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The variation of colours in Dendrobiums during the colder months

Blooms Clones Flowers Orchids

Avrils Gold 'Copperpot Starsheen Botanic Fireworks Same Plant two weeks apart     Jesmond Sparkler


When we clone a Dendrobium, genetically the plant should be identical as it is actually just a micro-cutting. Maybe 1% of the progeny may vary ever so slightly for various reasons. Environmental conditions can affect flowers quite a lot, so variation from plant to plant, and even from year to year is common.

With many Dendrobiums, the colour of the blooms seems to change throughout the year. A great example of this is the Dendrobium Star Sheen 'Botanic Fireworks' and Dendrobium Avrils Gold 'Copper Pot'. As the months get colder and the nights longer, more red/purple anthocyanin pigment is produced in the blooms. This has the effect of making the blooms more colourful in the red/purple tones.

If you bloom a 'Botanic Fireworks' early in the season (March/April) it will seem a little dull and bland in the honey to yellow tones. Bloom it later (late May or early June) and colours live up to expectations. Avril's Gold 'Copper Pot' often have far more spots and streaks when flowered in the cold. Our older clone of Avril's Gold (Pumpkin Pie) may be disappointing if bloomed early with just a mild yellow shade. When bloomed cold turns a rich pumpkin colour!

One of our regular customers Jason Miller mentioned that another one of our breeders Jesmond Sparkler does this also.



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