The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for March 2022 is the “Pajarito” or Pigeon Orchid, scientifically known as Dendrobium crumenatum Sw. It came from the family Orchidaceae and is native to the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, South China, Taiwan, Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Christmas Island.
Pajarito is a shrubby sympodial epiphytic orchid mostly found in lowland forests and savannah-like woodland areas. It has scented white flowers with yellow-tinted labellum. Its flowers only last for a day! The flower bud looks somewhat like little pigeons and that is where its name was derived. The orchid has multiple stems that can grow up to 30 cm long. Its base is enlarged and ends off with slender tips. Its leaves are arranged in two rows alternately along its pseudobulb stem. They are coriaceous (leathery) and elliptical in shape.
The plant parts of Pajarito have many uses. Its Pseudobulb and leaves are used as herbs and spices. Its pseudobulbs have medicinal use and its juice is used to treat boils and pimples. In SEA countries, the plant is used to remove impurities from the blood. As a decorative material, fibers from its stems are used as braiding materials for hats (Philippines); in other countries, used to décor baskets and other crafts.
Did you know?
In Malaysia, Pajarito orchids are planted near the entrances of their house as a good luck talisman to ward off evil spirits!