Dendrobium nobile

Dendrobium nobile
Dendrobium nobile, also known as The Noble Dendrobium is native to southern Asia. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called shí hú. This particular orchid is one of the most widespread ornamental members of the family. Dendrobium nobile is a sympodial orchid which forms pseudobulbs. This orchid is an epiphyte and main plant produces little offsets which will continue the life of the plant after the original plant dies, each year. The flower bract is erect and during the flowering period it forms blooms on its sides along the whole length, generally opposite of the leaf axis.

Dendrobium nobile have rather specific cultural requirements however they can still be grown and will produce flowers in the house or under glass. When those requirements are met, they will produce a profusion of sweet-scented, long lasting flowers usually in spring. Nobiles can be placed out side during the summer months however if there is any risk of frost, then you need to bring them back inside. They should be grown in part shade out of the direct sunlight however they do need reasonably bright conditions.

During the summer you will need to water regulary, especially if kept outside but hold back on watering in the winter. As they like to be kept fairly pot bound then there will be little water held by any media you use (a general orchid potting mix is fine or sphagnum moss), hence the need to water regularly in the growing season. Dendrobium nobile do not like hot temperatures, to induce flowering the plant needs to be kept below about 15 Centrigrade (60f) at night, once flower buds form then the temperature can be increased slightly, with cooler conditions dont over water as this can cause rot.

We took the above photo at Kew Gardens Tropical Extravaganza 2012.

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