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  #1  
Old 01-13-2014, 10:15 PM
ChaseGhost ChaseGhost is offline
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Urban Dendrobium. Male
Default Urban Dendrobium.

I saw this guy on a big live oak stump in a parking lot today in south Austin, pretty crazy considering we just had a couple freezes(probably the only reason I saw it was that everything around it was dead from frost). I asked a woman who worked there what was up with it and she said it had been there for a couple years!!
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2014, 06:04 PM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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Really really cool! Thanks for sharing! It looks like a Dendrobium nobile type.

The other day I tried to see if anybody grows any epiphytic orchids outdoors year around in Houston but I didn't find anything really conclusive.

Do you think somebody waters it? I looked it up and Austin receives an average of 32 inches of rain per year. According to the Baker culture sheet...Dendrobium nobile receives an average of 49 inches of rain per year in one location in its distribution.

I don't know if D. nobile could thrive on only 32 inches of rain on average. Plus, the distribution of rain is quite different. In its native habitat...most of the rain falls during the summer monsoon...with far less rain the rest of the year...unlike Austin.

The question is...just how exceptional is this individual? It might be the case that D. nobiles are more cold/drought tolerant than most people realize. Or it might be the case that this is one exceptionally cold/drought tolerant individual. You can leave a few D. nobiles outside next year (mounted without any moss) and see how they do.

But just in case this individual IS truly exceptional...I recommend asking whoever for permission to divide it and redistribute it. The most valuable lesson is to not keep all your epiphytes in one tree (all your eggs in one basket). Not all locations are equally beneficial for an orchid...so the more you hedge your bets...the greater your chances of success. Plus, ideally, if each division survives...then you can have several trees filled with flowering orchids rather than just one. More trees with orchids is always better than fewer trees with orchids!

It looks large enough to get at least three decent divisions. Nobiles are petty easy to grow from single canes even. You could remount one division in the same exact spot...mount another in a different likely suitable spot in the area (just higher up out of reach) and then you can take one home. This will increase the orchid's chance of success.

It will help sweeten the deal if you brought around 3 different nobile types and offered to mount them in that area. This will help whoever know that you're there to help contribute rather than simply mooch. If you're interested I can send you two different ones.

Let me know if you need advice on mounting techniques.

It's a bit early in the year though for mounting. Spring time is usually the best time. Dendrobium nobiles are usually pretty forgiving though.

The danger of mounting too early/late is that the string or fishing line will lose tension over time...so by the time new roots start emerging...the orchid will have too much wiggle room for the roots to adhere to the tree. Then you'd have to reattach it.

Thanks again for sharing!! It's really great to learn that at least one orchid can survive outdoors for at least two years in Austin!
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2014, 07:45 PM
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WhiteRabbit WhiteRabbit is offline
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Very cool!
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:11 PM
ChaseGhost ChaseGhost is offline
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I'm definitely gonna go back there and see if i can gather more information later this week, I just find it kinda hard to believe (as much as I want to) that it has survived out there on it's own for that long. There has been record drought, Crazy weeks of 100+ degrees and at least five freezes in the last 3 months. Also dead right next to it was a Tillandsia Stricta that was quite large and those are pretty hardy little buggers! It was in what appeared to be a garbage area so I'm sure they would sell it. If you want to send me some Den.'s to put in my yard and ignore, I'd be open to it!
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:53 PM
Sharry Sharry is offline
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Cool plant. Maybe being cold is not the problem but being cold and wet.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:07 PM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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Oh, so it's not growing on the tree stump! But it's a good sign if it survived temps that were too cold for Tillandsia stricta.

Yeah, you should definitely try and buy it! PM in the spring to remind me about sacrificial nobiles.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:19 PM
ChaseGhost ChaseGhost is offline
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Will do, It is growing on the stump. More like a giant log really.
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