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Horticulture Digest

Date Last Edited:  08/24/2001

Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service

Horticulture Digest #108

Dendrobium Manoa Beauty 'K404-2', a Dendrobium phalaenopsis-type tetraploid hybrid with attractive red-purple flowers, has proved to be an excellent breeding plant. It was crossed to amphidiploid D. Jaquelyn Thomas 'K333-22-4N' to produce uniform offspring (K1121) with red-purple flowers on relatively short pseudobulbs, and to amphidiploid D. Mini Gem 'K780-21 ' to produce floriferous short-statured offspring (K1419). The latter hybrid was registered with the Royal Horticultural Society as D. Sharon Sewake. It is being released for commercial cropping as a seed-propagated potted plant cultivar.

Like D. Miyoko Azuma, D. Sharon Sewake has a common parent, tetraploid D. Manoa Beauty 'K404-2', but the other parent is amphidiploid D. Mini Gem 'K780-21', a hybrid between D. bigibbum var. compactum of the section Phalaenanthe (P genome) and the diminutive D. carronii of the section Eleutheroglossum (E genome). Amphidiploid D. Mini Gem was crossed earlier to D. antennatum of the Ceratobium section to produce the tri-genome hybrid, D. Cathy Beck, UHl121, (PCE); to D. stratiotes also of the Ceratobium section to produce the tri-genome hybrid, D. Remy Hartmann, UH 1307, (PCE); and to D. phalaenopsis var. compactum of the Phalaenanthe section to produce the triploid hybrid, D. Betty Nakada, UH1208, (PPE).

D. Mini Gem 'K780-21' crossed to tetraploid D. Manoa Beauty 'K404-2' has produced an attractive tetraploid hybrid having three sets of the P genome and one set of the E genome. The cross, K1419, was made on February 17, 1991, germinated in May 1991, compotted in January 1992, moved into 2-inch pots in August 1992, and repotted into 5-inch shallow plastic pots with No. 3 crushed rock in August 1993 and grown in the glasshouse at the Mauka Manoa Campus. Monthly flower data were accumulated through February 1996 when evaluation was terminated.

Characteristics of D. Sharon Sewake are:

Flower color (RHSCC)                            Purple (78A)
Flower length (in.)                              2.0 +/- 0.2
Flower width (in.)                               2.5 +/- 0.2
Scape length (in.)                               8.3 +/- 1.9
Spray length (in.)                              21.3 +/- 5.5
No. flowers per spray                           11.9 +/- 9.2
Leaf length (in.)                                5.3 +/- 0.5
Leaf width (in.)                                 1.4 +/- 0.2
Pseudobulb height at first flower (in.)          5.5 +/- 1.6
Pseudobulb height at end of evaluation (in.)    14.6 +/- 3.3
Percent bud drop                                 8.7
Half-life of sprays on plant (days)             45 +/- 9

The major attributes of D. Sharon Sewake are

  • attractive dark purple flowers
  • floriferousness
  • good seasonality from October through March and
  • relatively short stature.
The first flowers were borne on pseudobulbs only 5.5 inches tall, and at the termination of evaluation, the pseudobulb height was 14.6 inches. Flowers are small measuring about 2.5 inches across, but several inflorescences on a plant makes D. Sharon Sewake an attractive table-top or counter-top potted plant during the holiday season extending to Valentine's Day. The half-life of flowers of 45 days is shorter than that of D. Miyoko Azuma, undoubtedly due to the influence of D. carronii. Like other hybrids of D. carronii or D. canaliculatum, D. Sharon Sewake does best under protective greenhouse conditions.

H. Kamemoto, haruyuki@hawaii.edu
A. R. Kuehnle, heidi@hawaii.edu
T. D. Amore, and N. C. Sugii

Department of Horticulture, CTAHR
University of Hawaii at Manoa

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