Dendrochilum Orchids Fast Facts:
Botanical Name: Dendrochilum (den-dro-KYE-lum)
Abbreviation in horticulture: Dcd.
Etymology of the orchid genus' name: From the Greek words dendron (tree) and cheilos (lip)
Number of recognized species: 313 accepted orchid species
Type species: Dendrochilum aurantiacum
Origin/Distribution: Most Southeast Asian countries, Taiwan, Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia, New Guinea
Growing classification: Dendrochilum orchids are sympodial and epiphytes.
Blooming season: Spring, summer, and winter, depending on the species.
Flower color: Dendrochilum orchid plants come in red, yellow, and white clusters.
Skill level: Recommended for beginners in orchid growing.
About Dendrochilum Orchids
The Dendrochilum orchid genus was first established by renowned German-Dutch botanist, Carl Blume, in 1825. It was named after the ancient Greek words “dendron” and “cheilos,” which means tree and lip respectively, because of its growth habit and the pronounced labellum found in other Dendrochilum orchid species. The type species for this orchid genus is the Dendrochilum aurantiacum of Java and Sumatra.
Dendrochilum orchids are tropical types of orchid plants that are native to Southeast Asian countries, such as Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Guinea. In a natural setting, they can be spotted at high altitudes and humid rainforests. According to the American Orchid Society (AOS), the World Checklist of Monocotyledons recognizes 313 accepted names of Dendrochilum orchid species.
A mature Dendrochilum orchid makes an elegant orchid or a cut flower arrangement. Because of their exotic looks and easy-care nature, these warm-loving orchid plants are popular among both novice and seasoned orchid collectors and orchid growers.
Most Dendrochilum orchids are small plants. They bloom in summer and springtime, producing miniature star-shaped flowers that appear in two rows or raceme type inflorescence. In some species, the profuse blooming can go as long as 20 inches. They are known for their sweet-smelling orchid blooms that can last anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.
Dendrochilum Genus Division and Sections
Based on Dendrochilum.com, the Dendrochilum genus is now divided into four subgenera and are grouped further into four smaller and separate sections. Check it out.
- Acoridium - Falsiloba, Acoridiumm, Convoluta, Heterantha
- Pseudacoridium - Pseudacoridium and Luzonorchis
- Platyclinis - Platyclinis, Eurybrachium, Cruciformia, Longicolumna, Mammosa, Mindanaorchis, and Replicata.
Popular Species of Dendrochilum Orchids
Dendrochilum magnum comes all the way from the Philippines. It blooms in spring and summer with clusters of yellow or white flowers. These orchid blooms have a pleasant spicy scent and last up to a month. Dendrochilum orchid plants are prolific bloomers, fairly effortless to maintain and to encourage reblooming. When not in bloom, its lush leaves are decorative.
Dendrochilum convallariiforme (aka bicallosum)
Dendrochilum convallariiforme is another species from this genus that hails from the Philippines. It has great-smelling flowers that come in pink, white, or yellow. It blooms in spring and summer time. It is dubbed as “The Lily of the Valley-Like Dendrochilum.”
Dendrochilum tenellum originates from the Philippines and is usually found in mossy cloud forests, trees in open fields, and rainforests. It is said to be one of the most common Dendrochilum orchid species encountered in the tropical Asian country. The orchid blooms are tiny, measuring 2-2.5mm across. Each inflorescence can produce up to 30 orchid blooms that can have creamy white and yellowish petals and orange to red lips.
Orchid Care: How to Maintain Dendrochilum Orchids
Follow these practical orchid care tips from the AOS.
- Give your orchid bright, indirect light.
- Be careful about exposing it to direct sun or heat, which can burn its flowers and leaves.
- Water every day. It is highly recommended that you keep your Dendrochilum orchid plant moist.
- It should never be allowed to completely dry out.
- Watering Dendrochilum orchids should be done from the bottom as opposed of from the top. Do this by submerging the bottom of your potted orchid plant into a basin half filled with water. Leave it for a few minutes and allow the plant to absorb the water.
- Experts recommend watering with low-salinity.
- Maintain high levels of humidity. If you are growing your orchid indoors, this can be achieved by using a humidifier or misting every morning.
- Keep healthy air movement by opening a window in the morning. Avoid placing your potted plants too close to each other so the roots can have good air circulation.
- Dendrochilum orchid plants thrive better in pots filled with moist sphagnum moss.
- Repot in springtime before new growths shoot up.
- The AOS made no mention of the need to fertilize this type of orchid.
Orchids in Los Angeles
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