Monday, May 5, 2014

Dendrobium amabile O'Brien 1909, an outstanding member of the Densiflora section of Dendrobium

I acquired this orchid in May 2102.  It came from the Redlands in Florida.  A friend told me he intended to brave the perilous waters of the Bermuda Triangle in order to search for exotic orchids in the mysterious and far off state of Florida.  Initially I was aghast at my friend intentions.  Who would want to travel to a land known for its anthropophagous junkies that love nothing best than to eat, as if it is were the daintiest morsel, the flesh of the face of the unwary?  But my friend mind was firmly set, he would go forth for the sake of the beauty of the orchids.

In due time, and after braving many terrors, my friend returned laden with a bounty of plants, among them was Den. amabile.  To my astonishment the inflorescences survived the trip well and the flowers opened just days after its arrival.  I decided to cultivate this plant next to my Den. farmeri. It has done well there, exposed to the sun during a few hours early in the morning and then to bright shade the rest of the day, as the sunlight it receives is filtered through the high canopy of Teak trees.   I culture this plant exactly as I care for my Den. farmeri, it had done well under this cultural regime.

The only oddity I can report is the strange proclivity of the canes to grow sidewise toward the direction of the strongest light.  None of the other Dendrobium growing around it show this.   In plants generally this is a response to inadequate light levels, but this plant gets full sun for a few hours every day.  As a result the canes of this plant are nearly horizontal, with a slight s shape as they curve down from their bases and then curve up near the leafy tip of the cane.


Unknown said...

I have a small Dendrobium cucullatum whose newest cane is growing horizontally towards the light. It is next to a small D. glomeratum that does not have this tendency

Ricardo said...

Some clones of Dendrobium cucullatum do this, but as the cane grows longer the weight of the cane makes the growth pendulous.