Thursday, 15 January 2009

Longiflora and Longicornutum

There are two species of plants that I have been dying to get my hands on. One of them is the Heliconia longiflora while the other is the Hedychium longicornutum.

A few clumps of the former can be found at the ginger gardens in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. (See pictures above). However, this is not a very common species and doesn't seem to be available for sale online. I have also not seen this in any nursery in Singapore other than the one at Ang Mo Kio, but those were not for sale. Even if they were, they would be exorbitant as AMK is known to have quite the reputation for ridiculous prices. Hopefully the financial crisis might compel them to rethink their pricing. A collector I know has a small clump for sale but it doesn't look particularly healthy. Although he has asked me to name my price, I declined. (I tend to lose interest very quickly when people do that) But I will not give up and will continue to press on with my pursuit for this plant, even if it means waiting indefinitely.

I first chanced upon the Hedychium longicornutum at Woon Leng but it was also not for sale. It belonged to a private collector who leased the premises to house his plants. Like the Helicona longiflora, this species does not appear to have made it to the commercial nurseries nor is it available online. It is however endemic to Thailand and Malaysia, so a trip to the nurseries there or even Chatuchak might be in the pipeline.

The Hedychium longicornutum is probably the only epiphytic ginger known to man. It is also by far one of the most beautiful and exotic Hedychiums around. Although it is epiphytic in nature, it apparently grows better in a pot with general potting mix as opposed to just being attached to a branch.

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