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Trees, Companion Plants

This is a discussion on Trees, Companion Plants within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have read that Vanilla vines are often grown on citrus trees in Mexico, but ...

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    Default Trees, Companion Plants

    I have read that Vanilla vines are often grown on citrus trees in Mexico, but it was not clear if that affects the health of the vines or is just a local tradition. As a child with a botany-loving neighbor, I learned that some plants are almost always found in the vicinity of a certain tree or other plant. Sometimes they actually do affect each other and sometimes it is just that they are both looking for the same conditions of soil, moisture, temperature & light.

    Anyway, I am mostly interested in collecting "species" orchids and so I would like to find out which trees are each one's most likely companions in its native habitat.

    I'm going off to google, now, but I can see from the variety we face, that there is enough googling to go around on this subject!

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    Dendrobium antennatum: Wiki tells me it grows in mangrove swamps and on savannahs, and I found this link to info about its' natural habitat in Australia:

    Ceratobium antennatum — Antelope Orchid

    So my next step will be to find out what other plants like to grow there. I have flasklings of this species.

    Probably the same trees & other plants that relate to this one will relate to other Australian natives from the same region.

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    Hi,
    I don't know about vanilla, but sophronitis brevipedunculata almost always found growing on vellozia scrub. The two are so inseparable, that the orchid is often scavenged from the wild along with it's host.
    My sophronitis brevipedunculata is mounted on drift wood from a pet store
    and seems happy.

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    Interesting thread, Denise. I look forward to hearing more in this vein. Thanks to Natalya for the above contribution also!

    Cheers,
    BD

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    I'm still figuring out how to research this. I think I'll branch out into other botany-ecology directions on the region I found for Den. Antennatum for now....

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    I would love to hear more about this and the D. antennatum ecology.

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    Here is a bit of info for the Den. Antennatum, whose wilderness home is in the "Cape York" part of Australia:

    A quote from Cape York and Northern Australia

    Although three-quarters of Cape York is covered in various types of tropical savannah woodlands, this type of vegetation is now rare on a global scale. Similar woodlands once stretched across Africa, Asia, India and South America. However, 70% of these have been cleared. Of the 30% that remain, most are seriously degraded. Australia has the most extensive, and least disturbed tropical savannah left in the world and Cape York's savannah woodlands are the most diverse in the country. These are wilderness areas larger than anything else on Australia's east coast.


    and the same article goes on to include this list of trees & plant communities, giving orchid-lovers a good idea of which ones might also lend themselves to household or greenhouse environements:

    ....there is a complicated patchwork of bloodwoods, stringybarks, boxes, melaleucas, and other eucalypts. Beneath these canopies, there is a diverse layer of undergrowth, sprinkled with cycads, palms, grass-trees, wattles, grevilleas, banksias and a huge variety of flowering shrubs.....

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    More on Den. ant.:

    This orchid grows on small trees in northern Queensland, Australia, coastal parts of Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands


    from: Dendrobium

    And here is a set of photos of trees that popped up in a google of "small trees northern queensland australia"
    Native Botany of North Queensland - Flora and Trees, etc - a set on Flickr

    Among them is an Australian bottlebrush, eucalyptus and beech.... of course I don't know how close they are to their cousins here in USA but we have a native texan bottlebrush and I've seen eucalypt do well in gardens.

    I'm thinking that it must be a good idea to find wood that is as close as possible to the original companion trees as my flasklings grow to mounting size...

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