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Need ID on Dendrobium

This is a discussion on Need ID on Dendrobium within the Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Originally Posted by Katherine Jenn, Check out Den/ Phal 'Sonia' Looks like a dead ringer ...

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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    Jenn, Check out Den/ Phal 'Sonia' Looks like a dead ringer
    I think you go it right.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by catttan View Post
    I think you go it right.


    WAY TO GO, KATHERINE!!
    Fantastic detective work there! How long did it take you to figure that out? I had been looking for days and was stumped!

    Quote Originally Posted by coeruleo View Post
    wait... the flowers are 4"x5"???????? on a dendrobium????????? i've never seen a dendro that size? biggest i've seen in person was maybe a little over 2" flowers. i must admit i know nothing about them for them most part, i did try some very small mini ones once, but could not get them to flower, so i gave them all away to make room for phals. i do not have luck with the indoor/outdoor seasonal types, they always sulk and never grow very robustly for me and when they finally snap out of it it's time to go back inside, so i'd have to do outdoor only or indoor only dendros. how much light do you give this one (i don't really understand footcandles, but if you tell me what else is flowering near this one i can have an idea of light levels). they must need higher than phal light. like cattleya range to vandas? i do have one kingianum, and that one can handle a bit of sun, but i don't think this type needs that much light does it?
    Yep, I'm not lying about the size!! They're HUGE!!! That's why I literally stopped in my tracks with my mouth hanging open in the store. I had never seen a Dendrobium like it! It dwarfs all of my phals with the size of its flowers. Unbelievable, really.

    As far as the light levels, I don't fuss with footcandles either... I just move plants around until they're growing and flowering enthusiastically... then call that light "catt light," "phal light," etc. I currently have this one in "display light," which is basically where I put plants to preserve their flowers as long as possible, so that wouldn't help you at all for growing purposes.

    However, while this was the only 'Sonia' the store had (I know it's not official, but I'm going to call it that for now), it did have a sibling-type that was on clearance and had finished its flowering cycle. The canes looked identical to my Sonia... same fat, squat canes... so I snatched that one up, too. I don't know if it will be an exact clone of the 'Sonia' when it flowers or if it will be a variation, but I'm hoping for something slightly different so I don't have two that are EXACTLY the same, but that are similar.

    Anyway, I can tell you what light the sibling likes. I have it baking on my hot windowsill in full afternoon sun, next to my Vandas, and it is quite happy there. It can take quite a lot of heat and light without flinching. It's currently growing a new cane on that hot windowsill. My kingianum started drooping and wilting in that light, so I know it can comfortably take more than a kingianum, and my Vanda coerulea started to show some signs of sunburn a couple of days ago, yet this Den that was right next to it was fine. So these guys are pretty hardy monsters. But I imagine they probably don't NEED that much light. I just try to put plants on that windowsill if they can handle it because it's a huge windowsill and it conserves space in other areas of the house for me. So I put Dends there and then watch how they do to see if they can handle the light and heat. And this one can (all the Catts I've put there have been miserable, though, so I could safely say this plant likes more light and heat than Catts.)

    But like I said, it probably doesn't NEED that much light, and I imagine if I put it outside in 90 degree heat with no air movement and sun beating on in for a full day, it would probably fry. Right now it gets direct sun from about 1:00 to 5:00 on the "hot" windowsill. There is no shade cloth involved, so it gets REALLY hot there. But I have air conditioning vents directly below that windowsill, so there's constant air blowing strongly through the area, which helps keep the plants from frying.

    After the 'Sonia' drops its flowers I will slowly introduce it to the hot windowsill too and see how it does (although by that point I think I'll have my plants outside in the summer sun anyway). I have a feeling it will behave just like its sibling and start enthusiastically growing canes with lots of sun. I'll report back and let interested parties know how the 'Sonia' does in the sun once the flowers have dropped!

    Okay, so I'm getting the impression here that 4" x 5" Dendrobium flowers are NOT the norm, huh? Probably why I haven't come across any until now. So mine is apparently just an incredibly gorgeous freak of nature? LOL It is absolutely the center of attention in my house... the flowers are larger than anything else blooming anywhere in my collection right now, and the color is so bold that it just commands attention! The flowers have a "sparkly" appearance when the light kisses them, too, which is just delightful.

