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Vanda Tan Chay Yan (V. dearei x V. Josephine van Brero)

This is a discussion on Vanda Tan Chay Yan (V. dearei x V. Josephine van Brero) within the Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Really beautiful Vanda. I really wish I had the light requirements to grow them---especially this ...

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  1. #11
    gardenguysorchids's Avatar
    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    Really beautiful Vanda. I really wish I had the light requirements to grow them---especially this one. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Bill

  2. #12
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    This is the first of its bloom, and looks like I also have a little information about it








    As you might already know, Tan Chay Yan (1870-1916) was a Malacca rubber planter and grandson of local philanthropist Tan Tock Seng (after whom Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, is named). You can find further biographical details/leads in the Wikipedia article on 'Tan Chay Yan'.

    For local orchid enthusiasts, the name of Tan Chay Yan was immortalized through the famous Vanda hybrid bred by his son Robert Tan Hoon Siang, who was himself a past President of what is now the Orchid Society of South-East Asia (OSSEA). The sensational Vanda Tan Chay Yan (V. dearei x V. Josephine van Brero, registered 1952) helped to plant Singapore firmly on the orchid map of the world, and remains one of the finest hybrids we have ever produced. The appearance of Vanda Tan Chay Yan has been described as the strongest stimulus to orchid breeding in Singapore and Malaysia after the Second World War.

    Like a new dawn when it first arrived, everyone was enchanted by the bold flowers of Tan Hoon Siang’s masterpiece: a rich blend of gold and apricot, right down to the showy red lip inherited from its 'Josephine van Brero' parent. In addition to winning hearts, the new hybrid soon started to win awards everywhere, receiving such accolades as the First Class Certificate of the RHS (1954) and the Trophy for Best Vanda at the 2nd World Orchid Conference (1957). This classic heritage orchid was named 'Vanda Tan Chay Yan' by Tan Hoon Siang in memory of his father, was widely grown in local gardens everywhere during the 1960s-70s, and was actually considered momentarily as a candidate for Singapore's National Flower. Of course, the latter honour eventually went to an even older local orchid hybrid: Vanda Miss Joaquim (registered 1893).


    Speaking of orchid pioneers and pioneer orchids, the Vanda Tan Chay Yan bred by Tan Hoon Siang has its fair share of controversy, involving allegations of mixed-up seedpods, confused parentage and faulty registration. One old professional orchid grower has suggested that Tan Hoon Siang had made two crosses using both V. dearei and V. sanderiana (as seed parents) with V. Josephine van Brero (as pollen parent). But when it came to harvesting seedpods, it was the pod from the sanderiana seed parent that was despatched to the Singapore Botanic Gardens for sowing, although the official parentage would reflect the use of V. dearei instead.

    From the outset, orchidists as distinguished as Professor Eric Holttum (former Director of the Botanic Gardens) doubted the given parentage of Tan's new hybrid, code-numbered 'SBG770'. Holttum did not believe that V. dearei x V. Josephine van Brero could have yielded a hybrid that produced round, flat, beautifully golden-apricot blooms on a multi-flowered spike . (Both V. dearei and V. Josephine van Brero tend to display recurved petals; V. dearei has short inflorescences with few flowers.) Before long, another professional grower - T.M.A. Orchids - obtained very similar results to Tan Hoon Siang when their own hybrid flowered, but this time clearly using V. sanderiana as the other parent, with its larger blooms held on longer multi-flowered spikes; this TCY look-alike was named 'Vanda T.M.A.' and featured on the old Singapore $5 note issued in the late 1960s. In any case, it was too late to change anything since Tan Hoon Siang's Vanda had already been registered and given the name of his father, Tan Chay Yan, the first of the Malayan rubber planters and a renowned philanthropist. The possibility of altering nomenclature was no longer just a question of technical difficulty, but perhaps also a matter of family pride and honour.

    In the early days of the controversy, Dato' Dr Yeoh Bok Choon wrote an article (Malayan Orchid Review, Vol. 5, No. 5, 1959) in an attempt to clarify the name problem. Tan Hoon Siang himself felt compelled to give a defence of his hybrid's parentage (Malayan Orchid Review, Vol. 7, No. 4, April 1964), in which he maintained that he had used a variety of V. dearei with flat petals. He was vindicated, in part, when a breeder in Johor Bahru who had the flat-petalled V. dearei re-made the cross to produce a flat-petalled hybrid, V. Tan Chay Yan 'Katherine Pink'. Subsequently, Professor H. Kamemoto of the University of Hawaii showed that the influence of V. Josephine van Brero would be highly dominant in almost any cross simply because it was a tetraploid (4n), i.e. conferring on its offspring an extra set of chromosomes.

