This unusual Australian dendronium has remarkable terete leaves and a penduopus habit that make it almost invisible until its large cream and red flowers open with a sweet scent and a curled white lip.
Terete leaved means that the leaves are thin and cylindrical. This is usually an adaptation to cope with dry conditions. Dendrobium teretifolium comes from New South Wales and Queensland in Australia where the winters are cool and dry in its natural habitat. The pendulous leaves and roots are evolved for any rainfall to drip slowly down, increasing the available time for the plant to absorb it. We grow the plant on a bare cork bark mount where it can stay nice and dry between waterings. This photo shows the lower part of a plant that now hangs 2m long.
The flowers are large and attractive. making this plant a rewarding one to grow though it has been slow to develop and is already 18 years out of flask. This is the ‘aureum’ variety which is a golden yellow colour rather than the more usual white. What a remarkable family the orchids are.