Which type of Orchid has the most nodes?

Asked December 6, 2016, 6:48 AM EST

This is probably a silly question but I need to know for a school project. I need to know which type of orchid (so a dendrobium or a phalaenopsis for example) has stems with the most leaf nodes.

Not sure if there even is an answer to this (maybe I should have asked that first) but it is quite important.

Outside United States

1 Response

Your picture is showing a Phalaenopsis flower stem not a stem that grows leaves. The picture shows a Phalaenopsis flower stem with a new flower spike growing out of a node on the flower stem. This is not unusual depending on the breeding background of the plant. Some flower stem nodes will send out a new flower stem and some will grow a Kiki, a new plant which is a clone of the plant. Depends on which species are in the breeding background

If you look at the Phalaenopsis flower stem, the nodes where the flowers are/were, there is no bud on the flower nodes. If you look at the flower stem nodes below where the flowers are, you will see nodes with buds. These buds have the potential to grow a new flower stem or a Kiki. After all the flowers fall off, many orchid growers will cut off the part of the flower stem to right above one of these nodes to stimulate a new stem or a Kiki.

The leaf nodes are where the leaves grow out of the plant stem. Phalaenopsis grow 2 leaves a year. So you can count the number of leaf nodes by counting the sets of leaves. Phalaenopsis do drop lower leaves so for an accurate count you would have to count the lower nodes with no leaves. This also indicates the age of the orchid.

Dendrobiums grow one or more canes (stem) a year. It is easy to count the leaf nodes on a dendrobium cane because most of the nodes on each cane will hold leaves unless you have a deciduous Dendrobium. Therefore to compare to the number of leaf nodes on a Phalaenopsis to the number on a Dendrobium easy. Dendrobiums will always have more leaf nodes because of their growth habit. Dendrobiums have a sympodial growth habit meaning many stems and the Phalaenopsis has a monopodial growth habit many one stem.

If this does not answer your question please contact me by email or phone

Dotty Woodson