Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection: Nobile Dendrobiums
The great thing about the annual orchid exhibit is that it is constantly changing. There is always something new to see since different kinds of orchids bloom at different times of the winter and spring. In April, you can expect to see a lot more Dendrobium nobiles and related hybrids. Nobile Dendrobiums are unique from other orchids and even other types of Dendrobiums, for several reasons. They are deciduous, which means their leaves fall off each year before flowering. This helps the plant retain water during the dry winter months, and it is thought this may also improve pollination odds in the wild. Nobile Dendrobium species also require a cool period each fall or winter to promote flowering. This cool period is easy to mimic at the Smithsonian Greenhouses since the seasons of this area are similar to that of Dendrobium nobile’s native habitat. Nobile hybrids do not necessarily adhere to the same behavior that the species do, and many of the newer hybrids do not require cool winter nights and will maintain their foliage throughout the growing season!
Our Greenhouse staff have been working hard to prepare the Nobiles for display; take a look!