Dendrobium speciosum

orchidnickFebruary 5, 2014

Australia's favorite Dendrobium, 'Rock Lillies' they call them as they can grow on exposed hillsides in full sun. I have a number of them, will post them here as they open up. This one is a hybrid called 'Golden Arch'. (Lynette Banks x spec Yellow Moon), so I guess it's not really a Dend speciosum but a Dendrobium. I think of it as a Dend speciosum, correct me Arthur.

A Viet Namese grower from Orange County brought about 500 seedling into California some time ago and has them numbered 1 to 10. Don't exactly know how he gets that but whatever. #1, sold by him always looks the same, divisions I guess. The flowers are large but not placed too well, not compact and a little rambling all over the place.

This then is Dendrobium Golden Arch #1.

Nick

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orchidnick

Another view.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 3:22PM
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orchidnick

This is Dend Golden Arch #10, my favorite. The flowers are a little smaller than #1 but well placed and very compact. Cannot look through the inflorescence as you can in #1. Both are nearly the same color, somewhere in the middle between the 2 photos.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 3:27PM
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orchidnick

Another view of #10.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 3:28PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

That is awesome! I never see that den here in Florida. Is the culture of Florida off center for this den?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 3:54PM
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orchidnick

They like a cool winter but our winter has been anything but cool. The lowest night time temp has been 45F and they are all in spike. They should do well in Florida but they should show up at meetings or shows at this time. If you don't see any, there must be a reason. Check with your local orchid society.

If you are going to buy one, keep in mind that they take their time before 1st bloom so get as big a plant as possible. I would also insist on seeing the flower or at least a picture of the flower as there is tremendous variation in color, flower shape and flower size.. Over the next month I'll probably post 5 to 10 of them on this thread and you'll be able to appreciate the difference.

Be prepared for sticker shock, unless you buy a seedling which is 10 years from blooming, good ones start at $150. Check out the offerings of SBOE or go to Australian Orchid Nursery or Cedarville Orchid Nursery in Australia. You can't buy from the last 2 but you can see the pictures and get an idea of prices.

Also keep in mind that they get big, not a windowsill grower.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 4:42PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Speciosum means good-looking, handsome etc.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 4:52PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Dendrobium Golden Arch is 75% speciosum. In the winter show held by the local orchid society there is a Class for Den. speciosum only. No "nearlys" allowed.

The Hybridist was probably searching for the Gold Tones that make Den. Avril's Gold so desirable.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 2:07AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

Maybe it is the $150 price that makes it hard to find. Not our weather. Sure is beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 2:48AM
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orchidnick

Dend speciosum Windermere x 'Now That's Gold'. Another Windy cross.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 2:42PM
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orchidnick

Unnamed grandiflorum, or so I think. A fellow by the name of George Penner who considered himself quite the expert on speciosums (this opinion supported by others in the community) thought it is a grandiflorum. Canes are 40" plus long. Others have looked at it and are not sure it's a pure grandi. Opinion Arthur?

Anyway it puts on a nice display and has a wonderful aroma.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 4:39PM
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orchidnick

It can also get a little bit big. The main light source is front the right. After this blooming season I'm going to rotate it 180 degrees.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 4:42PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

I think it is variety grandiflorum going on the writeup about the size of the pseudobulbs in Native Orchids of Australia by David L. Jones.
BUT..... the quality of the flowers leads me me to think it might be the product of crossing varieties.
No one worries too much about the varieties here, the all get lumped as speciosum on the show bench and the plant pictured two posts up has very good flower shape.
As for growing speciosum in Florida all you can do is try but do not buy a baby plant if you are an oldie.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 8:57PM
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orchidnick

You mean the Windermere x 'Now That's Gold' as having good flower shape? They are the largest of all the ones I have shown so far. I got that one from Wayne Turville.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 9:35PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

I was talking about the "unnamed grandiflorum". "Good Flower Shape" might differ in the USA because of different judging criteria, but major faults here are petals that "claw inwards" and "crossed feet" referring to the bottom sepals. I hasten to add that i am just a casual observer.
Of course, good flower shape has to go with other criteria such number of flowers on the raceme and habit and arrangement of flowers.
The 'Windermere' x 'Now That's Gold' is still nice but look at the petals

This post was edited by arthurm on Wed, Feb 12, 14 at 2:14

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 1:45AM
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orchidnick

I see what you mean. Neither I nor AOS judges (I suspect) are really up to speed when it comes to judging and evaluating the myriad different clones of Dendrobium speciosum that are available in Australia. Some of them find their way over here and our 'Ohs and Ahs' are for different reasons than yours.

