Dendrobium sylvanum felt to be a hybrid

Dendrobium sylvanum felt to be a hybrid













Dear Lou,

Dendrobium sylvanum, award #20095832, cannot be confirmed to be correctly labeled and is felt to be a hybrid by SITF, July 2009, with the assistance of Eric Christensen and Peter O’Byrne.

I enclose Peter’s comments, if the exhibitor needs to know his opinion. Don’t put it with the award. If you chose not to pass this on, that is fine also.
Peter --“plant is one of the thousands of Spatulata hybrids that have been churned out over the last half-century. The photos do not make me think "sylvanum" because the sidelobes should not be outwardly-flared in that way, and the midlobe is too small and narrow. These are characters that I would associate with D. conanthum rather than D. sylvanum, but the plant in the photos is not D. conanthum. So my opinion is that this plant is a hybrid with a high proportion of D. conanthum in it's background, but it is impossible to be certain without a DNA analysis.


I frequently get sent photos of nursery-origin Spatulata Dendrobiums for identification, and I've learned that it is a complete waste of time doing anything with them unless the owner guarantees that they were wild-collected and can provide details. There are (quite literally) thousands of Spatulata hybrids currently on the market, and more coming onto the market every week.... and none of them are ever registered. Just about every orchid farm or nursery in S.E.Asia has a few local amateurs supplying it with flasks of new crosses (or plants from those flasks) in the hope of earning a few bucks from sales. Mostly the parents are plants of unknown identity or origin (something usually chosen because they "look nice" or "grow well") and are themselves almost certainly nth generation hybrids. The nurseries often sell the shabbiest, least colourful of these crosses (such as your illustrated plant) as species (often claiming that they are "new species"), because no-one will buy them otherwise.”

Patricia Harding , Chair SITF

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