. Are they that abundant in the wild?

I am just curious what is armeniacum and micranthum in chinese characters. I don't know what to call them in chinese.
I have to scan that. They are still very abundant in the wild, but they are not in somewhat good care, they have been collected a couple days before, and ready to leave a couple days after. No cultivation or whatever involved.

They will end up in pots by 1-3 sold in bloom, that's all.
 

smartie2000

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Thanks for the info

I agree old growths yellow fast! My micranthum had its old growth die, but sends four new growths a distance away which grew. Interesting to compare with cyps, I never thought of that. I also have a piece of a stolon from another plant which I put in wet sphag and it is sending new babies.

I recently bought an armeniacum and it is a clump of three. I saw no stolons when I unpotted it. However my other armeniacum makes stolons.
 

Hien

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Most of us in the US spend like 500 bucks at orchid show for a few plants (5 to 10). Imagine you got 1,000 armeniacums.:evil::drool:
If I were in Taiwan, you can be sure to see the place filled up with armeniacum etc.. that you will have to clear a path to walk around.
I will be rolling in armeniacum heaven
ok, it is just a dream, folks, abeit a political incorrect one. But don't wake me up yet.
 

Rick

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Sanderianum

You mentioned that the pH is low at the roots, but old growths die back after blooming and send stolons out from the parent plant. Except for the ones growing in tree ferns all the time, it would seem like the new growths are consistently starting in the slightly alkaline areas before dropping the pH, blooming, and then dieing. Good the stolons be looking for higher pH?

My rate of parent plant die off hasn't been as fast as it sounds in this area. I wonder if a more strongly buffered area would support larger clumps.

Most of Averyanov's pics of micranthum in Vietnam are of clumps with lots of limestone in close proximity to the plants. I haven't seen that many habitat pics for ameniacum. How local are these dense pockets of plants? Is this harvest sustainable for the longterm?
 
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Jorch

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Fren, the common name for armeniacum is chinese is "golden slipper" and micranthum is "silver slipper".. on that note, delanatii is "vietnamese beauty", purparatum is "ms.hk", barbigerum is "ms.guangdong"... hangianum i believe is "big yam" (argh..).
 

smartie2000

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lol 'big yam' is a horrible name for hangianum.
I found that micranthum is 硬叶兜兰 and armeniacum is 杏黄兜兰 after some searching. I was just curious in case my grandma or somene wanted to know. I can't read chinese anyway, but only speak.
 

NYEric

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If I were in Taiwan, you can be sure to see the place filled up with armeniacum etc.. that you will have to clear a path to walk around.
I will be rolling in armeniacum heaven
Heck, if I could get that price for $100 worth I'd be rolling in them literally too! Very informational as usual sanderianum, thanx.
 

Roth

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For the common names in Chinese or Vietnamese, or wherever in the area, they are very local, and they do not understand each other, trust me. In China, I have asked some people for the local name, I wait for them to reply. I know tha tthe Taiwanese have different names, as have the people from HK.

In Viet Nam, some Hai Vang (gratrix, but some are villosum, and in the south it applies to delenatii as well !)=Hai Tam Dao= Hai Son La = = = And the name they give in one city can mean a different species somewhere else.

Hai Moc Vang is concolor usually, but the people who trade in armeniacum call it Hai Moc Vang as well. Basically, they have no fixed name for any plants.

For the stolons, they do not look for alkaline or whatever place, actually, they look for space to make roots before doing the shoot. To my mind, the motherplant can not sustain the offsets at the tip of the stolons correctly, so the stolons make roots first, then make the shoots.§ The more roots the stolon can do, the faster it will lead to a blooming strong plant.

Same as cyps, if they make a large very good root system, next year growth is strong. They can have 500 old roots, if they cannot make new roots properly, they will never make a blooming size growth for next year.

Cymbidium is exactly the same when they germinate, it is very funny!

