Cattleya hybrids from Far East

Munekazu Ejiri is graduated by Tokyo University of Agriculture. Since 1986 works at Suwada Orchid Nursery.
He is a Director and judge of the Japan Orchid Growers Association (JOGA) and also Chairman, Administration and Public Relations Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Judging Committee and Conservation Committee.

ON: How is the market for orchids, potted orchids as well cut flowers in Japan?
ME: Both pot orchid and cut orchid blooms market is keep growing. But price of pot orchid plant are getting lower and lower because of too many products. Only top quality grower could get good price from market but
most of grower get low price. I do not know about cut flower but most of cut orchid blooms are from
overseas, such as Dendrobium phalaenopsis type comes from south east Asia. I think market price is not strong now in Japan, because of too many products and also because of our slow economy.

ON: How and when started the cultivation and the production of Cattleya hybrids in Japan?
ME: I think Cattleya cultivation in Japan starts about 100 years ago. Getting popular to general public is about 30 years ago.

ON: Does Japan have a great production of new hybrids?
ME: Yes, we do so many new hybrid. Not only our nursery, but many nurseries do so many different kind of orchid hybrid. You will find something new all the time.

ON: How and when you started the cultivation and the production of Cattleya hybrids?
ME: Originally my grand father and my father started our nursery as Cattleya cut flower nursery about 60 years ago. That time US army was in Japan just after WWII, they needed Cattleya cut blooms for party and corsage.We started our Cattleya breeding about 30 years ago since my father's time. beginning was slow, but once we got something new and unusual flowers compare to other grower, people came to buy our hybrid.

ON: Do you have a great production of new hybrids?
ME: No our production is small. Our nursery is one of oldest nursery in Japan but not big. We do grow many different type of Cattleya in small number of plants each. When we produce our new mericlone plants, we make only 300 plants. Hobbyist does not like mass production. So we make limited number of plants and sell in high price. Some people dose not like our price, but this makes most of our customer happy. We do have new breeding every year, but we do about 30-50 cross every year. Space is limited in Japan. Not like Brazil.

ON: Which are the tendences of them? It seems that you prefer miniatures or Medium size Cattleya.
Yes, mid size Catt is trend. Not many people have enough space to grow orchid in house, so large plant is getting hard to sell. So many of our new cross is for mid size. Mini is OK, but too small. Hobbyist likes mini but not general public. But if it is Midi, both hobbyist and public like which means we can sell more !

ON: Which are the most known or award hybrids produced in Japan?
ME: You mean in our products ? if so, Lc.Tropical Pointer 'Cheetah', Pot.Tokyo Bay 'Victory', Slc.World Vacation 'Sunset Cruise', Slc.Misty Girl 'Autumn Symphony' are well known hybrid.

Lc .Tropical Pointer 'Cheetah'
Pot. Tokyo Bay 'Victory'
Slc. World Vacation 'Sunset Cruise'
Slc. Misty Girl 'Autumn Symphony'

ON: In your lecture, you said that mass production of orchids may kill orchid hobby market. Could you tell us why do you think in this way?
ME: Because of hobby, you need to think about what is [Hobby]. [Hobby] means ;
1) collect something unusual
2) collect something different from friends
3) something dream about etc...
If mass production is fit for those ? I do not think so.
If it is mass production,
1) every one could buy
2) Everyone has same flower
3) no dream about mass production etc..
Orchid should be something prestige. maybe mass production of Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Dendrobium nobile type will be OK, They are gift flowers not a hobby plants any more. Those type of orchids can tell you how mass production killed some part of orchid hobby business.

ON: Do you want to add something?
ME: Talking about top quality orchids in the world. Orchid is link to world money. One who has most of money, orchids goes. Beginnings was England, after WWII all good orchids went to US because US became world leader instead
of England. Then Japan had money one time about 15 years ago, that time all good orchids came to Japan. And still here. I have no idea where they go next. maybe Brazil. Orchids follow world money, I believe.

ON: Thank you very much, Munekazu Ejiri.

Lc. Little Oliver Tomoko
Lc. Tropical Song Hawaiian
Lc. Tropical Rainbow Scarlet
Lc. Tropical Sunset Ocean Heaven
Lc. Mini Song Petite

Photos by Munekazu Ejiri

Any kind of reproduction (print, digital or anyone other) of any type of material of this site - texts, layout, photos, images and others - is strictly forbidden without previous written permission by the authors.