There is something particularly lovely about vibrant coloured flowers on grey winter days, and Dendrobium mohlianum really cheers the spirits with its star like orange flowers, each emphasised by their fine red picotee edging and dark red lip.
Dendrobium mohlianum is a dramatic species native to the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu (A real South Sea Islander). It is found in wet forests from 450 to 3000m altitude which indicates it is cool growing although we grow our plants very successfully in both Warm Asia and Cool Asia.
It is likely to be sun bird pollinated and the unusual folded up lip is adapted for the beak of a hovering bird rather than being a landing platform for an insect. The orange colour is also a classic bird pollination indicator.
An unusual characteristic of the plant is to flower from old pseudobulbs – soma as old as seven years old on our plant. This produces a great display over time but remember not to cut off old leafless pseudobulbs or you will have no flowers. The flowers are very long lasting and with lots of buds still to open this plant will be at its peak from now until May.
We grow the species mounted but to reflect its natural habitat we water it freely and are happy to let moss grow naturally on the cork mount which helps to keep the plant wet between waterings. It also does well in pots.