Friday, May 2, 2014

Dendrobium limpidum 'Ashley'

Dendrobium limpidum is from New Guinea and belongs to the Pedilonum section of the very large Dendrobium genus.  This group of Dendrobiums have arching or pendant canes and most of them are quite large.  This plant is one of the smallest in the group.

It is considered by some to be the same plant as Dendrobium dichaeoides.  Whether the same or not I am unable to judge, but the plants do resemble another orchid genus named Dichaea with their closely set alternating leaves, and are quite beautiful in their own right.

The canes are about 10 cm in length and produce clusters of rather small flowers that impress more by their bright color and number than by their individual beauty.  The flowers are less than 2 cm but come in clusters of around 15 flowers.

Like the plants in the Pedilonum section the flowers tend to be more or less tubular.  In this case the flowers are not only tubular but do not open very far and have a lip that curls up to block most of the open end of the flowers.  This can be seen in the close-up photos.

One very nice thing about this species is that the older canes continue to produce flowers for several years, though the new canes do not bloom the first year.  The older canes eventually lose their leaves but will even then continue to produce flowers.

My plant is grown mounted and given as much light as I am able to give it.  It is watered every day and seems to be quite easy as long as the temperatures are not too high and the humidity not too low.  That it's happy is evidenced by the number of flowers this year.