Dendrochilum cobbianum is a very popular and readily obtainable orchid. It has flowers about 1 cm wide - a bit bigger than many others. The colours are extremely variable. Some clones have all orange flowers, some have icy-green flowers and others have the white colour set off by the really bright orange lip colour, as seen above, or yellow lips. Named after Walter Cobb who flowered it in England in 1880, it has been in cultivation for a long time

Endemic to the Philippines it grows on mossy tree trunks higher than 1200 metres. The moss indicates that it needs humidity and moisture but the height means that it is a little hardier. Still, it needs good protection from frosts and also needs the usual high humidity.

I have plants in pots of coconut husks and also on tea tree mounts. The mounted plants grow much more slowly and flower less in my environment. This could be because mounts dry out in a few hours and the roots don't get the same moisture as in a pot. Many growers have great success growing them (and all Ddc's) in good quality fresh sphagnum moss and carefully managing watering to avoid the pot getting waterlogged.

Negatives: No obvious negatives. It is an easy, highly desirable orchid.

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Varieties: As mentioned above, there are great colour variations. Some of these have been given local names but not formal variety names. It is important to ask about the flower colour when purchasing a plant.