Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dendrobium gouldii 'Black Koa' a yellow colored "antilope" Dendrobium

A mature flower with fully curled petals.

A newly opened flower.

A few years back I brought a seedling of this plant from Tropical Orchid Farm.  I have always liked “antelope” Dendrobium from the section Sphatulata (also known as Ceratobium) because of their resemblance to the heads of antelopes. This plant is native of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islandsm it has a number of differently colored forms.  Unfortunately my first plant proved to be a slow grower and would only produce small squat canes.  Undaunted, I brought another plant from TOF.  The new plant grew vigorously and promptly produced a cane that was at one feet and a half tall, much larger than any of the previous ones.  This cane produced an inflorescence in January and the first flowers opened in March. Now it is the middle of May and most flowers are still in good shape.  The inflorescence had about twenty flowers.
The flowers are yellow with a finely sculpted lip and the upraised twisted petals that are a notable characteristic of the section.  The distal end of the petals is a deep brown color which contrasts well with the color of the rest of the flower.  The flowers last for months in perfection, even when subjected to wind and rain.  My plant is growing in a pot with medium size stones as media as I have lost many a Dendrobium from root rot as a consequence of a waterlogged media.
The cultural advice I can give about this plant is the following.  I grow my best plant in a bright, airy spot.  I have grown my plants both in full sun and under shade cloth and the plant under shade cloth grew better.  Give the plant plenty of fertilizer and water when it is producing new canes.  When they are not growing I don’t fertilize my plants.  Avoid putting this orchid in media that can become so packed and waterlogged that the roots are deprived of oxygen, this will kill the roots.

1 comment:

Joshua Jones said...

Love to trade you something for a backbulb of this. Let me know if you're interested.