Dendrobium is a huge genus of mostly epiphytic orchids in the family Orchidaceae, comprising about 1200 species. Dendrobium is abbreviated as Den in horticultural trade. The genus name is derived from the Greek dendron (meaning tree) and bios (meaning life), which literally means ‘one who lives on trees’ or epiphyte. Dendrobium is distributed throughout south, east and southeast Asia, including Australia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and New Zealand. Dendrobium can adapted to a wide variety of habitats.
Dendrobium are sympodial orchids with pseudobulbs of varying length. Some pseudobulbs are a few centimeters in length, but some are two meters long, some grow into long stems, while some are covered with short white or black hairs.
Some species of dendrobium have short, ovate leaves that grow alternately on the stems, and some species have leaves that are concentrated towards the apex of the stem. The axillary inflorescences are varying in length (insignificant to 1m) and the number of flowers (1-100) they carry.
Though Dendrobium is not that easy to grow but they are known to help remove toluene (a water-insoluble liquid with the typical smell of paint thinner) and xylene (a clear, colorless, sweet-smelling liquid that is very flammable) from the air.
Dendrobium nobile (Noble Dendrobium) is a species of dendrobium which is grown as medical plant, and is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.