||I have included my Dendrochilums on this site because, like
are part of the higher level category, Coelogynae. This beautiful group of about 200 very quaint, small to
miniature orchids come from the Philippines through to
Borneo. They are sometimes known as necklace orchids because
they have numerous small flowers on long pendulous
'strings'. There are some species that should be in every
collection and probably on every kitchen window sill. Individually,
the flowers are insignificant but when grown into a specimen
size plant the impact is stunning. Much more
information is available at
||This genus from the Coelogynae group comprises about 40
species from Asia, New Guinea, the Philippines and some Pacific
islands. They are not as widely cultivated as many orchids and
only a handful are available.
||Pleiones are a very beautiful group of deciduous orchids
sometimes known as window orchids because of European habits
of growing them in window boxes. The spectacular flowers are
enormous for the size of the plant. Their popularity is
rising fast. I am struggling to hybridise these with
Coelogyne to introduce the pinks and mauves. Some
specialised Pleione websites are
Pleione formosana is in this collection
at the moment but seed from some other species has been imported
and I am experimenting in my lab to hold seed over for several
months so that germination coincides with southern hemisphere
Bletia is another group of rare deciduous relatives with pink/mauve flowers from
Columbia, Cuba and Jamaica. They have very small insignificant flowers in terms of showy displays. My one attempt at deflasking Bletia florida failed miserably and I have not been able to get more.
Deflasking deciduous orchids is a challenge!
||Chelonistele sulphurea, which is sometimes sold as Coelogyne ramosii,
is a small to medium cool growing plant with small yellow flowers from Malaysia, Java
and the Philippines. I do not have them in my collection so I am not covering them on this site
at this stage.
||These small flowered orchids from east Himalayas to
China and southward through Burma to Vietnam are sometimes
known as Coelogyne fusca. David Banks has recently imported three
species into Australia but these orchids are collectors
items only at this stage. David also published a
comprehensive article on these orchids in the November 2008
The Australian Orchid Review.
The 270 named Dendrochilums are mainly small plants with tiny flowers densely populated along pendulous spikes. They often look insignificant until the plant is grown into a large specimen size and then the plant takes on an amazing attraction when in flower. Coming from mossy cloud forest areas they all require warm, humid growing conditions and are not suited to cool to cold areas unless cultivated under glass.
In cultivation, they should be grown with other small plants for two
reasons. Firstly, because the plants are small they are generally grown
in small pots. All orchids (or other plants) in small pots, dry out very
quickly. If mixed with larger pots, the small pots will be too wet or the
large pots will be too dry. Secondly, in a mixed pot size collection, it
is incredibly easy to create 'rain shadows' where water is blocked off by
large leaves, or, large leaves funnel and drain water onto a small pot
(back to page top