We have our spring show this weekend and the comment of the senior silver-back in our society who has arranged the display plants for the last 100 years is telling. 'These damn things are in bloom again' he was heard to remark as he had to set an entire table aside for the sizable speciosums that people brought in. I like them, whish I had your selection available to me.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:01AM
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orchidnick

Here is a heavyweight in the speciosum universe. Dend speciosum var curvicaule Daylight Moon FCC/AOC ANOS. I don't know what all these letter mean, I'm sure Arthur will tell us. I believe it's the first speciosum that earned an FCC. Got it 10 years ago as a 6 cane division, for a small fortune, had to sell one of my grand-kids to make it happen. I split the cost and the plant with a fellow enthusiast. It's now well established and a reliable bloomer.

10 years ago when you mentioned that name to any Australian, he would snap to attention. Don't think they do that anymore, better, newer crosses are the vogue now. It, just like Windermere which, by the way, only earned an HCC, has been crossed with any and all. I guess both of them are reliable parents and have what it takes for the hybridizers to use them over and over.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:17PM
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orchidnick

An inflorescence.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:18PM
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orchidnick

The whole plant.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:19PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Here is a link showing individual flowers. Just to emphasise what i said above about flower shape. Click on the Daylight Moon to see the amazing arrangement of the flowers.

AOC = Australian Orchid Council
ANOS = Australasian Native Orchid Society

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics of Quality Speciosum Flowers

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 4:18AM
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orchidnick

Very impressive. A large % of white flowers. Windermere is not among that group. As far as getting some of these crosses, that's just not possible for us. Granite Hills Orchids and the late George Penner used to import from Australia but that stopped a longtime ago. Down Under used to show up in Santa Barbara with plants but he also stopped.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:23AM
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orchidnick

The un-named grandiflorum won a trophy for 'Best Dendrobium of Show', there were a good number of speciosums present.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:57PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Congratulations on getting "Best Dendrobium of Show". We
would just call it Champion Dendrobium.

Had a Discussion with a "Native Orchid Expert" he tell me that the breeders keep using 'Windermere' because that orchid has excellent habit and arrangement of the flowers on the raceme.

Sorry about the lack of speciosums over there. The local Nurseries have plenty. The over-valued A$ and the mountain of paperwork are the reasons.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 6:36PM
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orchidnick

Dend speciiosum var curvicaule 'Len's Good Cream'. A smaller plant with short stout canes. Flowers are a nice rich cream, one of my favorites.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:49PM
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orchidnick

Dendrobium speciosum var hillii 'Don Brown'. Very famous, not really that good a flower. In 1998 it made a lot of noise at the Santa Barbara Orchid Expo where it received a CCM/AOS getting 99 pts. With 300 canes and over 30,000 flowers (or was it 10,00, can't remember, one of the two) it was BBBIIIGGG. They needed a forklift to hoist it's 2,000 lbs on a pallet, onto it's table where it was the center piece of the show.

Afterwards it was sold to SBOE who broke it up and sold the pieces. I got a piece which is now getting big. David Banks was our guest speaker soon after this and had negative comments about the quality of the flowers which are very plentiful but pinched. Up close they are not good quality but from the distance it is very attractive as there are so many and it overwhelms with sheer numbers.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 3:15PM
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orchidnick

I built a 2' x 2' bed and filled it with a layer of lave rocks where I placed the young plant. It was intended to be a display for our show of an example of lithophytic growth. It's gotten so big and heavy that it will never again go anywhere. The canes are close to 40" long (including leaf) and there are many of them. It's going to stay right there until I go to heaven (or where ever) and my heirs will have to deal with it. Don Brown's original monster took 30 years to reach that size, mine is halfway there adding numerous new canes every year.

A picture of the lithophytic growth. In addition to attaching to the rocks, the roots have gone beyond the rocks and have solidly attached the plant to the bench. It would take a stick of dynamite to dislodge it at this point.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 3:31PM
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orchidnick

Got a bonus division from a vendor named 'ENO Breeding Stock'. I never questioned it, should have. It grew up quite nicely and is a medium sized plant, not huge and not small. Nice flower shape but not necessarily arrange too well. Any thoughts on this one would be appreciated Arthur.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:52PM
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orchidnick

Another view.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:53PM
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orchidnick

The entire inflo. Opened squished against the fence, maybe that's why it's a little messy.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:55PM
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orchidnick

'Annie's' speciosum. Not an official name but Annie was a beloved member of our society who got bladder cancer at age 76 and died from it. This was her speciosum which she gave to me. A medium sized plant, we think of her when it blooms. Don't know what variety it is, any thoughts?

Nick

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:02PM
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orchidnick

In full bright sun the hillii 'Don Brown' does open up a little more. Did not do it justice with the first photos.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:05PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Hi Nick, any views below are my own and you must realise that I am not a speciosum "expert", they might be found in some of the Australian Native Orchid Societies and perhaps in some AOS judging panels.

Den. speciosum var. curvicaule 'Len's Good Cream' High quality flower, maybe the lip is a little pinched.

