Dendrobium Bruce Gordon

Week 2: March 31, 2020

Dendrodium Bruce Gordon 'Sentinel'

(Den. alexandrae x Den. eximium)

Maximum natural spread of flower: 8.0cm. 14 inflorescences from 2 to 6 flowers. Total number of flowers: 51.

Color: light green sepals and petals with intermittent black-purple spots. Most spotting on obverse of flower.

Wonderfully striped and spotted 5cm vertical dimensioned lip.

Size: Bulbs to 59cm in height. Plant width: 86cm.

Hybridized by H & R and registered in 2006.

The hybrid is easy to grow and flower. It flowers on the mature growths with flowers lasting one to two months. The bulbs remain leaved for years and can flower for several years. The inflorescences flower at the ends of the growths or just beyond the uppermost leaves with nicely spaced light green New Guinea type flowers with undulated petals and contrasting black-purple markings. The structure of the flower’s allow all of the parts to be visible even with petal segments undulated.

The flowers closely resemble the alexandrae parent. The eximium parent has narrowed the lip slightly, but the lips 5 cm. vertical dimension with highly spotted and reticulated black-purple markings strongly adds to the presentation.

The plant was repotted into an 8”plastic bulb pan with additional spaced 1/8” holes. Media is cypress from Chewy and perlite. The bulbs are centered in the pot and are spaced so it has two more years of growing before hitting the pot edges. The plant is suspended at 9’-0” feet in medium light with good air movement at winter temperature of 60 degrees F.

As one can see, I had not fussed over this plant and it did what it wanted. Based on its performance I will spend more time on engineering the bulbs for next year.

Previous awards:

1. 3/7/13 ‘Grambell’ AM 83pts. 1 infl. – 13 flowers , 6.9cm NS.

2. 3/19/16 ‘Ryan Karaim’ AM 83pts. 4 infl. - 17 flowers, 7 buds, 8.0cm NS.

3. 2/4/18 ‘Alien vs. Predator’ AM 82pts. 1 infl. - 6 flowers, 9.0cm NS.

4. 3/22/18 ‘Danielle’ AM 83pts. 15 infl. – 74 flowers, 7.8cm NS.

5. 2/15/20 ‘Bryon’ AM 82 pts. 3 infl. – 13 flowers, 5 buds, 6.9cm NS.

Judges' Comments

Ed Weber

Based on these images and this information I would be comfortable nominating the plant for both a flower and a cultural award. I would expect to be somewhere in the mid 80's for both of these awards. The size of the flower, combined with the floriferousness and condition of the plant support my decision. I'm a little bit sad at not getting to see it in person.

Mr. Ed

Beth Davis

My comments on Den. Bruce Gordon

This happens to be one of my favorite Latourtia Dendrobiums. Even though it is a green flower, it almost would seem to command attention because of its presentation and striking lip that just seems to pull you in. In my opinion, I have not yet seen this flower in a photograph that truly does this justice. It is one that you have to see in person to fully understand this effect it has. That being said, let me try to recount what it is, in a little more detail, that is so outstanding about this flower.

I have seen several dozen of these in bloom. There are definitely some that stand out and have more appealing traits then others but in general here is what I noticed about this particular flower.

1. Its petals... As with many of the Latourias we often see where the petals will actually twist completely around which can be distorting for the flower. In Bruce Gordon, the petals will sport a slight wave along the edges of them but not a complete twist. This is most noticeable in the AOS award given to 'Byron' The broad reach and stance in the petals is one of the traits of this flower that catches your eye and commands you to take notice. Side Note: I don't see it as a consistent trait in the petals but when it is, it's a desirable improvement in breeding.

2. Its lip... This is not fully appreciated unless you have seen a good one in person. We can see it a little bit in 'Danielle' and 'Ryan Karaim'. There is something in the striking pattern that pulls you right into it. Almost like a hypnotic effect. The Iip is coming from Den. alexandrae parent. I think the lip can be the most attractive part of this flower, The "attention getter" that hooks you in, you stay longer than you expected which gives you time to look around and really take notice of the rest of the flower that you might have overlooked.

