by Ian Walters
genus of some fifty species extending from Malaya thru the Indies to New Guinea
and Fiji, with the centre in New Guinea. Allied to Dendrobium, small pseudobulbous plants either
clump or spread out in mats, thus each species is potted or mounted on a slab
depending on its growth habit. Small slabs of treefern or cork bark with extra watering, suit the scramblers, while a small pot of fine media should be used
for those that clump.
When in active growth lots of water and
fertiliser produce large specimens like Diplocaulobium kirshianum photo above above left.
A smaller grower that also forms a
large mat on a slab is
chrysotropsis, photo right. It is a compact grower developing into a showy
Another compact plant Diplocaulobium
Copelandii, photo left.
Plants need maximum sunlight, short of leaf burn, to
ensure prolific flowering. The flowers are short lived, but appear regularly,
probably after a drop in temperature when it rains. Growing them on slabs provides
good drainage and plants will wrap around the slab. One local grower has grown
spectacular plants on tubes about 4 inch (10 cm) diameter made from plastic
gutter guard, filled with scoria or bark or orchid potting media.
obyrnei grows well on cork bark or treefern and develops into quite large plants
even on a small slab. Photo right and below showing the mounted plant.
Small growers can hang on a wall where space is short, and provide a showy mass flowering
with simple rules. A sunny spot,
short of sunburn, keep damp but not wet, a little fertiliser and a little
appreciation of the unique flowers of the Diplocaulobiums. Above species from New Guinea. Ian Walters Burleigh Park. Diplocaulobium plants