Dendrobium forms the collective name of an extremely extensive genus of orchids. Currently, the genus contains around 1,200 separate species of plants.
Certain varieties also appear on some islands in the Pacific Ocean. However, it remains uncertain whether these evolved as endemic, or represent transplants by early explorers.
Dendrobium Physical Characteristics
Most known types of Dendrobium are epiphytic in nature. A few species are lithophytic, however. In the majority of varieties, the leaves grow long and prolific.
Some species are also deciduous in nature. These generally keep their leaves for a period of 1-2 years. Following that period, the leaves fall off prior to the appearance of the blooms.
Yet other species develop as an evergreen in nature. These most commonly bloom in their second year. Often, these continue to bloom for many years.
Dendrobium Habitat and Reproduction
Most Dendrobium grows rapidly during the summer season. This is counterbalanced by an almost complete lack of growth during the winter.
Dormant buds sprout into shoots from the base of the pseudobulb in Spring, for most varieties. There also exist a few species in which this occurs in Autumn.
This temporary cessation of growth then gets followed by the rapid growth of a new root system. Reproduction usually occurs via seed. However, in a few species of Dendrobium, reproduction occurs asexually.
Keikis also develop, either after flowering or as a result of injury to the stem. These species adapted to a wide variety of habitat types. These range from the Himalayan mountains to lowland tropical forests. A few varieties of Dendrobium even adapted to the arid climate of the Australian desert.