Dendrobium trinervium- 365 days of orchids – day 1750

Our little plant of Dendrobium trinervium is in full flower this week with masses of little white and cream flowers.

Some of our largest orchids are dendrobiums but this species is a true miniature that fits in the palm of your hand. Dendrobium trinervium is native to Thailand and Peninsular Malaya where it grows in warm lowland forest at around 100m altitude. In this habitat it will experience year round warm temperatures and little seasonal variation. It is not strongly deciduous though only seems to flower from nodes along the newer pseudobulbs.

The plant shown first flowered from tiny 2.5cm bulbs, but now the plant is mature the pseudobulbs grow to 5cm and produced a lot more flowers. It is still one of the smallest dendrobiums we grow, and we expect it to make a stunning ball or growths in time.

The species naturally grows a little warmer than we keep our Warm Asia section (Min 18C) so we grow the species high up in the greenhouse (where it is warmest) but shaded throughout the year. We spray it daily and as you can see it produces lots of roots that cling to its bark mount. The species flowers over a long period.


Dendrobium fairchildiae – 365 days of orchids – day 1749

Our Dendrobium fairchildiae is a an absolut picture this week with masses of its large pinky-purple flowers in masses along its long leafless pseudobulbs. This is the best show we have had and a lot better than when I last featured the species in July (below)

Dendrobium fairchildiae is native to the Philippines and one of the stars the Warm Asia section of our greenhouses. The long pseudobulbs become pendulous and deciduous before flowering over a period of several years. This display is even better when the plant musters several flowerings during the year.

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. This week we have a record equalling six pseudobulbs flowering together.

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. Its basket is a mushroom tray and it enjoys lots of water throughout the year.


All action at greenhouse club

The last week has been ‘Lab Week’ at the Orchid Project with students (especially the new Year 7s) learning new skills such as replating seedlings in vitro(above) making growing media (below)

… and learning more about orchid science and botany.

Learning the parts of an orchid flower was especially rewarding. A massive thank you to all the students, my brilliant volunteers and the older students who helped the sessions to run smoothly.


Eria javanica – 365 days of orchids – day 1748

Looking around the greenhouse I came across the subtly but lovely flowers of Eria Javanica, a species we came across in our last visit to Sarawak.

Eria javanica sounds as if it should be endemic to Java but is actually found through the Eastern Himalayas from Sikkim eastwards, South East Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The species is reported growing from sea level up to 1200m and we find that it enjoys conditions in our Warm Asia section (min 17C). In Mulu national park we found the species growing at 200m altitude and so it is definitely warm growing on Borneo.

The long spikes of fragrant flowers are produced from both this year’s and last year’s growths giving an impressive display of star like flowers. Most Eria species are hairy but in this species this is limited to a slightly hairy flower stem.


Ada brachypus – 365 days of orchids – day 1747

We have another species from the Oncidium family today with Ada brachypus – alphabetically the first orchid in our collection.

Ada brachypus is a miniature that comes from the cloud forests of Ecuador where it grows in moss from 1200 to 2400m altitude.

We find this plant does best in 3cm pots and baskets amongst miniature masdevallia species in Cool Americas where we keep it well watered throughout the year, but this stock plant is growing in an 8cm basket and is loving life.

The flowers are produced from maturing growths and, although small, plants quickly form clumps and so produce many flowers together to give a charming display. This is yet another example of the wonderful diversity of Orchid Species.