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D. nobile-type

This is a discussion on D. nobile-type within the Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; I adopted this one last year. Tag had gotten lost at a show, small plant, ...

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  1. #1
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Saratoga Co. New York

    Default D. nobile-type

    I adopted this one last year. Tag had gotten lost at a show, small plant, flowers way past prime and the vendor was going to toss it.

  2. #2
    JUDIUK is offline Senior Member
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    Phalaenopsis cymbidium dendrob
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    Harpham in East Yorkshire UK

  3. #3
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    bono is offline Linda
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    Lovely yellow

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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Bruce Brown
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    Oh, it is pretty even without a name.


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  6. #6
    scarlet is offline Junior Member
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    Default nobile type

    I bought several orchid dendrobium nobile type and i really don't have any idea on how to take care of it. Maybe I can ask for some tips on growing them. thank you very much in advance

  7. #7
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Jan 2007
    Saratoga Co. New York


    Scarlet. Here is a very good article by the Bakers on Dend nobile


    Part 1 - Dendrobium nobile

    Charles and Margaret Baker

    Dendrobium nobile, Dendrobium phalaenopsis, and Dendrobium bigibbum are three popularly grown Dendrobium species which have been used extensively in hybridizing. These species and their hybrids are often added to collections without the grower being aware of their very different cultural requirements. We hope that a knowledge of the climatic conditions in the three habitats will help growers decide whether they can provide the conditions needed to grow and bloom these species and many of their hybrids.

    Dendrobium species originate over an extremely large area with a wide range of habitat elevations. It is, therefore, impossible to accurately make any generalizations about their culture. Often heard remarks such as, "Dendrobium species are difficult to grow", "Dendrobiums won't grow in this area", or "Beginners should avoid Dendrobium species" are simply generalizations that are too broad to be accurate. It is true that individual species often require very specific growing conditions, but with approximately 1240 species to choose from, plants can generally be found that are suitable for practically any growing area.

    A few general facts about the large and varied genus Dendrobium might help growers understand the difficulty in trying to apply generalizations to so many species. Dendrobium habitat extends from India in the west, to Japan in the north, Australia and New Zealand in the South, and ranges eastward to include most of the Pacific Islands. Within this huge region, Dendrobium species are found from sea level to about 12,000 feet (3660 m).

    Because of the conditions in our growing area, we are particularly fond of plants from the mountain regions of India across Southeast Asia into southwestern China. These plants usually require a cool, dry winter rest, which means that a minimum of care and heat is required during winter. Consequently the growers are able to enjoy a winter rest along with the plants. Some of the popularly grown Dendrobiums from this region are from a group of closely related plants that are sometimes referred to as the 'soft cane' species or 'nobile-type' dendrobiums. Species in this group are typified, as one might suspect, by Dendrobium nobile. They tend to have rather large, attractive flowers and are generally relatively easy to cultivate. Dendrobium nobile is one of the most frequently grown Dendrobium species, but other species from the region that require similar growing conditions include D. aphyllum, D. bensoniae, D. christyanum, D. crepidatum, D. devonianum, D. draconis, D. falconeri, D. farmeri, D. fimbriatum, D. lindleyi, D. loddigesii, D. ochreatum, D. parishii, D. trigonopus, D. unicum, and D. wardianum.

    The three Dendrobium to be discussed in this article have been the most widely used in hybridizing. Because hybrids often require conditions similar to those needed by the parents, understanding the culture of the parents may help grow the offspring.

    D. nobile was once used extensively in hybridizing with 77 hybrids registered in which it was a parent. The most commonly used parents in recent registrations, however, have been the Australian species D. phalaenopsis and the closely related D. bigibbum.

    Cultivation of each of these species is relatively easy once the grower has an understanding of the conditions found in the respective habitats. The following information has been extracted, with slight modifications, from the forthcoming book Orchid Species Culture - Dendrobium, which is being published by Timber Press. Cultural recommendations for D. bigibbum and D. phalaenopsis will be included in later issues.

    Dendrobium nobile Lindley

    AKA: D. coerulescens Wallich, D. formosanum (Rchb. f.) Masamune, D. lindleyanum Griffith. The name D. friedericksianum is sometimes used for plants which are actually D. nobile. D. nobile var. pallidiflora Hooker is considered a synonym of D. primulinum Lindley.

