The dendrobium (den-DRO-bee-um) orchid is the largest genus of orchids, containing over 1200 species native to Southeast Asia (i.e Thailand, Singapore) varying in forms, sizes and colours. They are available in shades of whites, purple, red, pink, and yellow-green. Purple and white are the two most common colours available. To add to the variety, some have curled and striped petals. Most plants will produce 10-12 flowers per stem, with each orchid measuring 1-2 inches across.
In the wild, they can be found growing on trees and rocks in a various environments, including tropical lowlands, humid swamps and desert-like environments.
The shape of the form of the stems vary greatly, but the flower form is pretty much constant throughout the genus. An identifying feature of Dendrobiums is the long pipe-like psuedo-bulbs that look like bamboo shoots.
The most popular species within this genus is the D. phalaenopsis, also known as the moth orchid. These are the type of potted orchids that are often found in floral shops and garden centres. Potted orchids are popular houseplants and are fairly easy to take care of. Place in a bright spot, but away from direct sunlight. Water regularly. Dendrobiums like to be in small post with their roots confined and are usually planted in a well-drained soil mix with moss and bark. Repot when soil becomes soggy or the pot is full of roots.
Orchids make long lasting, beautiful cut flowers, with a lifespan of 2-3 weeks. They will add sophistication and elegance to any decor! Frequent misting with water will keep the flowers lasting fresher, longer. Orchids generally do best in a cool and moist environment. Avoid excess heats and drafts. All orchids are sensitive to ethylene gas and should be kept away from ripe fruit and vegetables, and dying flowers.
Fun Flower Facts about the Dendrobium Orchid
- common names include: Bamboo orchid, Singapore Orchid
- the name dendrobium means “life in a tree” in Greek, which refers to the fact that most orchids can be found attached to trees
- new species are constantly being discovered in New Guinea
- many denbrobium species are known to remove pollutants and toxins from the air
- the late Margaret Thatcher had a dendrobium orchid named after her
- some dendrobium orchids are used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine