Thailand has long been synonymous with orchids and for a good reason. Not only do orchids abound naturally, but there is a long history of orchid cultivation. Now, cattleyas, and other non-native orchids, are grown alongside local varieties. Wherever you go in Bangkok, you see orchids, whether in a fancy arrangements in a hotel lobby, hanging outside in front of a modest home, or simply growing epiphytically on trees for the pleasure of all who pass them.
These photos were taken in Thailand last fall, mostly at the weekend Chatachuk market where people converge to buy orchids, from cheap dendrobiums to highly sought rarities. (Also see our earlier post, Tropical Houseplants in Bangkok)
I’ve seen more cattleyas in Thailand then anywhere else in south-East Asia. Granted I haven’t been to Malaysia, but even in Indonesia or Singapore, they are not as common. Thai growers will have many different types for sale-they are so ubiquitous that they often do not have name tags attached!
Vandas are native to south-east Asia, but are slow growing plants. They demand bright light, heat and humidity and are grown to perfection in Thailand and other south-east Asian countries.
Below are some more unusual orchids. Paphiopedilums, phalaenopsis, bulbophyllums and many other unusual orchids can also be found at the weekend market.
(Below)This type of Vanda hybrid, probably a Mokara, is very common through south-east Asia. They are the equivalent of carnations (though much more exotic) and you will seem them widely used as cut flowers often in huge bunches. They come in a variety of colors from the yellow through red part of the spectrum, often in rich oranges and sunset shades with darker spots on the blooms.