Dendrobium speciosum var. hillii 'Don Brown' Agree with David Banks, nothing to get excited about here, just lots of flowers

Here is a typical display in a shopping centre by a General Orchid ( Grow Everything) orchid society. I've never seen a speciosum win Champion orchid of the show, those stingy orchid judges are not impressed by lots of flowers.
I'm the general dogs body at a local orchid society and if i got lots of entries i'd split them by colour, white, cream and yellow and not worry about the varieties.

'ENO Breeding Stock'. Another quality speciosum with perhaps better lip shape. Not much between it and "Lens", habit and arrangement of flowers might be the difference.

'Annie's' speciosum, just an average speciosum like this one (mine) never run a place, been in the family for forty years and i've never worried about what variety it is. Keep it for sentimental reasons. Society members give some scale to the size of the plant.


Some more average quality Speciosums grown as garden plants.

This post was edited by arthurm on Sun, Feb 23, 14 at 16:10

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 3:32PM
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orchidnick

Thanks for your input, Arthur, it is appreciated. I also have 'Windermere' HCC but I divided it this summer and gave a friend a piece. It is mad at me and did not bloom this spring. It has bloomed before with good quality flowers but the 2 you praised are better in my opinion than the famous Windermere. Have a couple more awarded clones 'Charlie' AM and 'Robyn' HCC that have not bloomed for me yet. Bought a bunch of small ones from AON years ago, it's amazing how long they take to reach blooming size. Several have 'National White' in them and promise pure white flowers, am looking forward to these.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:30PM
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orchidnick

One of the National Whites is opening. Nice creamy white. Full name is Dendrobium speciosum var speciosum 'National White' HCC x speciosum var curvicaule 'North Star'. That's a mouthful!

On of the 6 main varieties of Dendrobium speciosum is var speciosum.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:22PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Looks pretty good, I hope you are not going to write all that stuff on a benching card when Den. speciosum 'Nicks Delight' would suffice.
Found a link that you may not have read.

Here is a link that might be useful: Den. speciosum info.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:13AM
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orchidnick

Good article, thanks.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:31AM
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orchidnick

As the flowers of speciosum hilli age, they turn almost completely white before they fade. It is not a rich creamy white like some of the ones shown but a cold white.

Nick

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 9:32PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

And now it is the cover story on the new AOS bulletin. I need one....

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:06AM
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orchidnick

No one should be without one! Make sure you see the flower of the one you get, color and shape are totally important. Get the largest one you can afford otherwise you'll get gray before it blooms.

This one just opened. Unfortunately the tag broke off and it is now officially a NOID. Reasonable good flower.

Nick

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:10PM
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orchidnick

I found it in a dark corner. Am surprised it bloomed at all. Will move it into the light and it should get many more flowers next spring. Notice the dark green leaf color.

Nick

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:14PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Nick, I think you are putting too much emphasis on the varieties. Some great orchid growers are poor record keepers and as I said above even the experts might be hard pressed to say which variety applies when people have been crossing this with that.
Have a look at these names. I have cut them from the results of a fairly large native orchid society show held in 2013. If the variety is on a tag, it is nice to have. If not, it is not a disaster.
Den. Speciosum Complex
(a) White
1. Den. speciosum Hillii âÂÂBernieâÂÂ
2. Den. speciosum Hillii âÂÂAlbaâÂÂ
(b) Cream
1. Den. speciosum âÂÂDaylight Moon/ x âÂÂPalmerstonâÂÂ
2. Den. speciosum âÂÂWoodyâÂÂ
(c) Yellow/Gold
1. Den. speciosum Mt Larcom âÂÂGoldâ x âÂÂDaylight MoonâÂÂ
2. Den.speciosum var speciosum âÂÂJulianâÂÂ

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 5:14PM
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orchidnick

Almost all have bloomed by now. This one is one of the stragglers. Dend spec Herberton x Day Light Moon FCC/AOC. It actually has nice form and a good spray of blooms. It's one of my better ones, Day Light Moon is a good parent.

Nick

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:58PM
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orchidnick

Now, finally the last one, Dend speciosum Fool's Gold x The King. Nice flowers, not too large, 1st bloom, short inflorescence.

The AU dendrobium season is coming to an end for us. Such reliable bloomers who ask for so little. I either have them in pots full of rocks or mounted. Neither need any attention. rocks don't deteriorate and the plant puts me on notice that it wants a bigger pot when it splits the one it's in. The mounted ones just motor along and fall into 2 categories. Those I can lift comfortably and those I cannot. Noted by lack of bloom was the famous Windermere. I divided it as a friend of mine just had to have a piece and it just sulked this spring. Oh well I have been rejected before, my ego can handle it.

The plants take a rest now and then make new canes like crazy. Some grow so fast you can see the grow. 1" in 24 hours. Like Kansas corn. It was fun guys, see you next spring.

Nick

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:42PM
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