    Nonetheless, there are many respected and knowledgeable members of the orchid-growing fraternity who still question the registered parentage. Many such 'revisionists' hold the view that the real parentage of the famous award-winning hybrid of the 1950s ought to be V. Josephine van Brero x V. sanderiana; in other words, V. Tan Chay Yan is V. T.M.A. by another name. Some of these revisionists contend that the true offspring of V. Josephine van Brero x V. dearei tends to produce smaller flowers with more recurved petals, yellow undertones and pronounced scent.

    If you have OSSEA membership, you could access the old Malayan Orchid Review articles I have cited. These should still be available for reference in the OSSEA Library at the Botanic Gardens. The other publication that you could get hold of - it's available for purchase by the public - is the OSSEA book, Orchid Hybrids of Singapore, 1893-2003. This beautifully-illustrated publication contains references to the Tan family contribution to Singapore's orchid heritage, including accounts of Tan Hoon Siang's inspiring efforts and some reference to the V. Tan Chay Yan controversy. In the foreword to that book, Tan Hoon Siang's son, Tan Jiew Hoe, alludes to the symbolic significance/sentimental value of Vanda dearei in his family history. It helps to explain why the use of that local Vanda species in the production of V. Tan Chay Yan was so important to the Tan family.

    (This information heritageorchid)

  3. #13
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    Thank you Hoang for the detailed explanation of the origins of V Tan Chay Yan. I was indirectly 'involved' in the controversy through an uncle mine Mr Lee Ewe Boon O.B.E., one of the early Malaysian orchidist [and contemporary of Dr Yeoh Bok Choon], who had doubts about the parentage of V Tan Chay Yan. He was in constant discussions and debates concerning this.Right until the time he passed away years later he was convinced the original V TCY did not have V dearii as one of the parents, pointing to the fact that it did not have the distinctive scent of V dearii. All subsequent repeat crosses with V dearii retained this scent.

    However all the controversy did not detract from the fact that V TCY was a magnificent cross.I was not fortunate enough to see the original V Tan Chay Yan FCC RHS but saw the picture of it in my uncle's Malayan Orchid Review[referred to in Hoang's post]

    I will never forget that picture because it started my lifelong interest in orchids

    Again, thanks Hoang for bringing back such fond memories.

  4. #14
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    This is really an amazing story. Thank you both for sharing such an intriguing story.

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #15
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    My head is spinning, what terrific info you have passed on to us. Thank you.

  6. #16
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    wow something to learn everyday.... thanks

  7. #17
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    This is only part of the TCY saga as the other part concerns the Pride of Hawaii then i.e. V Nellie Morley [ Emma van Deventer x sanderana], a flower just as manificent as TCY. It was reddish purple, with fine darker spots of the same colour, with a fuller shape and slightly bigger flowers. The best specimens I had seen were the varieties var. 'Strawberry' and 'Red Berry'.

    I understand that both TCY and Nellie Morley were 3n plants and so not many crosses were successfully made with these two as parents. Any one has pics of V Nellie Morley to post?

  8. #18
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by catttan View Post
    This is only part of the TCY saga as the other part concerns the Pride of Hawaii then i.e. V Nellie Morley [ Emma van Deventer x sanderana], a flower just as manificent as TCY. It was reddish purple, with fine darker spots of the same colour, with a fuller shape and slightly bigger flowers. The best specimens I had seen were the varieties var. 'Strawberry' and 'Red Berry'.

    I understand that both TCY and Nellie Morley were 3n plants and so not many crosses were successfully made with these two as parents. Any one has pics of V Nellie Morley to post?
    My computer is having a problem so I answer you delay, sorry
    I do not know that i have Vanda Nellie Morley or not ,I plant two more but they have not Vanda Flowers (2 leaves of this plant are similar to Vanda Tan chay yan) I hope the rest are two trees Vanda Nellie Morley

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