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Euanthe sanderiana (Rchb. f.) Schlechter

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Charles and Margaret Baker

Euanthe sanderiana (Rchb. f.) Schlechter

AKA: Esmeralda sanderiana Rchb. f., Vanda sanderiana Rchb. f.

ORIGIN/HABITAT: The Philippine Islands, where it is endemic to Mindanao
Island in the provinces of Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga. Plants are
normally found on the trunks of dipterocarp trees at low elevations,
usually below 1650 ft. (500 m). This species has been over-collected and
is considered rare in nature. However, plants are available from the many
improved, line-bred strains in cultivation. 

CLIMATE: Station #98754, Davao, Philippines, Lat. 7.1N, Long. 125.6E, at
88 ft. (27 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 1000 ft.
(310 m), resulting in probable extremes of 94F (34C) and 62F (17C). 

F AVG MAX        84   85   87   88   87   85   85   85   85   86   86   85
F AVG MIN        69   69   69   70   71   70   70   70   70   70   70   69
DIURNAL RANGE    15   16   18   18   16   15   15   15   15   16   16   16
RAIN/INCHES     4.8  4.5  5.2  5.8  9.2  9.1  6.5  6.5  6.7  7.9  5.3  6.1
HUMIDITY/%       81   82   78   79   82   83   84   83   83   82   82   82
BLOOM SEASON     **   **    *    *    *    *   **   **  ***  ***  ***   **
DAYS CLR @8AM     5    7    9    9    6    4    5    4    5    7    6    6
DAYS CLR @2PM     3    1    3    4    2    2    3    2    2    2    2    2
RAIN/MM         122  114  132  147  234  231  165  165  170  201  135  155
C AVG MAX      28.9 29.4 30.6 31.1 30.6 29.6 29.5 29.4 29.4 30.0 30.0 29.4
C AVG MIN      20.6 20.6 20.6 21.1 21.7 21.1 21.1 21.1 21.1 21.1 21.1 20.6
DIURNAL RANGE   8.3  8.8 10.0 10.0  8.9  8.5  8.4  8.3  8.3  8.9  8.9  8.8

Cultural Recommendations:
The following recommendations are based on averages in the habitat. They
may be used as a guide for newly acquired plants whose requirements are
unknown, or for plants that are not growing or flowering as well as they
should. Reports from growers are included when they indicate success with
conditions in cultivation that are outside the range found in the habitat.

LIGHT: 3000-4000 fc. Plants require very bright light, but direct sunlight
should be avoided. Strong air movement should be provided at all times.

TEMPERATURES: Throughout the year, days average 84-88F (29-31C), and
nights average 69-71F (21-22C), with a diurnal range of 15-18F (8-10C).
The narrow seasonal range with extreme temperatures that are only a few
degrees different than the averages indicate that plants may not tolerate
wide temperature fluctuations. 

HUMIDITY: 80-85% year-round. 

WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy all year. Cultivated plants should be
kept moist with only slight drying allowed between waterings. 

FERTILIZER: A balanced fertilizer should be mixed at 1/4-1/2 recommended
strength. Plants benefit from weekly fertilizer applications during
periods of active growth. Many growers use a fertilizer with lower
nitrogen and higher phosphate in autumn. This improves blooming the next
season and encourages new growth to fully mature. The medium should be
leached every few weeks to prevent salt buildup, especially if your water
supply is hard or if fertilizer is being applied heavily. To flush a pot,
plants should be watered normally to dissolve any accumulated salts. An
hour or so later, the medium should be flushed with water equal to about
twice the volume of the pot. Year-round leaching is important in areas
with heavily mineralized water.

REST PERIOD: Growing temperatures should be maintained year-round. Water
may be reduced slightly in winter, especially if your plant is cultivated
in the temperate latitudes where light may be low and days are short.
Plants should never dry out completely, however. If water is reduced in
winter, then fertilizer should be reduced until water is increased in

GROWING MEDIA: Plants are usually grown in hanging pots or slatted wooden
baskets filled with a very open, fast draining medium. Some plants are
grown with only enough chunky medium, such as charcoal or large cork
chips, to anchor the plant until it becomes established. The roots should
be allowed to grow and hang down as far as they choose and they should not
be trimmed to make things look neat. Growers indicate that anything more
than minimum root trimming will set the plant back 2-3 years. Continuous
air movement around the roots is very important to plant health. 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based
on cultivation report. In nature, plants bloom in autumn. Although these
plants grow to be very large, it is not unusual for them to bloom when
they are only 8-12 in. (20-30 cm) tall with 4-5 sets of leaves. 

