Look at that name again — it’s not a Dendrobium, but a Dendrochilum. Both kinds come from Southeast Asia, but Dendrochilums are a separate genus, distinguished by their chains of small flowers. This Dendrochilum tenellum is widespread among many islands of the Philippines, where it is native to cloud forests in mountainous areas.

Dendrochilum tenellum flowersDendrochilum tenellum flowersDendrochilum tenellum flowers close-up

Near the tips of the grass-like leaves, cascades of minuscule flowers resemble small cream-colored feathers. Not only do the leaves look like grass, but this orchid also grows into a large clump like a grass. Dendrochilums like bright light, regular water during spring and summer, and high humidity.

Dendrochilum tenellum leavesDendrochilum tenellum flowersDendrochilum tenellum flowers

Each flower is less than 1/8 inch (3 mm) wide. With 30 or more mini-flowers per spike, a large plant can have thousands of flowers at once.

Dendrochilum tenellum flowers close-upDendrochilum tenellum flowers close-up

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3 Comments on “Dendrochilum”

  1. Hanley Says:

    Such delicate little flowers, but the detail in your pictures is amazing! I have never seen orchid leaves like this before. They definitely look more like grass leaves than orchid leaves.

  2. nancy Says:

    what incredible pictures! those flowers are the smallest i’ve ever seen.

  3. Liz Says:

    How weird for an orchid to have leaves like that! I guess its no stranger than some other plants I’ve seen.