Dockrillia bowmanii

One of our distinctive Australian native species, Dockrillia bowmanii is a terete-leafed epiphyte that forms straggly clumps to 60cms long. The dark green leaves from to 15cms long and 4mms in diameter. Flowers, to about 25mm across, are pale green to a yellowish green with a white labellum.


This species is a sporadic flowerer and will flower anytime and several times a year with flushes in mainly spring and autumn. It can have 1 to 4 flowers per leaf. I have a few of these plants and can guarantee that when one flowers, all will flower. Docrillia bowmanii likes humidity, slab mounting and being hung high in the shadehouse, best somewhere where they don’t touch anything underneath. This allows them to grow longer.


Mine are grown under double shade cloth, watered twice a week in autumn and spring, once every two weeks in winter and three times weekly in summer. Natural rainfall is also taken into account. I fertilize with Manutec only once a week


By K Walker – From News and Views – Sunshine Coast Orchid Society May 2002
From Bribie Island Orchid Society Website.


A Note on Nomenclature –

this is one of the Australian species involved in a proposed change of genus name from Dendrobium, as it has been known since its discovery and identification, to Dockrillia. The purpose of this proposed change is to create a separate new genus which would group together a number of terete-leaved species heretofore classified as being in the Dendrobium genus. Although this change has been promoted by Australian botanists for the past couple of decades and is used by Australian botanists, it has not yet been accepted by the Royal Horticultural Society, which is the registering authority.

These notes have been used at our Cultural and New Grower’s Meetings. They are from various sources and we thank the authors. All articles are supplied in good faith and the Bribie Island Orchid Society and its members will not be held responsible for any loss or damage.



Dendrobium canaliculatum and its Hybrids

An important characteristic of Den canaliculatum it its short think pseudobulb which gives this species the common name the “Onion Orchid”. This characteristic is passed onto its progeny. Den canaliculatum is often mistaken with Den carronii. With Den canaliculatum all dorsals, sepals and petals are the same length, where as with Den carronii all dorsals, are longer than the petals and sepals.


Den canaliculatum comes in a wide range of colours from white, pinks, violets, yellows and browns to almost black. Thus when used in hybridising they give us a very wide range of colours. Another bonus is the number of flower spikes that are produced on each bulb, anywhere from five to eight spikes on each bulb. This creates a very spectacular specimen in a very short time. Another advantage of these hybrids is that they bloom more than once a year.


Den canaliculatum likes plenty of water during the growing season of the summer months. They like good drainage so they can dry out quickly. They also like good air movement and high light. This can be obtained by hanging plants high under a fibreglass roof. The heat from the fibreglass helps the plants to dry out quickly between waterings. When plants begin to spike, lower them to about two metres so as not to burn off the developing inflorescences.


Some growers grow them on slabs of cork, Callistemon and Melaleuca branches while most growers use pots with a bark and charcoal mix. They are best repotted every two years. These plant grow and flower best when ferilised each week with a low nitrogen fertiliser such as aqua-k, phostagen etc. The most common disease and pests are usually crown rot from not being allowed to dry out and aphids which like to get among the flower buds.


By Mel Wheeler                             These notes have been used at our Cultural and New Grower’s Meetings. They are from various sources and we thank the authors. All articles are supplied in good faith and the Bribie