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The Tea Tree Orchid (Dendrobium canaliculatum) is a small growing, floriferous, sweetly scented and colourful orchid from tropical Australia and southern New Guinea.
There is great natural variation within the species with the palette of flower colours including white, yellows, purple, browns, almost black, orche reds, tangerine/orange and blood red. Dendrobium canaliculatum has been extensively used in hybridising, and passes many of its positive attributes to its progeny. Dendrobium canaliculatum hybrids (‘Canics’ to many) are emerging as a showbench category of Dendrobium in their own right, along with more established categories such as Phalanthe Dendrobium hybrids (Dendrobium bigibbum based) and Softcane/ Yamamoto Dendrobium hybrids (Dendrobium nobile based).
Yet too many characteristics of this species remain underdeveloped and problematic. The taxonomy of Dendrobium canaliculatum is a mess, with no widely agreed varietal or species definitions. Few growers know how to culture this orchid really well, and many are killed in cultivation. Almost all plants in cultivation are the southern var. tattonianum variety (white flowers, with yellow tips and purple on the labellum) and are average, wild-type clones. Next to no work has been done to improve the genetics of the species for horticulture through line breeding of exceptional clones. Examples of the alternative varieties from Cape York and New Guinea are next to non-existent in the orchid growing community. Dendrobium foelschei, until recently considered a variety of Dendrobium canaliculatum, is almost unheard of in cultivation.
Understanding, growing and breeding the Tea Tree Orchid Dendrobium canaliculatum
About this Website
TeaTreeOrchid.com is a personal website. Rather than typing parts of this information into emails, I have developed the site as a way to organise and share information on my favourite group of orchids. The cultivation and breeding (both within the species and through hybrids) of Tea Tree Orchids has far more potential then currently realised. I hope this site contributes in a small way to realising Dendrobium canaliculatum's horticultural potential.
This resource is neither scientific nor authoritative. I welcome input and feedback. Please keep in mind that as an unresourced, personal site so I do not guarantee to respond in a timely manner!
So that I can avoid the plague of automated web crawlers and spam, you will need to interpret my email address:
ttorchid(two hundred and four)(at)gmail.com
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I hope that you enjoy your look through these pages and hopefully finish up a little bit more informed and inspired as to this one little flower.
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