The tree crystal is in blossom
The orchid Dendrobium crystallinum (Orchidaceae) is in blossom at Dokmai Garden right now. It can be found in the dry monsoon lowland mountains of southern China, Burma, Laos, northern Thailand and northern Vietnam. A characteristic is the pointed lip with its yellow blotch, the purple tips of sepals and petals and a column with crystalline papillae. During Orchid Ark excursions to the jungles of northern Thailand we have sen it in dry environments, which actually means seasonally dry, i.e. six months of crispy drought and six months of torrential rain fall. It can be mounted in deciduous trees and does not need any special care if grown in a Chiang Mai garden.
We propose the English vernacular name ‘tree crystal’ (‘dendrobium’ means ‘tree of life’).
Text & Photo: Eric Danell