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Dendrobium farmeri – a Thai orchid now in blossom!

January 4, 2011

On Sunday we had 19 people visiting Dokmai Garden, and we admired a new contribution to the collection: Dendrobium farmeri. It is native to Thailand and the northern Thai forests, but might be confused with a number of similar species.

A simple key to some similar white and yellow Thai Dendrobium species:

1. Lip all yellow………………………………………………………….2.

1. Lip yellow and white……………………………………………….3.

2. Flowers in dry season…………………….D. thyrsiflorum

2. Flowers in rainy season……………………D. densiflorum

3. Flowers with a violet tinge……………………………………….4.

3. Flowers without a violet tinge……………….D. palpebrae

4. Column yellow above……………………………….D. farmeri

4. Column white above………………………….D. crepidatum

Dendrobium farmeri has a white and yellow fimbriated lip with a violet tinge. The lip funnels the insect to the column in the centre which carries the male (pollinia) and female (stigma) parts. A reason why Chiang Mai Dendrobium blossom does not last long, is the fact insects pollinate them quickly. An indoor orchid may stay beautiful for up to two months, patiently waiting for a pollinator. This specimen is a part of the Corien and Folbert Bronsema orchid donation.

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