Thursday 12th April 7:30pm
Newman from Hanging Gardens:
"Dendrobiums: Jewels of Gondwana"
This large and popular genus of Asia, Australia, and the
Pacific holds more than its share of horticulturally desirable
"jewels" among its 1000-plus species. People
often ask how to grow dendrobiums. For such a diverse
group of plants, found in habitats ranging from the monsoonal
foothills of the high Himalayas, the perpetually cool, misty
alpine grasslands and steamy coastal swamps of equatorial New
Guinea, to the tropical forests of remote Pacific islands and
cool temperate regions of southern Australia, a simple answer
is not possible. The talk will focus on several of my
own favorite sections of the genus, starting in the Himalayas
and Southeast Asia and working southward to New Guinea and the
Pacific, with photos of representative species and discussion
of their culture in the context of the habitats where they
originate. I hope the presentation will encourage
interest in this fascinating group of orchids, and provide
useful information about their cultivation.
This is what Dan has to say about his passion:
growing orchids in 1982.
My first successful plant was a Dendrobium hybrid
bought as a tiny seedling at a lei stand in the Honolulu
Airport. When it
finally bloomed, my orchid addiction took wing, and by 1996 I
had 350 orchids in my one-bedroom apartment.
About that time I heard of a small commercial
greenhouse for rent in San Francisco, and I jumped at the
chance to move my collection to larger quarters, where the
hobby evolved into my nursery, Hanging Gardens.
I started growing orchids full-time in 2000, and moved
to a larger greenhouse in Pacifica a few years later.
I currently have 10,000 to 12,000 plants.
Although orchid hybrids now far outnumber the known
species, I prefer to grow the species, uniquely adapted for
survival in the natural world, without regard to human notions
of beauty. To
me, these are the real orchids, whose grace and purity of
function often transcend the floral display of their hybrid
like all kinds of orchids, but focus mostly on those that will
tolerate intermediate or cool conditions at least in the
winter, since I can't afford to maintain year-round warm
temperatures in Pacifica!
My sale plants include divisions and seedlings from my
own collection, along with established imported plants and
some produced by other growers in the U.S.
table will be provided by Hanging Gardens.