Monday, January 16, 2017

Dendrobium kingianum: the pink rock orchid

Dendrobium kingianum
Dendrobium kingianum is an Australian species popular among orchid growers. I love the delicate coloring of these flowers, and hybridizers must have too; Dendrobium kingianum has provided either the pollen or the seed to 158 registered crosses!

In its natural environment, Dendrobium kingianum usually grows in or around rocks (as a lithophyte), across much of eastern Australia, covering many habitats and weather patterns. I suspect that this variety of natural growth conditions is why Dendrobium kingianum is reputedly easy to grow in culture.
Closeup of Dendrobium kingianum flowers
Dendrobium kingianum flowers are about 1 inch across.  Lavender varieties like the one I photographed at the Bronx Botanical Garden are the most common.  However, flowers can range from white to deep purple. Australian Native Plants Society has some beautiful photos of purple and white varieties.

Dendrobium kingianum culture notes. (Massachusetts Orchid Society)

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