Saturday, January 8, 2011
DENDROBIUM SEA MARY: WHITE LACE AND SWEET FRAGRANCE
The first buds on my Dendrobium Sea Mary ‘Snow King’ have opened. This is probably my favorite hybrid dendrobium due to its hardiness, its prolific flowering, and its gorgeous fragrance. Nobile-type dendrobiums like this can take much colder weather than the very tropical phalaenopsis-type that are so often sold in box stores, garden centers, and florist shops, the ones that are grown in Hawaii and will slowly decline and die if you don’t keep them warm and cozy every instant of the day and night. The trademark of nobile-type dendrobiums is that, instead of sprouting from the top, the flowers spring from every possible location along the canes, covering the whole plant with a mass of large, frilly flowers.
I like everything about this plant - its fat, juicy, sturdy canes, its shiny green leaves, and the lacy white flowers tinged with just a little pink. The colder the winter, the more pink there seems to be on the flowers. The fragrance is light and airy, with top notes of citrus and pine, the tiniest hint of orange blossom and jasmine, and a definite vanilla base. If this were a dessert, it would be cool and delicious. I think the pine note is what really sets this fragrance apart from other orchid scents. It’s definitely on the list of perfumes that I want to make.