Wild orchids do really dot the landscape throughout Orchidland in East Hawaii. These hardy plants grow in solid lava rocks, up in trees and what little earth or cracks in the earth they can establish a growing environment. It is up to mother earth to nurture and water these wild orchids and when there is abundant rain, the landscape is dotted with many flowering stalks. The presence of wild orchids here is an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. These orchids are highly evolved plants and thrive in its natural habitat. Surprisingly, these three orchids are not really native orchids to these areas and have naturalized in these environments and in fact throughout the wetter areas of the Hawaiian Islands.
One of the most abundant types of orchids here in Orchidland are the bamboo orchids (Arudina Graminifolia ). They develop these amazing stalks that can reach up to six feet in height and the orchids are at the tips of these stalks. It is amazing how these plants can survive difficult growing conditions in the wild areas of Hawaii, but in the right conditions they flourish like these bamboo orchids.
Another wild orchid that can be found throughout East Hawaii is this ground orchid called Philippine Orchid (Spathoglottis plicata). Like the bamboo orchids, these hardy orchids also are abundant all over East Hawaii and grow in harsh environments with little soil and nutrients. They flourish among the weeds, Ohia trees and dense grasses fighting for nourishment and creating beauty in the wild landscape.
The last orchid that tends to be less common and only found in the wetter areas around East Hawaii, this orchid is called a Nun's Cap or swamp orchid (Phaius Tankervilliae) . These beauties are more rare and tend to hide in the rain forests and jungled habitats in shady and filtered light areas. When they bloom, they send out tall and straight stalks of tiered white and purple blooms with dark purple and striated white throats, a beautiful combination of colors. They are also highly fragrant especially in the morning time frame.
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