    ORIGIN/HABITAT: Southeast Asia, including Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, northeastern India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and much of southern China. In India, plants grow at 650-6550 ft. (200-2000 m). They are widespread in northern Thailand at 1950-4900 ft. (600-1500 m).

    CLIMATE: Station #48327, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Lat. 18.8N, Long. 99.0E, at 1100 ft. (335 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 3500 ft. (1070 m), resulting in probable extremes of 101F (38C) and 30F (-1C).

    F AVG MAX 77 82 87 88 86 82 81 79 80 81 78 76
    F AVG MIN 48 49 54 62 66 66 66 67 65 63 58 49
    DIURNAL RANGE 29 33 33 26 20 16 15 12 15 18 20 27
    RAIN/INCHES 0.3 0.4 0.6 2.0 5.5 6.1 7.4 8.7 11.5 4.9 1.5 0.4
    HUMIDITY/% 73 65 58 62 73 78 80 83 83 81 79 76
    BLOOM SEASON ** *** *** *** ** * * * * * * *
    DAYS CLR @ 7AM 5 5 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 3
    DAYS CLR @ 1PM 9 8 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
    RAIN/MM 8 10 15 51 140 155 188 221 292 124 38 10
    C AVG MAX 25.0 27.8 30.6 31.2 30.0 27.8 27.3 26.2 26.7 27.3 25.6 24.5
    C AVG MIN 8.9 9.5 12.3 16.7 18.9 18.9 18.9 19.5 18.4 17.3 14.5 9.5
    DIURNAL RANGE 16.1 18.3 18.3 14.5 11.1 8.9 8.4 6.7 8.3 10.0 11.1 15.0

    Cultural Recommendations

    LIGHT: 3500-4500 fc. The heavy summer cloud cover indicates that some shading is needed from spring through autumn, but light should be as high as the plant can tolerate, short of burning the leaves. Growers report that D. nobile tolerates full sun when grown outdoors if acclimated early in spring and if air movement is excellent. Growers indicate that light is high enough when leaves are slightly yellow.

    TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 79-82F (26-28C), and nights average 66-67F (19-20C), with a diurnal range of 12-16F (7-9C). Spring is the warmest time of the year. Days average 86-88F (30- 31C), and nights average 54-66F (12-19C), with a diurnal range of 20-33F (11-18C). Growers indicate that plants do well outdoors providing night temperatures are near 50F (10C).

    HUMIDITY: Near 80% in summer, dropping to near 60% in winter.

    WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy from late spring through early autumn, but conditions are much drier in winter. Cultivated plants should be kept moist while actively growing, but water should be gradually reduced after new growths mature in autumn.

    FERTILIZER: 1/2 to full strength, applied weekly while plants are actively growing. A high-nitrogen fertilizer is beneficial from spring to midsummer, but a fertilizer high in phosphates should be used in late summer and autumn. W. Neptune, in his 1984 American Orchid Society Bulletin article, reported that he obtains better flowering, more uniform growth, and a minimum of keikis by using a 10-30-20 fertilizer mixed at 1 tsp. per gal. (1.3 ml per liter) once a week from spring through midsummer. In late summer and autumn, he switches to a 0-44-0 fertilizer mixed at the same dilution rate. Water and fertilizer are then withheld through winter until the following spring.

    REST PERIOD: Winter days average 76-82F (25-28C), and nights average 48-49F (9-10C), with a diurnal range of 27-33F (15-18C). Overnight lows are below 50F (10C) for 3 months. Plants should be able to tolerate temperatures a few degrees below freezing for short periods, but such extremes should be avoided in cultivation. During very cold weather, a plant's chance of surviving with minimal damage is better if it is dry when temperatures are low. Growers report that the plants from this habitat do tolerate light frost. In the habitat, rainfall averages are very low for 4-5 months in winter, but during the early part of the season the high relative humidity indicates that additional moisture is available from frequent fog, mist and heavy deposits of dew. Growers sometimes recommend eliminating water in winter, but plants are healthiest if for most of the winter they are allowed to become somewhat dry between waterings but do not remain dry for extended periods. For 1-2 months in late winter, however, conditions are clear, warm, and dry with humidity so low that even the moisture from morning dew is uncommon. Plants should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings and remain dry longer during this time. Occasional early morning mistings between waterings may help keep the plants from becoming too dry. Fertilizer should be greatly reduced or eliminated until water is increased in spring. A cool, dry rest is essential for cultivated plants and should be continued until new growth starts in spring. In the habitat, light is highest in winter.