    I can't wait to see what this one's sibling does when it flowers. If it turns out to be an exact clone of the 4"x5" one I already have, I can list it in OrchidBids if anyone is interested in it. Obviously we can't OFFICIALLY call it a 'Sonia,' but it's gorgeous enough to be included in a collection even without an ID!

    Again, way to go Katherine on finding that plant! I don't know how you managed it!

  3. #13
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    Katherine got it right as to the section of the genus. D.superbum is one example of a species here. Very highly hybridized for the UK flower trade in Thailand - good examples have spikes 3 feet long, and I have bought them with 32 flowers on a spike - but alas, not done that with them in UK. Need a lot of light, and not much rest - very different from D.nobile types. Dend is such an enormous genus !So many different kinds of growing conditions.

  4. #14
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    I agree with Yew Sung. Even here in Mindanao, so many look-alikes come out every time there is an agri-industrial trade fair.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by angel View Post
    I agree with Yew Sung. Even here in Mindanao, so many look-alikes come out every time there is an agri-industrial trade fair.
    Well, I suppose that just confirms what I already suspected: the orchid selection where I live is terrible! I never get to see anything blooming in person except Phals, and most of the time they're NOID plants. If this gorgeous Dendrobium is extremely famous and pretty much everywhere, it's rather sad that I've never seen it before. It's official: I need to get myself to an orchid show!

    Thanks for chiming in! I'm pretty confident this is a 'Sonia' after looking at online pics, and I think I've found some vendors online who are selling orchids of similar size and shape, but varying colors. I've added quite a few to my wish list! Thanks to all your help, I can now add to my Dendrobium collection with confidence!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Well, I suppose that just confirms what I already suspected: the orchid selection where I live is terrible! I never get to see anything blooming in person except Phals, and most of the time they're NOID plants. If this gorgeous Dendrobium is extremely famous and pretty much everywhere, it's rather sad that I've never seen it before. It's official: I need to get myself to an orchid show!

    Thanks for chiming in! I'm pretty confident this is a 'Sonia' after looking at online pics, and I think I've found some vendors online who are selling orchids of similar size and shape, but varying colors. I've added quite a few to my wish list! Thanks to all your help, I can now add to my Dendrobium collection with confidence!
    None of my dendrobiums came with a label. It's the same, whether I got it from a sidewalk vendor or a local nursery, they are all nameless. Now my good friend is texting me that she is rearranging her orchids and that she has many keikies for disposal. Oh well, who would say no to free dends? Can't wait to welcome the new members of my nameless brood. ;-)

  7. #17
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    Well I'm in love with your new Den.! I've always been drawn to them personally. Haven't thought about getting one yet. They are pretty tall right?
    Posted via Mobile Device

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by orchidbaby View Post
    Well I'm in love with your new Den.! I've always been drawn to them personally. Haven't thought about getting one yet. They are pretty tall right?
    Posted via Mobile Device
    It depends on which one you get. The Dendrobium family of orchids has the biggest range in size and shape out of any of them, I believe. This 'Sonia' takes up about as much space as an average phal and grows in Vanda-like sun and heat (in fact, I've often found hard-cane Dendrobiums to be able to tolerate MORE sun and heat than Vandas, which seems odd to me). But there's a huge range of plants in this family, and there are plants that grow taller and need different growing conditions than this particular 'Sonia.'

    I think if you stick to the highly hybridized ones you'll get plants that are manageable... but there are some species plants that just get huge. The antelope-types can get quite large, I hear. But then there's also other miniature species plants that stay teeny-tiny. There's a HUGE range, with everything from pendant-hanging canes with a bazillion flowers on them to itty bitty canes that only carry one at a time, and the different types like different growing conditions. So it's rather difficult to say, "Yes, Dends get tall." Because some do, but many don't.

    It helps if you know what types of Dendrobium flowers you are particularly drawn to... the different types come in varying shapes and colors, and they can look quite different from each other. Watch the forum as people post pics of their blooming plants... then see what appeals to you. What I usually do when I see a Dendrobium I like is ask the person growing it how big it gets. That can give you a fair idea.

    The other appealing thing about Dendrobiums is that they can have a small "footprint," in that they like to be somewhat root-bound and thus can be kept in smaller pots longer than many other kinds of orchids. I have several Dendrobiums in 3 and 1/2" pots that won't be outgrowing them for a while, but have already bloomed up and down their canes.

    If you start poking around on the internet, you'll find a huge variety of Dendrobiums out there. It's a great family of orchids to grow!

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