New easy-to-grow terrestrial orchid hits market

11/29/2020 04:04 PM
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Flowers of Tainan No. 3. Photo courtesy of the Tainan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station
Flowers of Tainan No. 3. Photo courtesy of the Tainan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station

Tainan, Nov. 29 (CNA) Sales of a new variety of orchid that can be grown on the ground began after its cultivator and National Chung Hsing University's Sinhua Forest Area signed a licensing deal Saturday.

The new variety, named Tainan No. 3 by its cultivator, the Tainan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, is the result of a Spathoglottis (commonly known as purple orchid) crossbreeding project first started in 2003, an official with the station Cheng An-hsiu (鄭安秀) said in a statement.

After growing and breeding varieties of the orchid -- which is only found in the wild on Taitung's Orchid Island and Green Island -- at the Sinhua Forest Area in Tainan for two years, the station came up with Tainan No. 3, according to Cheng.

Compared with the original purple orchid, the flowers of the new variety are larger and more pinkish, Cheng said, and each stem can bear nearly 10 flowers.

The new variety planted at the Sinhua Forest Area. Photo courtesy of the Tainan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station
The new variety planted at the Sinhua Forest Area. Photo courtesy of the Tainan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station

While the main flowering season of the new variety is in summer, Cheng said people can expect the ground plant to bloom 10 out of 12 months each year.

Meanwhile, Wu Yi-hung (吳佾鴻), director of the Sinhua Forest Area, said the new variety, which has high heat and moisture tolerance, is a good choice for gardening beginners, because it is easy to grow, as long as it is planted in a slightly shaded location and given enough water.

The plants are available for purchase at the forest area, according to the statement.

(By Yang Sz-ruei and Kay Liu)

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