Tag Archives: orchid

Weird flowers & fruits in Sabah Agriculture Park

Wild fruit & plant

Sabah Agriculture Park (Taman Pertanian Sabah), which is located 15 Kilometers away from Tenom town, is one of the best agriculture parks in Asia. The park has about 20 gardens with different themes, the area is so big that you need to spend a few days to see everything. I had a day trip there last week and I find the following exotic plants are interesting:

Mickey mouse flower
Mickey mouse flower
Above: “Mickey Mouse” Flower. Do you see the eyes and ears?

heart shape flower
Above: heart shape flower. Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

giant Amazonian water lily
Above: Circular floating leaves of the giant Amazonian water lily (Victoria amazonica). It can grow more than 1 Meter in diameter and no problem having a 30-40 Kg child sit on it. Some visitors throw coin on these big leaves. Please don’t do it, coz it will cause “sunburn” to the leaf when the metal coin turns hot by sunlight.

Dutchman's Pipe
Above: Dutchman’s Pipe from South America

Dutchman's Pipe
Above: Dutchman’s Pipe stinks so bad when it fully grows and flies love it.

Pucuk manis
Pucuk Manis (species name: Sauropus androgynus) is a very famous vegetable of Sabah. Local Chinese calls it “ๆ ‘ไป”่œ” (means tree vegetables literally). We always recommend tourists to try it.

shrimp's mouth
Above: this flower looks like shrimp’s mouth.

Mahkota Dewa Fruit
Above: Mahkota Dewa from Indonesia, a magical fruit that can cure cancer of early stage.

cotton tree
Above: “cotton tree”?

cotton tree
cotton tree seed
Above: the seed with “cotton” inside.

decoration tree
You should hire a guide with you if you want to sample fruits in the park. Not everything is edible. Like the fruit tree above. This tree is used for decoration and the fruits are not edible, and it’s quite a pain to clean the dropping fruits.

Burahol / kepel
Burahol / kepel fruit. Eat it and your urine will smell good.

fruit of Burahol / kepel
The fruit of burahol / kepel needs to be cooked to yellow color before consumption.

hoya flower
Above: beautiful Hoya flower

We sample some ripen fruits. I can’t recall their names. They all taste sweet with a bit of sour.

Ah Bill
Above: “Ah Bill” fruit (that’s how the name sounds like)? The meat is sweet and taste like pudding, nice!

To make the tour more enjoyable and informative, it is highly recommended that you hire a park guide to show you around. You may go in group and pay for the guide service. Even though I think Sabah Agriculture Park is one of the “must-visit” parks in Sabah, it is not a popular tourism attraction. One of the reasons is that this park is over 100 Kilometers from Kota Kinabalu city and travel agents are lack of interest to promote it.

Photos taken in Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Orchid Gardens of Sabah Agriculture Park

Orchid gardens

Orchid is such a charismatic flower that some enthusiasts would risk their lives to collect it in the wild. Luckily, you can see many precious orchid species in Sabah Agriculture Park (Taman Pertanian Sabah) in Tenom, without putting your life in danger. There are two orchid gardens there, namely, Native Orchid Center and Hybrid Orchid Center.

1. Native Orchid Center

Borneo island has about 1,500 species of orchid, and you can see more than 350 indigenous orchid species in Native Orchid Center, making Sabah Agriculture Park one of the world’s famous orchid centers.

signage of Native Orchid Centre
This orchid conservation center is housing some of the most valuable orchid species in the world, which include a slipper orchid (species: Paphiopedilum rothschildianum) endemic to Sabah and nicknamed “Gold of Kinabalu”. Valued at USD5,000 per stem in black market, this slipper orchid is known to be the most expensive orchid in the world. It’s also our Sabah state flower and locally known as “Sumazau Orchid”.

Orchid Conservation Centre
To protect those expensive and rare native Borneo orchid from being plucked, the park has to keep this garden locked and visitors must be accompanied by a guide from the park.

Native Orchid Garden of Sabah Agriculture Park
Most orchid collection of Native Orchid Garden are from lowland rainforest, which is a warm, humid and dim environment.

Native Orchid Garden
Therefore, the native orchid garden is also simulating the rainforest environment. The orchid nursery is shaded to avoid direct sunlight. You may not see any blooming orchid in photo above. Actually there are many of them but most of them are very tiny (only a few MM) and they are unlike the commercial orchids which are generally bigger and have bright colors.

Native Orchid Nursery
In average, there are 30 orchid flowering per day in this garden. Some orchids have very interesting characteristics.

Green Orchid
Have you ever seen a green orchid?

Bottle Brush Orchid
This orchid is known as “Bottle-Brush Orchid”. Go figure.

Sweet Orchid
The orchid above have very strong and sweet aroma.

Lowii Orchid
Above: Paphiopedilum lowii, a type of slipper orchid.

elephant ear orchid
Above: Elephant ear orchid has the largest orchid leaf in the world. Click Here for more info.

ekor tikus orchid
Above: “Rat Tail” orchid (Ekor Tikas) has the longest orchid leaf in the world. Click Here for more info

2. Hybrid Orchid Center

The orchids in Hybrid Orchid Center may look more familiar to you, because they are those large, colorful and showy orchids commercially sold in flora garden. These are the end product of cross-breeding of orchids.

Hybrid Orchid Garden
The hybrid orchids are usually tougher and easier to plant. Native orchids are very sensitive to change of environment.

Hybrid Orchid

Hybrid Orchid of Sabah Agriculture Park

Hybrid Orchid

Hybrid Orchid of Taman Pertanian Sabah

Hybrid Orchid

Hybrid Orchid of Tenom Park
In contrast to Native Orchid Center, hybrid orchids have bigger and denser blooming clusters.

Hybrid Orchid

Hybrid Orchid

Hybrid Orchid

As you can see, both orchid gardens are very different. I believe botanists will love Native Orchid Center and gardeners love Hybrid Orchid Center.

Related post:
Sabah Agriculture Park (Taman Pertanian Sabah)
Orchid De Villa
The largest orchid leaf in the world
The longest orchid leaf in the world
The Most Expensive Orchid in the world

Photos taken in Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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