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Dendrobium aphyllum in blossom!

April 16, 2011

Dendrobium aphyllum is another orchid native to northern Thailand. It forms long and thin pseudobulbs, which displays many flowers. These pseudobulbs may sometimes form roots, and then you can multiply your darling vegetatively. Each individual flower may not be that spectacular, but many together they become a curtain of flowers like in a fairy tale. If you make or buy many specimens, I should suggest you to put all of them in one tree for best effect. The species is well adapted to a dry climate, and its name ‘aphyllum’ means ‘without leaves’. It is true it is deciduous during the dry season like many other monsoon Dendrobium, but it does make leaves. It is sometimes confused with D. primulinum, but that species is pink and white, while D. aphyllum has a tinge of greenish yellow.

Both species and other Dendrobium with thin flowers are sensitive to thrips (Thysanoptera), insects with small and translucent nymphs. If your orchid flowers wilt within a day or two, it might be due to thrips sucking out the water. Some orchid growers in the tropics use rotenone extract (Derris elliptica, Fabaceae) or neem extract (Azadirachta indica, Meliaceae) and spray the orchid flowers regularly against thrips.

My question to the readers is if you have seen this orchid in deciduous trees in nature?

This species is a part of Dokmai Garden’s Orchid Ark! Learn more about Dendrobium orchids here!

Dendrobium aphyllum (Orchidaceae) is now in blossom at Dokmai Garden, Chiang Mai.


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