As with many species from Papua New Guinea, the taxonomy of this particular orchid is a bit fuzzy. Originally purchased as “Dendrobium limpidum (dichaeoides fat bulbs)”, its label includes two distinct species: Dendrobium limpidum and Dendrobium dichaeoides. We have three orchids labeled Dendrobium limpidum, which look quite vegetatively similar, but also different in growth habit. One is likely another (unnamed) species, with long thin leaves and cascading canes, 3-4 times the size of the other two “Dendrobium limpidum.” The other orchids two are quite similar, but this one has comparably “fat pseudobulbs” and has grown canes much longer than the other. All prefer shady and very moist conditions, quickly reddening the edges of their leaves if exposed to brighter light.
The most consistently described distinction between Dendrobium limpidum and Dendrobium dichaeoides is that the former has deciduous leaves and pendant, rather than creeping, canes. Based upon these criteria, I would infer that the orchid in the photographs below is most likely Dendrobium limpidum.
We grow Dendrobium limpidum in our cool room, given its preference for high humidity (50-70%). The mounts are watered daily (often twice a day in summer), and the one growing in a basket is heavily misted daily and watered twice a week. As with all highland New Guinea Dendrobium, this species receives pure (RO) water with low fertilizer (25-50ppm N/week). Winter low temperatures are around 50F (10C) and summertime highs are in the mid 80s (29C).
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