They first make the protocorm, quite large, to very large. The protocorm then mke a kind of long structure, about 2-10 cm in lenght, below the ground. This structure looks like a kind of elongated cluster of protocorms, it is very hard to describe. It is quite hairy on some parts. When this structure reach light, it makes a shoot. But if the structure is too short, it will never make a nice growth. As a matter of fact, cymbidium lancifolium makes immediately a blooming size growth from seed, no smaller ones, if it is able to make a quite long "structure" like I describe. If the structure is too short, it makes a small growth, then larger one, then larger one... This may explain why people who sow cymbidium ensifolium and the like complain that they get bean-looking protocorms that are very long, and no shoot. If those structures are exposed to the light too early, I suspect they are unable to grow.

For the germination of those species, I do it in the complete darkness until the bean-like structures are 4-5 cm. Then very low light, they start the shoot, and replate directly, they make beautiful plants.
 

Bob in Albany N.Y.

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All this is very interesting. I know that in Taiwan that it is NOT profitable to breed and flask armeniacum, yet a few outstanding nurseries do it anyways. It is my understanding that In-Charm took one of the best armeniacums that they bloomed (naturally these were from the wild) and selfed it. They were being sold at the WOC and were labeled as armeniacum 'Chao Chou' x self. Not only is it not profitable due to the fact they can get wild collected plants so cheaply, but on top of that it is very hard to get viable seeds from this specie. Then when you add on the cost of flasking and time and labor of growing them to seedlings it is not worth their time and effort. To those that do take the time and effort I salute you!
 
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Ernie

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To those that do take the time and effort I salute you!
Here, here Bob!!! Sanderianum, your posts are gripping to us folks in the concrete jungles. Thanks for helping us relate- you're an asset to this forum!

-Ernie
 

Roth

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All this is very interesting. I know that in Taiwan that it is NOT profitable to breed and flask armeniacum, yet a few outstanding nurseries do it anyways. It is my understanding that In-Charm took one of the best armeniacums that they bloomed (naturally these were from the wild) and selfed it. They were being sold at the WOC and were labeled as armeniacum 'Chao Chou' x self. Not only is it not profitable due to the fact they can get wild collected plants so cheaply, but on top of that it is very hard to get viable seeds from this specie. Then when you add on the cost of flasking and time and labor of growing them to seedlings it is not worth their time and effort. To those that do take the time and effort I salute you!
It is business as well... Out of 10.000 wild armeniacum, maybe 100 are really amazing and gorgeous. A selfing will make 1000 seedlings with potential for amazing quality blooms.

The Taiwanese importers are not that interested in the pot plant or cheap 2$ armeniacum (that's their wholesale price when they come to shows). The top quality armeniacum fetch a high price, and are very good parents. I paid once a wonderful armeniacum 1200$, so I know about that kind of price ( and some monthes later, Norris Powell himself sold to me Los Osos FCC/AOS for 50$, he had 4 baskets with 100 growths ech of that one ! Wonder where they are now, Taiwan or Japan...).

The Chinese wholesaler buy from the forest all the plants he can, and choose for his customers. The broken plants or out of bloom are sold very cheap ( 1$/20 plants right now !). His customers from Taiwan wait to get the flower stem up to 15-20 cm. At that stage, with experience, it is easy to know if the flower will have a large dorsal or not. then they discard all the ones with narrow dorsals for pot plant, cheap ( slightly less than 1$/plant). And they bloom the remaining. So they invest 5000$/10.000 plants, but in fact, the highly selected ones that they can sell few hundreds or couple thousands $ ( The largest I have ever seen was 13cm, asked price 2500$/growth) are 100 plants around.

They make flasks because it is cheaper to raise those seedlins and have high quality plants. Chao Chou is a quite OK armeniacum ( in the 50$ range in Taiwan), there are much better, but the hope is to get seedlings that will be of higher value, therefore sell the selected ones. That's it. So it is an investment, and worthwhile. Plus, the Japanese like to buy armeniacum, either divisions of high quality plants ( and the seller has to invest a lot, remember that those blooming size plants are single growth, he has to bypass the erwinia rot that is ubiquous when getting armeniacum from the wild, and grow them to make divisions !), or seedlings with a pedigree.

