Saturday, April 9, 2011

A rare hybrid of Dendrobium farmeri and Dendrobium densiflorum

The flowers of the hybrid look like those of Den. farmeri var. albiflorum but the structure of the lip and the distribution of color are slightly different

The plant packed for transportation to a local orchid society meeting where it won the "plant of the month" award.

To the left, Dendrobium farmeri var. albiflorum, to the right the hybrid of farmeri and densiflorum
Several inflorescenses together show the dense arrangement of flower that this plant has inherited from the densiflorum parent

This hybrid is more floriferous than either parent but can be erratic on its blooming patterns with several inflorescences opening together of one or two at a time over several months.

This rare Dendrobium farmieri x densiflorum hybrid combines the dense and long inflorescence of densiflorum with the white-yellow flowers of farmeri.   When I got this plant, years ago, as tiny seedlings I found that it grew well albeit a bit slowly.  In time it started blooming and producing large and dense inflorescences.  Unfortunately I lost one of my plants to rot after a repotting.  This seems to be a big problem locally with these plants and other related to farmeri and densiflorum, they grow very well but damage to the root and the stems during repotting can result in the rotting of the stems.  As a result now I am potting these plants in baskets and avoiding repotting them as long as possible.
Unlike densiflorum and farmeri which bloom once or at most twice in a season this hybrid usually blooms once with several inflorescences at the same time and the rest of the year it can produce inflorescences at irregular intervals.  It can be cultivated in an identical manner as farmeri or densiflorum but seems to be less dependent in seasonal cues to bloom.  I tried to grow this plant into a specimen but the loss of older canes to rot made this impossible.  I would love to find source for this hybrid to replace the plant I lost but so far it seems that nobody has made it again. 
The flowers of this hybrid are very much like farmeri with little to betray the densiflorum ancestry.  You have to look at the flowers closely to see the way they differ from farmeri.  The differences are mainly in the lip, the orange-yellow color of the lip extends almost to the tip of the lip, the upper side lobes of the lip don’t close over the column and the lip is more elongated.  The canes of the plant however are larger than those of farmeri and have a clear resemblance to the canes of densiflorum.  As far as I now this plant is quite rare in cultivation, I have yet to see one exhibited in a local show.  Hopefully someone will make this hybrid again as it has much to recommend it.


Janine said...

Very nice this dendrobium
I found your blog on a forum, I wrote bromeliads
I'm glad to find it
I speak a little english because I speak french, I'm from a french island called Guadeloupe in the caribbean
I have a blog
Good gardening

Jyoti Patel said...

FANTASTIC BLOG. I liked it. Photos are glorious and attractive. Thanks for sharing. Den. Farmeria generally from India oenisula. I have much.
take care.