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» OrchidTalk Member of the Month- July 2011

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  • » OrchidTalk Member of the Month- July 2011

    » OrchidTalk Member of the Month- July 2011

    MOTM July 2011

    Congratulations on being selected the MOTM for July 2011! Let's start this interview with a simple question: We know your username, but what is your real name?

    My full name is Chu Xuan Canh and the name everyone calls me is: Canh


    Where in the world do you live? Name and describe your location.

    I live in Ha Noi City now, the capital of Vietnam. I was born in a small town a bout 160km northern of Ha Noi, it is very peace full and beautiful area. My family moved to Ha Noi in 1989. Ha Noi is a nice city and is 1000 year old now.


    What is/ was your occupation? What are/ were your responsibilities at this job?

    Now I'm working for CARE International in Vietnam and my main responsibilities is to co-ordinate all projects in the Natural Resources Government Component to keep them in line to meet Programs goals. Our goal is Sustainable improvements in the livelihood and security of disadvantaged and natural resource-dependent people in rural areas who lack access to resources and influence over decisions that affect their lives.


    Where do you grow your orchids? How do you care for them in this place?

    I grow orchids all around my home. As I introduced in the thread "A corner of my orchid garden" in the OT forum, I have some orchid corners around my house where I grow all of my orchids. I'm mainly interested in all Vietnamese native orchids but in my garden you can find some hybrid species and other countries native species also. I have more than 400 orchids species in total in my garden. And in one group of Vietnamese orchid I have all that is Paphiopedilum (23 species) and all the rest I just have most species in each of other orchid groups.


    As you know to grow orchids one needs quite a lot of time to take care of them, but some time you can leave them alone for a week and they are still fine.

    Part of my job is traveling to project sites and it usually takes 4-6 days. For that reason, I set up a spraying system so when I traveling I can just make a call to my home to ask my people at home to switch on the system; Then everything will be fine.
    I love to do everything for my garden myself and some part I'm also very proud of like a shadow net system that you can open to get more light or close when it too sunny. It's very simple but many people in my orchid community love to copy my model.


    How long have you been growing orchids?

    I started to grow orchids when I was 15 years old but not continuously. In 2005 I started to make my orchid garden I have now. When I was a boy, I love to see all kinds of flowers and special orchids. At that time I just know that is orchid but don't know what species is what of course and whenever I see some one have orchid in their home I will ask to have some (no one sells orchid plants in my home town).


    How old or young are you? Do you think your age plays a significant role in your orchid collecting? Why or why not?

    I was born in 1976 so I'm 35 year old now. Most of my friends and people I know say I'm too young to have this hobby. Usually in my country the old people will have hobby to grow orchid or bonsai etc.., but not the young ones so they called me the 'young man with old hobby'. However, in my thinking, orchids are not for the young or the old, they are for everyone who loves nature and wants to live with the nature.


    What is the name of the first orchid you ever got? If you don't know the name, do you know the type?

    The name of the first orchid I have is "Phong Lan". The owner of that plant told me that was the name of the orchid. And later I know "Phong Lan" is "Orchid in general" Now I know my orchid is called Dendrobium hercoglossum.


    What or who got you interested in growing orchids?

    Firstly is What: as I said I love nature and want to live with the nature.
    Secondly is Who: the one who got me interested in grow orchid is..myself then some of my friends who I know from the internet in some local orchid forums, that was the beginning. And now, the most important persons who support me to grow and take care my orchids are my mother and my wife. Without them, I think I could not have success to grow so many orchid plants.


    Does anyone else in your family share your passion for orchids?

    Everyone in my family also have a passion for orchids flower but No one in my family know the name of species even I have name tag for each plant.


    What prompted you to join and start posting in the OrchidTalk Orchid Forum?

    The reason I know this forum is I'm searching for ID of a new orchid in my garden, from Google search it come up with many result then I keep on reading and I found very interesting forum that is rv-orchidworks forum. I resisted to join and then I found that is like a home to me.


    What is your favorite part about being a member here in OrchidTalk?

    Everyone in this forum respects each other and are willing to help each other.


    Tell us about the discovery of the orchid that is named after you. How did you find it? How did you share the discovery?

    This is a long story and even have some sad parts.

    In middle of 2009 in one of my trips to see orchids in the wild, accidental I found an area that had quite a lot of a very small Paph orchid (everyone who know orchid will some how know normal species belong to which family of course). I took some plant back home and after more than haft year it started to have spike. The bloom was so small so I started to ask in all forums that I know if any one knows this species. I also post a thread on this forum called : "A very nice and small Paphiopedilum need ID" on March 25th 2010. No one know what it is.


    At that time the owner of an orchid website name hoalanvietnam.org (he is Vietnamese but live in US) comes back to Vietnam and he visited many areas in Vietnam to see orchids. He visited many orchid nurserys and he also visited my garden (other people introduce me to him). He was very interested in that very small Paph and he said "from what I knew before it can be a new species" and he shared some contacts of people he knew who are famous for Paph identifications.

    Later on Dr Olaf Gruss and Dr Leonid V. Averyanov and some Vietnamese scientist like Prof Phan Ke Loc, Prof Nguyen Tien Hiep also contacted me and helped me with the ID recolonization.

    Finally on May 2010 the name was officially announced in the American Orchid Society Magazine.

    After that the information was also shared in some other websites and one sad story came-up. Some people in that forum said that I' was tricking everyone; it can be a hybrid orchid and that I have no the specific name of location etc.. and I would not have know what those people were saying except that a member of this forum sent me the link to that discussion. I resisted on that forum also and stared to post some article and photos that I shoot of the new species in the wild... then they stop.

    I'm also very proud that Vietnam has a new Paph species now. The latest one before Paph canhii was Paphiopedilum hangianum that was found and introduced in 1999 (if I don't remember wrong).


    What is your all time favorite orchid(s) to grow?

    Bulbophyllum and Cleisostoma orchids.


    What would be your perfect day and how would you spend your time on that day?

    My perfect day will be the day that I have a big area to make a garden with all best conditions for my orchids. I will spend all day with my family to make a comprehensive plans for that area for my orchids.


    What is your favorite color and why is this color significant to you?

    RED and I don't know why, I just love that color.


    Is there something (a hobby, an interest, etc...) that you really want to learn more about and try?

    Oh, interesting question!

    Of course I love to learn, so if anything is new to me - then I love to learn about that.


    If you could travel anywhere in the world and take anyone or thing with you, where would you go and who or what would you take?

    If I have a chance to travel to any where in the world, the first question is: Where does my wife want to go?" Then the second is: "Does that place have any native orchids?".

    My family is most importance to me so that is what I will take with me when I travel and of course my camera too.

    What two things about you would surprise the members of our community?

    That I am so young for Orchid Hobby, I guess, and the number of native orchids that I get to see in the wild.


    What is the last book you have read and would you recommend it?

    I love to read business books, discovery magazines, detective stories, card tricks and orchid books. Here everyone are orchid lovers so I just recommend that you should find more orchid books to keep at home and it will be very helpful when you check the orchid ID..


    Anything you would like to say to the members of the OrchidTalk community ?

    Be yourselves and always remain optimistic.


    Congratulate cxcanh in the forum.
    OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.