Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dendrobium farmeri, a flower with a touch of lavender in the petals

This photo, taken with flash, gives the lip a deeper orange color than what it is in life

This plant bloomed unexpectedly from a very old cane, and from an axillary bud that had been dormant for years.  This plant almost perished from rot and the new canes, are tiny, too small to produce inflorescences so this blooming was a pleasant surprise

This photo which was taken using sunlight gives the lip a color more true to life than the first photo.  Most farmeri blooms are pink to pale pink but this variant has a slightly deeper shade of lavender in the border of the floral segments.

Dendrobium farmeri is one of my favorite Dendrobium.  It is easy to grow (there is information about its care elsewhere in this blog) and can be very floriferous.  There are many variants in the market that go from pure white to lavender.  Variants with a deeper lavender color are rare in Puerto Rico.  I compared the flowers of this plant with the flowers of the pink forms I have and the color of the petals is essencially the same.  The difference lies in the size of the flowers and in the lavender color in the tip of the lip.  In this plant the flowers stay small and the color is spread over a smaller area in my pink forms the petals are significantly larger and lavender is fainter giving the plant an overall pink shade.  This plant suffered from rot a few years ago and almost died.  The plant was reduced to a few dehydrated canes.  I put the canes in a shady humid spot where they remained for almost two years without neither dying or growing.  But last year one of the canes produced a tiny side growth from a dormant bud.  I was overjoyed and gave the plant a lot of TLC.  Unfortunately it seems that this plant will take a lot of time to recuperate to its former size.  On the bright side I got this unexpected blooming with was a wonderful surprise from a plant that almost didn;t make it.

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