May 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
The Bulbophyllum lobbii is one of about 2000 species in the genus, with many of them looking similar but for slight differences in colours. This one is widespread in Asia, from north eastern India to Phillipines. It thrives in the lowland and montane forests between 200m to 2,200m above sea level. It was discovered by Thomas Lobb in Java in 1846. It is also called Thailand Bulbophyllum or Sumatran Bulbophyllum.
The generic name comes from “bolbos” (bulb) and “phyllum” (leaf) and refers to the thick leaves. It is an epiphyte, an ‘air plant’ that grows on other plants or objects, but it is non parasitic. It obtains moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere and rain, and also from the debris accumulating around it.
Interestingly, the labellum works as an ellastic. When an insect lands there, it will move violently up and down, throwing the insect against the pollen which sticks on their back. When the fly visits another flower, the movement of the labellum makes it deposit the pollen onto the flower.
Having done some reading after I started photographing them, I find myself overwhelmed by the diversity in orchids. This photo was taken at the Kipandi Butterfly Park which also houses the two nurseries for wild orchids. The nursery is an orchid conservation project, growing orchids collected from the forests, and from areas felled for their logs.