Cover image for Dendrobium and its relatives
Dendrobium and its relatives
Lavarack, P. S. (Peter S.)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Portland, Or. : Timber Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
287 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 29 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QK495.O64 L315 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Dendrobium is an enormous orchid genus of more than 1000 species native to south Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and Oceania. They are highly popular among orchid growers for their beauty and diversity. This study by three plant scientists who are also active orchid growers presents more than 400 of the species, all illustrated with color photographs. Almost all the horticulturally popular species are included, along with some lesser-known but spectacular species recently discovered in the highlands of New Guinea that are likely to become popular in the future.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The haunting beauty and bewitching form of orchid flowers attract throngs of curious amateur gardeners along with serious horticulturists. Now that do-it-yourself home stores as well as specialty nurseries sell living plants, orchid growers need the benefit of up-to-date manuals to help correctly identify specimens and clarify their cultural requirements. These comprehensive books offer plenty of expert guidance, and an enlivening enthusiasm. Christenson devoted decades to the study of phalaenopsis orchids, and his definitive work promises to enlighten aficionados. While Christenson's monograph takes the form of a scholarly study, its detailed breakdown of subspecies, extensive color photographs, and engaging plant descriptions should fascinate newcomers who purchase millions of these plants yearly. Committed hobbyists and professionals involved in breeding hybrids will also find a wealth of stimulating data to assist in the cultivation of these distinctive plants. In Lavarack's lavishly illustrated guide, gardeners at all levels who wish to successfully grow dendrobium orchids and related plants will be pleased to find information on more than 400 species. The book's contributors offer valuable background by pointing out threatened and widespread species, discussing nomenclature, and pondering the origins of plants and their uses. An overview of plant habitats provides a compelling context for the book's encyclopedic listing of species. In the world of horticulture, the popular dendrobiums are well served by this beautifully produced new resource. Alice Joyce

Choice Review

Lavarack and colleagues bring a wealth of experience to this well-written survey of a large and beautiful group of orchids, for both hobby grower and scientist. About 1,200 species in the genus Dendrobium and its relatives have a widespread distribution from India to Tahiti and habitats ranging from hot steamy lowlands to cool mountain ridges. As a result, their extreme diversity, featuring exquisite and colorful flowers, makes them very interesting and botanically important. Part 1, eight chapters, offers an introduction, discussions of classification and nomenclature, distribution and origins, traditional uses, conservation, biology and ecology, cultivation, and artificial hybridization. Part 2, about two-thirds of the book (including cultivation data), is a descriptive and color-illustrated compilation of some 400 species including, for the first time in one volume, a representative of at least one species in each of the 48 subgroups of the genus. The most horticulturally popular species, as well as some less known but spectacular ones, are also presented. Chapter reference lists; glossary. This highly recommended book is an important addition to the orchid literature because of the size and complexity of the group and the active interest it inspires in growers and specialists alike. General readers; graduate students; faculty and researchers. L. G. Kavaljian; California State University, Sacramento



Dendrobium cuthbertsonii F. Muell: This colourful miniature species features flowers that are often larger than the plant. It occurs in highland areas from about 750 to 3400 m, but mostly above 2000 m, throughout the island of New Guinea and on New Ireland. It grows as an epiphyte or a terrestrial, being recorded from road cuttings and mossy rock ledges and short alpine grassland, but more commonly growing on trees and moss-covered shrubs, in areas with cool to intermediate temperatures and year-round high rainfall, constant high humidity and semi-shaded to very exposed positions. The psudobulbs are about 1 to 8 cm long and less than 1 cm in diameter, often spheroid, forming small clumps. There are 1 to 5 leaves grouped near the apex of the pseudobulb, up to 4 cm long and 1 cm wide, with prominent black warts on the upper surface. The under surface is often purple and only occasionally has warts. The flowers are borne singly at the apex or occasionally from the nodes. They are up to 3.3 cm across and 5 cm, long, extremely long-lasting (up to 10 months) and are very variable in colour with yellow, orange, and purple combinations recorded, although red is most common. This species requires cool to intermediate temperatures and will not tolerate lowland tropical conditions. It should be grown in a well-drained pot, but with a medium which retains some moisture. The use of sphagnum moss in the medium is recommended. It requires humid, semi-shaded conditions with excellent air movement and should not be allowed to dry out. Excerpted from Dendrobium and Its Relatives by Bill Lavarack, Wayne Harris, Geoff Stocker All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 6
Acknowledgmentsp. 6
Forewordp. 7
Prefacep. 9
Part 1
1 Introductionp. 12
The Dendrobiinae - an introduction
An introduction to this book
2 Classification and Nomenclaturep. 17
Why do names change?
The species concept
The genus
The section
Classification of the Dendrobiinae
3 Distribution and Originsp. 27
Plant geography
New Caledonia and its strange orchids
Why are the Dendrobiinae so diverse?
Theories on the origin of the Dendrobiinae
4 Traditional Usesp. 43
5 Conservationp. 46
Which Dendrobiinae are threatened?
The threats
The remedies
6 Distribution Biology and Ecologyp. 73
General distribution
Plant habit
Key biological characteristics
7 Cultivationp. 82
Basic requirements for growing media
Potting materials
Slabs, posts, trees and beds
Other aspects of culture
8 Artificial Hybridsp. 96
Sander's List
History of hybridisation
Compatibility among different sections and related genera
Future trends
Part 2 The Dendrobiinaep. 104
The Dendrobiinae - an introduction
An introduction to this book
Glossaryp. 275
Further Readingp. 277
Indexp. 282