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Dendrobium nobile (noble dendrobium) is a member of the family Orchidaceae. It has become a popular cultivated decorative house plant, because it produces colourful blooms in winter and spring, at a time when little else is in flower. It is also one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, known as shí hú (Chinese: ) or shí hú lán (Chinese: ). Dendrobium nobile is one of the most widespread ornamental members of the orchid family. Its blooms are variegated in colour, shading from white through pink and purple, and the many different cultivated varieties produce different sized and coloured blooms.

Dendrobium nobile
Dendrobium nobile - Larssen.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Dendrobieae
Subtribe: Dendrobiinae
Genus: Dendrobium
D. nobile
Binomial name
Dendrobium nobile
  • Callista nobilis (Lindl.) Kuntze
  • Dendrobium coerulescens Wall. ex Lindl.
  • Dendrobium lindleyanum Griff.
  • Dendrobium wallichianum B.S.Williams
  • Dendrobium nobile var. formosanum Rchb.f.
  • Dendrobium nobile var. nobilius Rchb.f.
  • Dendrobium nobile virginale Rolfe
  • Dendrobium formosanum (Rchb.f.) Masam.
  • Dendrobium nobile f. nobilius (Rchb.f.) M.Hiroe
  • Dendrobium nobile var. alboluteum Huyen & Aver.

Dendrobium nobile is an epiphytic or lithophytic plant native to southern China (including Tibet), the Himalayas (India, Bangladesh, Assam, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan), and Indochina (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam).[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] The species is also reportedly naturalized in Hawaii.[9] It is the National flower of Sikkim respectively.

Dendrobium nobile occurs in lowland and mountain forests, often on mossy limestone rocks. It has strap-shaped, persistent leaves, and blooms mostly in winter and spring. It produces short, 2 to 4 flowered racemes, fragrant, waxy, and highly variable in color, arising from the upper nodes of leafed and leafless canes.

Examples of the species are grown in Kew Gardens Tropical Nursery in London and seeds are stored in the Millennium Seed Bank there.[citation needed]


Dendrobium nobile flower

Dendrobium nobile is a sympodial orchid which forms pseudobulbs. When the life cycle of the mother plant ends it produces little offsets, continuing the life of the plant. The new plant then goes through the same cycle. The stem is erect and during the flowering period blooms form along the whole length of the stem. This seed contains is monocot that is it forms only a single leaf, and the plant has thin white roots which attach themselves to another plant or object making it an epiphytic plant.[citation needed]

Chemical constituentsEdit


Dendrobium nobile has been added to the EU novel foods catalogue as it is deemed unsafe for human consumption within food supplements without a safety assessment.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Dendrobium nobile". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Flora of China v 25 p 381, 石斛 shi hu, Dendrobium nobile Lindley, Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 79. 1830.
  4. ^ Wood, H.P. (2006). The Dendrobiums: 1-847. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G., Ruggell.
  5. ^ Lucksom, S.Z. (2007). The orchids of Sikkim and North East Himalaya: 1-984. S.Z.Lucksom, India.
  6. ^ Huda, M.K. (2007). An updated enumeration of the family Orchidaceae from Bangladesh. The Journal of the Orchid Society of India 21: 35-49.
  7. ^ Raskoti, B.B. (2009). The Orchids of Nepal: 1-252. Bhakta Bahadur Raskoti and Rita Ale.
  8. ^ Choudhary, R.K., Srivastava, R.C., Das, A.K. & Lee, J. (2012). Floristic diversity assessment and vegetation analysis of Upper Siang district of eastern Himalaya in North East India. Korean Journal of Plant Taxonomy 42: 222-246.
  9. ^ Ackerman, J.D. (2012). Orchids gone wild. Discovering naturalized orchids in Hawaii. Orchids; the Magazine of the American Orchid Society 81: 88-93.
  10. ^ Hwang, Ji Sang; Lee, Seon A; Hong, Seong Su; Han, Xiang Hua; Lee, Chul; Kang, Shin Jung; Lee, Dongho; Kim, Youngsoo; Hong, Jin Tae; Lee, Mi Kyeong; Hwang, Bang Yeon (2010). "Phenanthrenes from Dendrobium nobile and their inhibition of the LPS-induced production of nitric oxide in macrophage RAW 264.7 cells". Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 20 (12): 3785. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2010.04.054.
  11. ^ Yang, H; Sung, S. H; Kim, Y. C (2007). "Antifibrotic phenanthrenes of Dendrobium nobile stems". Journal of Natural Products. 70 (12): 1925–9. doi:10.1021/np070423f. PMID 18052323.
  12. ^ "Dendrobium nobile". European Commission. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2019.

External linksEdit