Friday, April 29, 2011

Dendrobium malvicolor

Dendrobium malvicolor is another delightful miniature orchid.  It is native to Sumatra and is reputed to be very tolerant of different growing conditions.  I grow it cool but it is supposed to tolerate warm temperatures as well.  It is best grown mounted and is supposed to have a dry rest in the winter.

The growths are about 5 cm long and are thin and wiry at the base, thickened towards the top rather like a club.  It flowers in late winter or spring after dropping its leaves and the flowers come in clusters of three to five.  They appear to be white but actually have a pinkish blush especially at the base of the flowers.

The tip of the column is also bright purple, adding interest to the flowers.  Its name, malvicolor, refers to the supposed resemblance between the color of its flowers and those of the mallow plant.  It belongs to the section Pedilonum and has long-lasting flowers, that have a sparkling, crystalline texture, eviden especially in the last photo.