One more thing, usually the best real breeder/grower stay in Taiwan, and never travel abroad, except sometimes to Japan. The first class parentage commands huge, amazing prices in Taiwan. That's why some of the parents used to supply flasks abroad are OK, but they do not reflect the high quality expected by the very wealthy hobbyists in Taiwan. Even in the Paph in Taiwan book, there are a lot of fantastic plants missing...

I know of one grower that has about 500 clumps of paph bougainvilleanum, 20+years old. That's his hobby... Another one would not let anyone enter usually, I had to discuss a lot with him at that time. He has a couple thousands parvis, mind blowing, few hundreds micranthum eburneum with leaves bigger than delenatii, malipoense close to 1m leafspan, and only plants of that type. Both of them are so wealthy that they would never, ever, sell any plant from their collection.


Sometimes they are lucky in China. Look at that picture I found back...:D:D:D:D:D

Armeniacum album, same nursery. The owner had about 250 that year...

 

smartie2000

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wow look at that armeniacum album.

Thanks Sanderianum for sharing your knowledge, it is all so interesting. Its out of my world for me to think of an armenicum for sell for only $2 (even if they are pot plant quality). I didn't know the best plants stay in Taiwan.

When picking new plants is it possible to judge potential flower quality by leaves (size or shape)?
I had another armeniacum before, it had wider leaves than the two I have now. In my opinion the flower quality was good, the bloom was flat, not a single twist. I didn't have a good camera then.
 

Roth

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wow look at that armeniacum album.

Thanks Sanderianum for sharing your knowledge, it is all so interesting. Its out of my world for me to think of an armenicum for sell for only $2 (even if they are pot plant quality). I didn't know the best plants stay in Taiwan.

When picking new plants is it possible to judge potential flower quality by leaves (size or shape)?
I had another armeniacum before, it had wider leaves than the two I have now. In my opinion the flower quality was good, the bloom was flat, not a single twist. I didn't have a good camera then.
Well, USA and Europe tends to be "low markets" in terms of people who can spend huge amounts on a single plants. I have a friend in Kunming specialized in the oriental cymbidium, but he sells only the expensive ones, that is 2000$ up to 25000$/single bulb. A plant with three bulbs would be 75000$. There ar hobbyists for that in Mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. There are hobbyists in the very same countries, willing to spend the same amount on paphiopedilum. So of course the best plants nearly never leave Taiwan. There are few hobbyists in the USA and Europe that spend a lot for a single plant, but there are few hundreds in Japan and Taiwan.

For the potential through the leaves, sometimes, yes actually. Some colonies have wide large leaves and give very flat flowers. However it is very difficult to say it is true all the time. For myself, I tend to avoid the boldly tesselated shiny plants in quite a few species, like armeniacum, jackii, the Philippines plants... From my thinking those type of plants never have the best blooms possible. But there can be one with narrow leaves and wonderful blooms as well.

One thing that seems to be absolutely sure, when the old dry flower stem is very thin, I never got nice flowers... Same for the plants with "narrow" base on sideview ( the leaf axils are small).
 
B

Bernhard Hilse

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Dear Sanderianum, two weeks ago, I went to Brisbane to an International Orchid Fair and In/charm from Taiwan was there too. I ordered some flasks direct from him and it was stated that two were confiscated but I still received 3 and I am very happy with them. I received the flask of Micranthum GVBxgibGVC (I don't know what it means} Evenso, Bellatulumxarmeniacumx and Fumis Delight [micanthumxarmeniacum]. The first and the last flask were very small but I kept the bottles in the dark and the plantlets grew about one-third since. The second was de-flasked and I have them in a humid environment and they are doing well. Your report is very interesting and it helped me a lot in understanding the two types better. I like to thank you personally for the explanation. It is very much appreciated. Kind regards, Bernhard from Australia
 

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