Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dendrobium kingianum in bloom

I've mentioned on Twitter that my Dendrobium kingianum is currently in bloom. It has a lovely tulip-like scent during the day, which is quite strong, despite the small size of the flowers on this plant. I have two flower spikes, one with five flowers and the other with two.

Dendrobium kingianum is native to eastern Australia and is commonly known as Pink Rock Lily or Pink Rock Orchid. In my quick research for this post, I learned that this orchid has actually been reclassified as Thelychiton kingianus. Kingianus is named for Captain Phillip Parker King (1793-1856) an early Australian explorer.

I acquired my plant at the Victoria Orchid Society show and sale back in the spring of 2007 before we moved out to Toronto. It was and still is potted in a tiny little bonsai clay pot, and while I know it should be repotted, I also know that it likes to be crowded and I have no idea how I'm going to get it out of its pot without shattering it!

While I was in Washington, DC last month I had a chance to visit the orchid room of the United States Botanic Garden. The orchid collection is fairly small but I did spot an impressive specimen of Dendrobium kingianum / Thelychiton kingianus in bloom!


At 7:49 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Naomi,

Your little Kingianum is lovely!
How did you get it to flower?

I have one that is a little bigger but much more compact. It does not have 'stems' above the bulbs, but it does look a lot like the big one pictured except for flowers.
I bought it from a dealer at an Orchid Show so I am sure it is a dendrobium kingianum.
I have had mine for (dare I say it..) 5 or 6 years and it has never bloomed, although they are said to be so easy.

This year I have been trying on and off to give it cool night temperatures in late winter/ early spring (sometimes even putting it in the fridge!) but nothing exciting has happened.

It grows every year though, and I keep it in an east facing window in Oslo, Norway.


At 11:34 a.m., Blogger Naomi @ WCOE said...

Hi Elin,

Thanks for your note!

My kingianum is in our little kitchen orchid nook. It has a wall of east-facing windows as well as a smaller south-facing window so there is lots of light. Since it's the kitchen there is also extra humidity from water running, dishes, kettle boiling, etc. I think this might help a bit!

I fertilize my orchids about once / month in the spring, summer and fall. Our overnight temperatures in the winter are about 60F, perhaps slightly cooler in this area as it is not as well insulated as the rest of the house.

Good luck!


At 1:49 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I have a dendrobium that flowers occasionally, but it hasn't done so in years. I think it might be lack of light, so this year I have made a makeshift greenhouse with shade cloth in my backyard to give my more light-demanding orchids a better chance to bloom. I describe my set-up at

At 1:32 p.m., Anonymous Ellen Reader said...

I find most of my orchids in orchid shows and orchid specific green houses in my area. Nice specimen.


At 5:24 p.m., Anonymous Orchid Origin said...

This is a great post about such a beautiful orchid. The flowers on this are just amazing. I love your website!


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