Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Orchid

Aunts- and uncles-in law are not usually noted for their gift-giving abilities.  My in-laws drove from southern California to join my wife's family here in Oklahoma for Christmas this year and brought with them a gem of a gift for me.

Dendrobium Christmas gift
This Dendrobium orchid has a total of about 25 buds born on two stems - about 8 of those still closed.  The color of the petals is pale yellow and almost green.  There is a new book out from my favorite plant-book publisher, Timber Press, called Green Flowers.  In a way, green is the most boring color that a flower can be, since the majority of plant material is green.  It just blends into the background, part of the noise that nature can sometimes be.  We tend to gravitate towards the colorful spotlights of red, pink, purple and yellow, which readily stand out on all shades of green foliage.  And it's not just us - insects are attracted to these colors.  What to us says "beauty" says "food" to many creatures.

Dendrobium blooms
But there is a simple beauty to the green flowers.  Maybe the texture and shapes are better observed when the color doesn't trump the senses.  The pearly sheen that is unique to orchid flower petals stands out on this flower.  There is also a really subtle hint of red on the inner part of the flower, that I pretend is there just to reward those who take the time to look closely.

Dendrobium bloom detail
This particular orchid had a generic "Dendrobium" tag on the stem and a specific tag with hybrid identification in the pot.  Unfortunately, the tag was snapped in half and all I have is a couple of letters - not enough for me to have figured it out yet.  But I'll keep trying, out of sheer curiosity.  I don't really need to know anything more than the genus for this particular orchid, in order to take good care of it.


  1. I think you nailed the color designation... pearly-white with a hint of light green...! Those in-laws DO love you!

  2. How nice! It is gorgeous! :-)

  3. Do you have the 2 letters from the label? This is a Dendrobium Phalaenopsis type probably crossed with a Spatulata type.

    I have one at the Botanic Gardens which is also missing the tag. I thought it was Den Burana Fancy but I'm not sure.

  4. Do you have the 2 letters from the tag? I have one at the Botanic Gardens that is very similar.

    I'm thinking it is Den Burana Fancy.

    A Den Phalaenopsis type probably crossed with a Den Spatulata type.