Herbs & Plants

Dendrobium nobile

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Botanical Name :Dendrobium nobile
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Dendrobium
Tribe: Dendrobieae
Subtribe: Dendrobiinae
Species: D. nobile
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Synonyms : D. lindleyanum. D. coerulescens.
Common Name : Noble Dendrobium, Dendrobium nobile,
Chinese Name: shí hú or shí hú lán

Habitat : The plant is native to southern Asia.China to the Himalayas.Tree trunks in mountain forests, also on rocks in mountain valleys at elevations of 500 – 1700 metres.

An evergreen Perennial growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Hybrids derived from the species Dendrobium nobile have been very popular for more than a hundred years. Their long running popularity springs from their profuse show of long lasting brightly colored flowers, which bloom along their stems in late winter and early spring. The species itself is also very popular because it regularly flowers freely and lasts for a long time as cutflower.This orchid is one of the most widespread ornamental members of the family. There are many different created varieties which bloom in different colors – yellow, white, etc.These traits have been passed along to its progeny.

Dendrobium nobile is a sympodial orchid which forms pseudobulbs. When the life cycle of the mother plant ends it produces little offsets, continuing the life of the plant. The same cycle is used every year. The stem is erect and during the flowering period it forms blooms on its sides along the whole length of the orchid. This monocot has thin, white roots and leads an epiphytic type of life.

Dendrobium nobile and its hybrids are very easy to grow, if a couple of specific cultural requirements are met.

As the new growths begins in the spring, increase water and fertilizer frequency. During the active growing period of spring and summer Dendrobium nobile prefers reduced light, increased water, and fertilizer every two weeks (1/2 teaspoon per gallon of urea free water soluble fertilizer ). As the plants mature in the fall, cultural needs change drastically. Now brighter light, cooler temperatures, and no fertilizer will help to initiate flower buds. Water normally so that the bulbs do not shrivel. Buds will appear when the night temperatures drop to 55 or lower and the growths have fully matured. This is usually in November to December in the northern US, and January to February in the southern US. Blooms will follow in about two months after the cooling period.

When these plants are grown inside, they should be placed outside in the fall to benefit from the cooler temperatures at night. In the northern US, they should brought inside, when the night temperatures are consistently below 45F. In the southern US, they should be brough inside before the onset of freezing weather. They should kept in a relatively cool location (such as an unheated room or an enclosed porch) until buds start to form.

Dendrobium nobile and their hybrids enjoy being root bound, so never overpot the plants. They do very well in small pots for their root mass. Clay pots does them well. Many growers use regular seedling bark mixture or osmunda for a potting media; however, some growers also use long-fibered sphagnum moss. Dendrobium nobile can also be grown mounted, or in baskets, but watering must be increased.

If keikis or off-shoot plantlets form along the stems, that is usually a sign of too much fertilizer and/or too warm night temperatures. These keikeis may be potted as new plants after they have formed roots of at leat 3 or 4 inches. If plants produce all keikis and no blooms, definite culture changes are in order, such as longer cooling period in the fall and reduction in fertilizer amounts.

Propagation  :

Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[200]. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.

Medicinal Uses:

It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.The whole plant contains mucilage and the alkaloid dendrobine. It is antiphlogistic, pectoral, sialogogue, stomachic and tonic. It is used in Vietnam as a tonic in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, general debility, flatulence, dyspepsia, reduced salivation, parched and thirsty mouth, night sweats, fever and anorexia. It is also said to be effective in the treatment of sexual impotence, arthralgia, lumbago, pain in the extremities etc. The plant is harvested at the end of the growing season and dried for later use. The dried plants are imbued with alcohol and steam cooked before use.

The medicinal plant is usually cut prior to flowering or harvested toward the end of its growing season where it is subsequently dried until ready for use. Typically, the dried stems are used for making herbal remedies, but they are occasionally used fresh. Decoctions and tinctures of Dendrobium nobile are created by steeping the dried, shredded stems in alcohol and then steaming them. In addition, an herbal tea can be made from the stems.

Remedies made from Dendrobium nobile have commonly been used throughout history to help boost the immune system. Its primary use, however, has been for the replenishment of fluids. Dendrobium increases salivation and is often prescribed to treat complaints associated with dry mouth, dry cough, and severe thirst. Additionally, the plant is effective in treating conditions related to dry, hot weather, such as sunstroke. Indigenous people of the Eastern Himalayas believed that these flowers could also cure eye ailments.

The tonic made frmo Dendrobium also nourishes the stomach, lungs, and kidneys. It can be given to lower fever and ease both vomiting and abdominal pain. The plant also has a history of medicinal use in treating pulmonary tuberculosis, impotence, and anorexia. Since Dendrobium nobile is known for increasing fluids, it should come as no surprise that the plant can also moisten and enhance the skin.

As with any other herbal remedy, supervision from qualified providers is important. Although Dendrobium nobile is thought to be quite safe in appropriate doses, the wrong dosage can have adverse effects on the body. For example, overdoses of Dendrobium can lead to heart and lung problems as well as convulsions.

You may click to see
;What Are the Medical Uses of Dendrobium Nobile?

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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