The colors have been described from pink to mauve to lavender to purple. I will settle with purple.
It is easy to find a sanggumay even in the most modest rural home gardens in Bulusan. This native orchid is obviously a community favorite because of its generosity in sharing its beauty – not a frugal bloomer with thick long stalks of rows of opening blooms that last the whole season. A sight to behold especially when grouped in clusters. Its generosity extends to its fragrance that seems to overpower the sense of smell but can be pleasant as one becomes acquainted with the scent that is distinct with sanggumay. The fragrance is meant to be diluted with the surrounding air. Not a surprise considering the vast rainforest as its original home. The dense and moist surroundings will easily tone down the scent to a pleasant note.
The purple blooms peak its appearance during March and April – during Lent to be specific. It has a white variety that looks exactly as its purple sibling except for the color and the scent which is more subtle.
Sanggumay’s scientific name is Dendrobium anosmum. It is native to the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Photo: Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines