Yesterday’s Cymbidium was a large plant but this Dendrobium is a real monster plant.
Dendrobium fairchildiae is native to the Philippines and one of the stars of the Greenhouse in Autumn. The species grows pendulous pseudobulbs more than 2m long that become deciduous before flowering over a period of several years.
The flowers are produced simultaneously on old bulbs aged from around two to five years old and form clusters near the end of the bulbs. The flowers are large (5cm across) and attractively splashed in pink. With six pseudobulbs flowering together this plant is making a lovely display.
The species is reported as growing on exposed rocks above 1200m but we find it does best in a basket hung high in Warm Asia so that the long pseudobulbs can hang freely (see below). There are no flowers on the actively growing bulbs that still have leaves. The close up is the group of pink flowers in the bottom left of the photo.