    GROWING MEDIA: Plants may be mounted on cork or tree-fern slabs if humidity is high and plants are watered at least once daily in summer. Large plants are best potted in an open, fast draining media. Growers indicate that the type of medium is not critical but that using an undersized clay pot, which is barely large enough to hold the roots and allow room for 2 year's growth, is very important. Repotting should be avoided until the medium starts to break down. When necessary, repotting is best done when new root growth starts or as soon after flowering as possible.

    MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based on cultivation records. Although considered difficult by many growers, D. nobile is one of the most commonly cultivated Dendrobium species. It flowers profusely if fertilized regularly while growing and given a cool, dry rest with high light to initiate blooms. A single specimen plant was reported to have produced more than 1000 flowers at one blooming. Bloom time may be delayed by maintaining cool, dry conditions and low light until close to the time the blooms are wanted. Growers without greenhouses grow D. nobile outdoors in spring and summer and bring it indoors in autumn. This suggests that high winter light is not critical. Plants may be propagated vegetatively by potting keikis that develop at nodes on old canes. Also, old canes may be cut into 8- 10 in. (20-25 cm) sections and placed on damp sphagnum. These sections of old canes will sometimes produce keikis that may then be potted when they start to grow roots. Collected stems are dried and used in Chinese medicine.

    Plant and Flower Information

    PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A 24-35 in. (60-90 cm) sympodial epiphyte.

    PSEUDOBULB: 24-35 in. (60-90 cm) long. The stems are swollen at the apex and taper to a narrower base. They are clustered on a short connecting rhizome. The canes are often yellowish, somewhat zigzag, round in cross-section, and become furrowed with age. The nodes are usually thickened and flattened.

    LEAVES: 6-7. The leaves are distichous, 3-4 in. (7-10 cm) long, oblong to strap-shaped, softly leathery, and deciduous after 2 years.

    INFLORESCENCE: Short. Many inflorescences emerge simultaneously from the upper nodes of both leafy and older leafless canes.

    FLOWERS: 1-4 per inflorescence. The blossoms, which are 2.4-4.0 in. (6-10 cm) across, have a waxy and heavy texture. The oval sepals and much wider, wavy-margined petals are normally white with rose tips. The downy lip, which is tubular at the base, is cream-white with rose at the apex and has deep crimson or crimson-purple markings in the throat. It is occasionally pure white. The flowers are highly variable, however, with even pure white blossoms occurring occasionally. The many horticultural variants are based primarily on differences in color. The very fragrant blossoms last 3-6 weeks, or longer if conditions are cool and light is low. Recognized varieties include var. formosanum Rchb. f., var. nobilis Burbidge, and var. pallidiflorum Hooker.

    HYBRIDIZING NOTES: Chromosome counts are n = 19, n = about 20, 2n = 38, 2n = 40, 2n = 57. When tested as D. nobile var. nobile the counts were 2n = 19, 2n = 38, and 2n = 57. D. nobile var. cooksonianum produced counts of n = 19 and 2n = 38, and D. nobile var. nobilius had counts of n = 19, 2n = about 57. D. nobile var. pendulum 2n = 38, D. nobile var. sanderianum was 2n = 38-40 , D. nobile var. virginale was 2n = 57. D. nobile var. wallichianum was 2n = 38, D. nobile 'King George' was n = 38 and 2n = 76 . D. formosanum had a count of 2n = 38. D. nobile 'Sir F. Moore' had twice the normal count at 2n = 76. Seeds are ready for green-pod culture in 150-180 days. They are easy to maintain in flask. D. nobile has been widely used in hybridization, and offspring usually have numerous flowers with the size and thick texture of the D. nobile parent. D. nobile is known to hybridize naturally with D. primulinum Lindley producing D. X pitcheranum Rchb. f.


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