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Dendrobium speciosum

Name: Dendrobium speciosum

General information
Dendrobium speciosum is native to Australia where it grows from Northern Queensland to south-eastern Victoria. It is known as rock orchid or rock lily. The second part of its scientific name is derived from the Lating word speciosus, which means showy or beautiful.

There are many different forms and varieties of Dendrobium speciosum, and they might be considered independent species rather than subspecies after the next revision of the genus Dendrobium. In the floral trade, you are most likely to find D.speciosum var.speciosum and D.speciosum var.hillii.

Flowers Dendrobium speciosum develops large clusters of flowers along its long stems. The flowers are normally present from late winter to spring. A single stem can carry over 100 flowers. The standard colour varies from snow white to creamy yellow, and the flower is decorated with purple dots in the labellum.

Light
Avoid dense shade, since a lack of light can prevent this orchid from flowering.

Watering
Dendrobium speciosum should only be given a minimal amount of water during the winter season, just enough to keep it a live. Much more water is needed during spring and summer when the orchid is growing.

Fertilizer A fertilizer should be used during spring and summer when your Dendrobium speciosum orchid is growing.

Potting medium
Dendrobium speciosum can grow on rocks or trees in the wild, and this must be considered when you chose how and if to pot your orchid. In the wild, it is often found growing with leaf litter around its roots from which it can extract nutrients. If you prefer to mount your orchid rather than pot it, it is safest to secure it with wire or twine until it has formed its own anchoring roots. If you prefer to pot your orchid, never use ordinary soil since this will be to soggy for your Dendrobium speciosum. Use a coarse orchid-mixture.

Propagation
Dendrobium speciosum can be propagated by division. Propagation by seed is very tricky and is only carried out by orchid experts.