(Orchidaceae, the orchid family)
syn. Thelychiton speciosus (2002-2004),
Common name: Sydney Rock Lily, Bush Lily.
Culture: Proof that Australian native plants are under rated: Dendrobium speciousum are in a league of their own. Their majestically profuse inflorescences spring forth heralding the break of warmer days. Native to eastern Australia in all but the frosty southerly regions, Dendrobium speciousum natural habitat is on damp rock ledges that receive very lightly dappled sunlight to almost full sun all day. Recently Dendrobium speciousum almost experienced a name change Thelychiton speciosus but this nomenclature has since been rejected [Govaerts, R. (Ed.) 2004] (zones 10 - 11)
Position: In Sydney Rock Lilies are local residents so they love humid summers with a mean day time temperature of between 23°C to 28°C and somewhat dry winters with a minimum temperature of no less than 7°C. They can cope with the odd touch of frost but it does damage the leaves and immature buds. Rock Lilies grow best in bright light so dappled shade to full sun for most of the day with midday protection from the hot Summer sun will provide it with near perfect conditons. Water regularly in Spring, Summer and early Autumn.
Flowers: Dendrobium speciousum flower in August and September. If you haven't tried growing a Sydney Rock Lily then today is the best day to start!
Care: Dendrobium speciousum enjoy the occasional drink of Seasol but feed and water them only during their growing season (Mid Spring and Summer through till early Autumn. They also like a very diluted drink of wormfarm tea: 1 teaspoon of worm tea per litre of water.
Propagation: Sydney Rock Lilies are easy to propagate by gently separating the bulbs and placing them on rocks with some leaf-litter and sphagnum moss to keep some moisture around the young establishing roots. Younger plants need more sun protection than mature specimens and upon division usually take between 3 to 4 years to mature before flowering. An indicator that flowering will commence at the begining of the next warm season is when a mature cane develops like the one pictured here »