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Dendrobium lindleyi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Dendrobieae
Subtribe: Dendrobiinae
Genus: Dendrobium
Sw, 1799

1190 species;
see List of Dendrobium species

Dendrobium, abbreviated as Den in horticultural trade, is a large genus of tropical orchids that consists of about 1200 species. The genus occurs in diverse habitats throughout much of south, east and southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Borneo, Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand. The name is from the Greek dendron (meaning tree) and bios (meaning life).

The species are either epiphytic, growing on a tree, or occasionally lithophytic, growing over a rock. They have adapted to a wide variety of habitats, from the high altitudes in the Himalayan mountains to lowland tropical forests and even to the dry climate of the Australian desert.

The orchids in this genus often develop pseudobulbs, which unite into a long reedlike stem with a typical length of more than 30 cm. Some appear densely covered with short white hairs. The short, ovate leaves grow alternately over the whole length of the stems. The axillary flower buds develop into short flower stalks with one or two terminal flowers. The orchids grow quickly throughout summer, but take a long rest during winter. In the spring, new shoots are formed from the base of the main plant and the dormant buds come back into action. The blooming flowers are found on pseudobulbs formed in the previous year.

Some species are in great demand by orchid lovers. This has resulted in numerous varieties and hybrids, such as the Dendrobium nobile varieties, which have greatly extended the range of colors of the original flower from the Himalayas.

Kimilsungia, one of the national flowers of North Korea, is the cultivar Dendrobium 'Kim il Sung'.

Taxonomical Work

In 1981, Briegar reclassified all terete leaved Dendrobiums from Australia and New Guinea into a new genus, Dockrillia.

The sole New Zealand representative, Dendrobium cunninghamii has now been moved into a monotypic genus, Winika.

In 1989, Clements upgraded D. speciosum complex into individual species[1].

Some species

  • Dendrobium aduncum Angelfish Orchid
  • Dendrobium aemulum Ironbark Orchid
  • Dendrobium antennatum Antelope Orchid (Also: Ceratobium antennatum)
  • Dendrobium aurantiroseum Aunty Rosie
  • Dendrobium beckleri Pencil Orchid
  • Dendrobium canaliculatum Yellow Teatree Orchid
  • Dendrobium carronii Pink Teatree Orchid
  • Dendrobium chrysotoxum Fried-egg Orchid
  • Dendrobium crassilabium P.J.Spence (Papua New Guinea.)
  • Dendrobium crumenatum Dove Orchid, Pigeon Orchid, Sparrow Orchid
  • Dendrobium cucumerinum Cucumber Orchid
  • Dendrobium cunninghamii Winika (its Māori name)
  • Dendrobium cuthbertsonii
  • Dendrobium densiflorum Pineapple Orchid
  • Dendrobium discolor Golden Orchid
  • Dendrobium ephemerum Small white Orchid
  • Dendrobium falcarostrum Beech Orchid
  • Dendrobium farinatum Schildh. & Schraut (Vietnam)
  • Dendrobium finisterrae Schltr, 1912 The End of the World Orchid (Papua New Guinea)
  • Dendrobium gouldii (light coloured) Guadalcanal Gold
  • Dendrobium gouldii (blue form) Florida Blue
  • Dendrobium goldiei Rchb.f.
    • Dendrobium goldiei var. karthausianum Rolfe (Germany)
  • Dendrobium gracilicaule : Leopard Orchid  
  • Dendrobium hasseltii Spinach Orchid
  • Dendrobium johannis Brown Antelope Orchid
  • Dendrobium kingianum Pink rock lily
  • Dendrobium kingianum Pink Rock Orchid, Pink Rock >Lily
  • Dendrobium lawesii Christmas bell Orchid
  • Dendrobium lindleyi Dendrobium aggregatum
  • Dendrobium linguaeforme Thumbnail Orchid, Tongue Orchid
  • Dendrobium macarthiae Vesak Mala
  • Dendrobium macrophyllum (D. musciferum) : The Pastor's Orchid
  • Dendrobium mirbelianum Mangrove Orchid
  • Dendrobium moniliforme Sekikoku
  • Dendrobium monophyllum Lily of the Valley Orchid
  • Dendrobium mortii Pencil Orchid, Rattail Orchid
  • Dendrobium nindii Cowslip Orchid 
  • Dendrobium ostrinoglossum May River Orchid, Sepik Blue Orchid
  • Dendrobium phalaenopsis Cooktown Orchid (was Dendrobium bigibum var. phalaenopsis)
  • Dendrobium pugioniforme Dagger Orchid (from the shape of its leaves), now Dockrillia pugioniformis
  • Dendrobium racemosum Rat tail Orchid
  • Dendrobium ruppianum (fusiforme) Small Demon, Small lemon orchid
  • Dendrobium secundum Toothbrush Orchid
  • Dendrobium senile Old Man Orchid
  • Dendrobium smilliae Bottle-brush Orchid
  • Dendrobium speciosum Captain King's Dendrobium, King Orchid, Pink Rock Orchid, Rock Lily
  • Dendrobium striolatum Rat tail Orchid, Streaked Rock Orchid
  • Dendrobium superbum Honohono
  • Dendrobium taurinum Bull Orchid
  • Dendrobium tenuissimum Rattail Orchid
  • Dendrobium teretifolium Bridal-veil Orchid, Pencil Orchid, Rattail Orchid (now Dockrillia teretifolia
  • Dendrobium tetragonum Spider Orchid, Tree Spider Orchid
  • Dendrobium trillamelatum Brown Antelope Orchid
  • Dendrobium victoriae-reginae : Blue Orchid


  • [1] Clements MA (1989) Catalogue of Australian Orchidaceae. Australian Orchid Research 1: 1–62.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dendrobium". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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