Singapore Orchids


Dr Yam Tim Wing

Dr Yam Tim Wing is a Singaporean who was born in Hong Kong. He studied Biology (BSc.) at the University of Southampton in England. While there he became interested in plant genetics and orchids. Dr. Yam received his MPhil. degree in plant breeding and genetics from Cambridge University before returning to Hong Kong where he earned his Ph. D. with a research project on the conservation of the native orchids.. From 1988 to 1991, he carried out postdoctoral research at the University of California, Irvine with Professor Joseph Arditti. Since 1991 he has been a Senior Researcher at the Singapore Botanic Gardens in charge of the orchid breeding program which involves vandaceous orchids, Dendrobium and other hybrids for lowland tropics. He also administers a program designed to conserve the native orchids of Singapore by propagating and introducing these species into natural areas in the country. Dr Yam is a part time lecturer teaching genetics and plant breeding and is a frequent speaker at international orchid conferences. He is also the author of “Orchids of the Singapore Botanic Gardens”, a book published by the National Parks Board.

  Bulbophyllum vaginatum orchids SingaporeGaleola nudifolia orchidGaleola NudifoliaSingapore Botanical Gardens
  Table of some of the orchid species being conserved in the OSSSU Seed Bank at Singapore Botanical Gardens.  


This is a native species of Singapore which occurs also in throughout South East Asia. The vegetative parts of the plant resembles bamboo, that is why it is also known as the bamboo orchid. The plant is very free flowering in the lowland tropics.  
  Bulbophyllum echinolabium This magnificent species produces a single leaf which bears huge flowers, opening one after another. Its flower is the largest in the genus. It produces a very unpleasant smell to attract the pollinators.  
  Cymbidium finlaysonianum
A native species of Singapore. It produces many pendulous inflorescences several times a year. It has been successfully propagated from seeds and have been reintroduced successfully.  
  Dendrobium cochlioides This beautiful species originates from Irian Jaya and in Papua New Guinea. It blooms for a long time and the flowers are lasting.  
  Dendrobium sutiknoi A species from Papua New Guinea, this interesting species belongs to the Section Spatulata. The long and twisted petals are very elegant and attractive.  
  Epidendrum cinnabarinum This is a native species of Brazil. Stems of this colourful terrestrial can grow up to 1 m in height. Each inflorescence carries many closely arranged flowers which measure 3 cm across. The flowers are bright orange in colour.  
  Liparis viridiflora This species is widely distributed throughout tropical Asia. The inflorescences bear many flowers about 3mm in diameter which are pale green in colour.  
  Spathoglottis plicata 'pink' This is the most common terrestrial orchid of Singapore. An inflorescence of a strong plant can reach 1.5 to 2 m in length bearing 20 to 30 flowers. There are two varieties of the local species; the dark pink and the alba form.  
  Spathoglottis tricallosa This rare species grows in Central Sulawesi. It flowers regularly throughout the year with 1-2 flowers open at a time on a 30-50 cm tall inflorescence. The flowers are 5 cm in diameter, fragrant, multi-coloured, and have a flat shape.