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A large monopodial epiphyte. 

PSEUDOBULBS: None. Plants often measure 39 in. (100 cm) long by 24-31 in.
(60-80 cm) wide. The stem is usually solitary, but sometimes several
branches are produced near the base. 

LEAVES: Numerous. Leaves, which are closely arranged, curved,
strap-shaped, and distichous, are 12-16 in. (30-40 cm) long. They are
leathery with unequally notched tips. The oldest leaves are deciduous
after several years.

INFLORESCENCE: To 12 in. (30 cm) long. The stout, erect or ascending
inflorescence emerges at the base of the leaves. 

FLOWERS: 4-10 per inflorescence. Blossoms are large, flat opening or
somewhat reflexed along the edges, long lasting, and fragrant. Flowers may
be attractively spaced or somewhat crowded on the inflorescence. Flowers
vary in size, but they are usually 3.5-4.5 in. (9-11 cm) wide. The broad,
normally flat sepals and petals have rounded tips. The blossom's dorsal
sepal is a delicate rose color suffused with white, and the somewhat
larger lateral sepals are tawny-yellow with prominent brownish-red veins
arranged in a net-like pattern. The smaller petals are similar to the
dorsal sepal except for a tawny yellow blotch with red spots on the part
adjacent to the lateral sepals. The rather small, fleshy, concave lip is
about 1 in. (2.5 cm) long. It is variable in color but is usually a dull
tawny-yellow streaked with red on the inner side. The buff-yellow column
is very short. An alba strain has white flowers stained with green.
Vegetatively, the plant resembles many Vandas, but when in bloom, it is
easy to identify.

HYBRIDIZING NOTES: Chromosome count is n = 19 and 2n = 38 as Vanda
Euanthe sanderiana has been used extensively for hybridizing. In fact, it
is the dominant parent in most of the modern intrageneric Vanda hybrids as
well as intergeneric hybrids with such genera such as Renanthera,
Vandopsis, Arachnis, Ascocentrum, etc. 


Arditii, J. ed. 1984. Orchid biology: reviews and perspectives, vol. III.
Tanaka, R., and H. Kamemoto's appendix Chromosomes in orchids: counting
and numbers. Comstock Publishing, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N. Y. 

Bechtel, H., P. Cribb, and E. Launert. 1980. Manual of cultivated orchid
species. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Davis, R., and M. Steiner. 1982. Philippine Orchids. M & L Licudine
Enterprises, 941 Quirino Avenue, Dongalo, Paranaque, M. M. 

Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211
Beckwith Road, Richmond, B.C., Canada V6X 1V7.

Hawkes, A. D. (1965) 1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and
Faber, London.

McCartney, Chuck. 1988. The romance of the waling-wailing. American Orchid
Society Bulletin 57(8):854. 

Motes, Martin R. 1988. Unraveling a rainbow. 1. A brief history of Vanda
hybridizing. American Orchid Society Bulletin 57(7):709. 

Motes, Martin R. 1988. Unraveling a rainbow. 2. A reappraisal of Vanda
sanderiana. American Orchid Society Bulletin 57(8):854. 

Northen, R. 1970. Home orchid growing. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.

Pridgeon, A. ed. 1992. The illistrated encyclopedia of orchids. Timber
Press, Portland, OR. 

Rentoul, J. (1982) 1989. Growing orchids. book 3. Vandas, dendrobiums and
others. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Valmayor, H. 1984. Orchidiana Philippiniana. vols. 1-2. Eugenio Lopez
Foundation, Manilla, Philippines.

Veitch, J., and Sons. [1887-1894] 1963, 1981. Manual of orchidaceous
plants, vols. I-II. James Veitch and Sons, Royal Exotic Nursery, Chelsea,
London. Reprint, vol. I, A. Asher and Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
reprint, vol. II, Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun, India.

Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 60581049

Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was
provided free of charge, it may not be reproduced or retransmitted in
any way without permission.

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