The photographs of this orchid would be even more stunning, in comparison, if you had seen what this plant looked like when it arrived. We found it for sale in a corner of a greenhouse and the owner didn’t remember where it came from. A lot of staking to bring wild canes into harmony, and big flush of new growth last summer, created a gorgeous display this year!
Dendrobium Gracilimum is the primary hybrid of Dendrobium gracilicaule and Dendrobium speciosum; this particular plant used the grandiflorum variety of Dendrobium speciosum. The size of the canes, and vibrant yellow flowers, reflect the parentage. We have another Dendrobium Gracilimum, bred using the pedunculatum variety of Dendrobium speciosum, and it is about half of the size of this cultivar; the flowers are pale yellow as well.
Thankfully, given its size, Dendrobium Gracilimum grows outside all year with the Dendrobium speciosum, weathering nights into the upper 20s (-3C) and summer highs to 100F (38C). We have grown it in a coarse bark mix (Orchiata Power Plus with large growstones), but I am in the process of repotting Dendrobium speciosum hybrids to inorganic media, like we grow the parent species. So it will be moving into a mix of hydroton and/or granite at the next repot.
I would also like to mention that I believe that this is the most fragrant orchid that we have ever grown. Truly intense and wonderful, filling the house when I brought it inside to appreciate the blooms for two weeks or so. The flowers lasted quite well, and similar to Dendrobium speciosum, tend to drop all at once, rather than slowly fading.