Dendrobium x superbiens is the primary hybrid of Dendrobium bigibbum and Dendrobium discolor — a combination well reflected in the magenta pink color and twisting petals and sepals. This particular orchid is a division of an old plant of Dendrobium x superbiens, from the 1970s or 1980s, and believed to be wild-collected. Both parent species are native to northeastern Australia (Queensland) and Dendrobium discolor extends its range into New Guinea. Both parents are large orchids, as reflected in this primary hybrid: the canes are over 3 feet (1m) tall.
We grow our Dendrobium x superbiens outside with our Cymbidium for summer, and bring the orchid inside when temperatures drop below 50F (10C), for a winter vacation in a southeastern window. High light for the summer (4000+fc), and then a notable transition in environment rapidly encouraged six bloom spikes in the autumn when these photos were made.
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My vision to create orchid portraits emerged from my appreciation for the “whole orchid.” So many photographs of orchids focus only on the flower. But orchids are not flowers: they are entire plants and living beings. Connect more deeply with the many dimensions of orchids …