Malaysia Wild Orchid - An Introduction

Based on research done by Orchid of Malaya Organization, Malaysia is home to more than 3,000 species of wild orchids. It grows beautifully in high altitudes scattered across the luscious mountain rain-forest. Areas that are known to harbour large varieties of wild orchids are the mountain ridges, summits and valleys. A major contribution to its vigorous growth is the climate conditions of the Malaysian mountains where it is typically characterized as receiving very heavy rainfall throughout the year without experiencing any extended dry seasons. This ideal climatic situation allows it to be a treasure trove housing many exotic species of the Malaysian wild orchids.

Wild orchid is a unique species of flora and fauna that nature has to offer. It has its own unique identity in its very own structure of flower. Some of the flower’s structures may be tiny and singular while others are fairly extended comprising of numerous blossoms. One of the most distinctive characteristic of a wild orchid not apparent in other orchids is the presence of the ‘pseudo bulbs’. It has a shape which resembles a small bulb situated at the base of the plant. In general this observation could be one of the ways to recognize it as it is a unique trait belonging to only wild orchids. Stunning with an unspoken rareness, wild orchids can be undeniably beautiful.

The wild orchid is renowned for its undeniable exquisite beauty, unique attractiveness, exotic shape and vibrant colours. Other flowers pale in comparison when compared against its delicate beauty and elegance. What makes it even more precious and rare is that it takes many years to grow and bloom untouched in the wilds requiring certain unique conditions to thrive. It is certainly worthy of your admiration and respect.


Wild Orchid Life Forms

According to research done by World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia, most Malaysian wild orchids are epiphytes. ‘Epiphyte’ is derived from the Greek word ‘epi’ meaning “on” and ‘phyton’ meaning “plant”. What it means is that the wild orchid grows on others plants called the host for physical support without harming them in any way. The host might be a tree or a shrub. Many of these wild orchids can be seen climbing up sturdy tree trunks intertwined with the long branches of these trees. Although they may grow on these other plants, these wild orchids are not, as many would think, parasites.

Meanwhile, there are some of Malaysia wild orchids found to be terrestrial. ‘Terrestrial’ is derived from the Latin word ‘terrestris’, meaning “earthly” or relating to the ground. This means that it grows on the ground atop various types of soil. It usually needs a lot of water for moisture throughout the growing season. However, these wild orchids do not need support from other plants or hosts as it is self-sufficient and can grow well on its own. Many of these kinds of wild orchids are found growing in open sunny places as well as on lime stone rocks along the roadsides of the Malaysia’s lowlands.

The Beauty of Malaysian Wild Orchids

To admire this delicate beauty of Malaysia Wild Orchids, nature lover may explore conservation areas reserved for wildlife. In Peninsular Malaysia, Cameron Highlands and National Parks in Pahang is a treasure trove for a myriad of wild orchids. If this seems like a small treasure trove for the orchid enthusiasts, it only gets better in Sabah, where the Kinabalu massif, encompassing only about 1250 km2 an astonishing number of orchids have been recorded there. It is certainly worth a visit.


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