Dendrobium amethystaglossa – 365 days of orchids – day 1148

I hope that everyone survived Storm Ciara. The school greenhouse was unscathed but some damage was done to the school roof and so staff and students are at home this morning. It is therefore a perfect time to post my most consistent and spectacular windowsill orchid.

This plant of Dendrobium amethystaglossa has been growing on my East facing kitchen window for several years and this year has seven flower sprays each with between twenty and thirty beautiful purple and white flowers. This lovely orchid is native to the Philippines where it is reported as growing on mossy limestone cliffs at an altitude of 1400m.

It grows strong vertical canes that in a mature plant can reach 1m in height (our longest are 80cm so far), the flowers are produced in pendulous sprays from older pseudobulbs and mature bulbs produce flowers over several years.

The downwards pointing flowers presenting clear of the pseudobulbs and the lack of scent suggest that the flowers are pollinated by birds.

At school we grow this species in our Warm Asia section but as shown here it does make a wonderful house plant. On its windowsill it is watered twice a week throughout the year. The natural habitat does not experience a significant dry season.

It flowers reliably in early spring, when flowers are so valued in the house, and the flowers last over a month.


Join the Discussion


  1. Agnes Jones says:

    Last year on 25 February you posted what looks like this orchid as Dendrobium amethystaglossa not dendrochilum? It has grown very much larger in the last year and is very beautiful. A lovely display.

    I thought you had to give fendrobiums a cool spell to get them to flower but obviously not in this case.

    What are it’s little plant friends growing next to it?

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      As with all orchids it is impossible to generalise and so although most of our dendrobiums have a rest in the winter it is not all of them. As usual, take your clues from the natural habitat.

  2. Agnes Jones says:

    Dendrobium or dendrochilum?