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Dendrobiums

石斛

Dendrobium is another large orchid family occuring in the Orient, Australia and many Pacific islands. About 1500 species are represented but some may eventually be split into other genera. Dendrobiums have been frequently utilised in Oriental medicine. Eg Dendrobium nobile (close relative or syn with anosum) is a source of Dendrobine, an alkaloid used commercially in Chinese medicine.  It was also cited by a Chinese research paper that a kilogram of dried concentrate of D. candidum can be traded for 12,000 kg of wheat in Yunnan. 

D. finlayanum from cooler areas of Thailand. This has interesting segmented stems but under lowland heat, the segments elongate and become quite leggy.
D. wardianum is another deciduous species with segmented stem that loses its leaves before flowering. The form of the flower is very similar to the above species but vegetative character is distinct.

Dendrobium mutabile from Java. The long stem turns bright red under the sun. 

D. secundum is a widespread plant from lowlands of Indochina to Malaysia, parts of Indonesia and Borneo. Its name refers to the flowers which point at the same directon.

Plants of the D. anosum complex occur from Indo-china, Thailand, Malaysia to Phillippines and some parts of Indonesia. There are many varieties and names, superbum being one of them. 

D. parsum - a rather uncommon species with long canes and small (about 1.5 cm) bloom - notice the long lip !

The large flower of D. aphrodite - named after the God of love.

For more information, refer to the book "Dendrobium and its relatives" by G. Stocker.

Aporum section.

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