Dendrobium dantania – 365 days of orchids – day 1815
This is an intriguing species that with clusters of flowers on the thin pseudobulbs. The flowers don’t open fully but are attractively striped with red on the outside of the petals.
Dendrobium dantania is named after the waterfalls in Vietnam with the same name (Dantiana) and is recorded in warm forests at around 1000m in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It is probably also native to Laos, and we have explored similar habitat in Laos during our school expeditions there. Forests have hot wet summers and cooler dryer winters but at 1000m there is enough moisture around in the dry season to support the semi-evergreen habit of the plant. We were just above 1000m in the forests of the Bolevan around the Tad fane waterfall (photo below) and in the dry season the forests were green and lush although the ‘pond’ in our garden from a US bomb in the Vietnam war was almost dry.
There are many Dendrobiums that only flower from leafless pseudobulbs like this species, and gives the advantage of unrestricted access for pollinators. In cultivation the characteristic means that plants produce few flowers when immature but over time develop into impressive flowering specimens. We are expecing this plant to put on an imp[ressive display in two years time when it will be flowering simultaneously from all of the pseudobulbs you can see here.