Few other noticeable, pleasing charactics of this plant and flower...

Holds its flowers upright vs. the downward traits of some of the Latouria. Also has a taller stem which holds the flowers up off the leaves.

Can have one of the boldest green color on the petals and will contrast that with patterns in the lip that will almost appear black. Makes for a very striking flower.

Den. Bruce Gordon 'Sentinel' is beautifully grown and flowered. The flower NS is on par with the other flower awards. My only draw back is what seems from the photograph, a lack of "pop" in the color of the petals and the bold pattern in the lip. The petals also don't appear to have much stance. Or perhaps you could say they are not taking a stand. They are characteristic of the Latouria dendrobiums but not I think of when I think of Bruce Gordon. I do however find the width of the petals very pleasing. They twist closer to the lip so as to show off a broader petal.

Great plant Mark. Happy to see one grown up. I've tagged a few "good" ones to grow on but they always get sold. :(

Be well,


Taylor Slaughter

That said, my comments are as follows:

1. Mark's plant has wonderful color and shape, given the parents. I also like the fact that he has managed to capture the color - for many of the previously awarded plants, both the hybrid and the parents, the images show a different color than the description.

2. Acknowledging that Mark's plant wasn't groomed as a plant for display, the flowers present quite well.

3. When compared to the species, Mark's plant compares seems to be about the same size as the D. alexandrae, but petals are much narrower than the D. eximium. Otherwise, it doesn't seem to be much of an improvement.

4. When compared to other D. Bruce Gordons, the overall size, sepals and petals seem to be about the same size, but most of the awarded ones have more open lips that have larger size and better presentation.

5. My conclusion is that this plant is not awardable at this point, though on another blooming, it might be. It also, with better grooming in advance of the blooming, might very well qualify for a cultural award.

Stay safe!


Al Messina

With the above caveats, my thoughts follow: (Information gleaned from photos only)

Prior awarded plants need to be carefully scrutinized for form. Latouria hybrids don't fit into the desired "full, round, flat," desirability .Other criteria need to be used in judging them. Symmetry, balance and color are important and the flower parts individually need to be scrutinized carefully. Sepals tend to be symmetric but the hybrid petals tend to be quite irregular and asymmetric in many Latouria hybrids, this one especially. If one observes the prior awards, all five have petal problems: Petals should be in a plane parallel to the plane of the flower(the sepals).Three of the prior awards had petals perpendicular to the plane of the flowers and, in my opinion, should not have been awarded or, perhaps, awarded HCC's only. Simply put: They were not better than the parent species, in my opinion. "Danielle" with 74 flowers on 15 inflorescences had better, not great, petals but a good flower count likely influenced the judges. "Bryon" has relatively good form with petals as close as possible to the correct anatomical plane and received the correct award, in my opinion, albeit many fewer flowers.

The present candidate has a good amount of flowers, appears to be well grown and makes a nice presentation. A careful scrutiny of the flowers discloses, an inconsistency in flower form, asymmetry of flower parts, particularly the petals on multiple flowers, and a recommendation to return the plant to judging on the next bloom wherein the plant might be watered heavily on bud initiation which might improve the form deficiency, IN MY OPINION ONLY !!!

Many thanks for the opportunity to participate in this communal endeavor.

Al Messina

Elena Skoropad

In my opinion this dendrobium is a good candidate for flower quality award. It has a pretty large 8 cm flower and nice elongated lip almost 5cm in comparison with previous awards. I would be in mid AM 84-85 range

As far as culture award goes: I would wait for the next bloom. I think it needs more flowers for culture award. This plants has 3.6 flowers per inflorescence in average (51 flowers on 14 inflorescences). It is capable producing more flowers. For example, clone ‘Danielle’ had 74 flowers on 15 inflorescences - 4.9 flowers in average per inflorescence.



Deborah Bodei

Please accept my commentary of the plant based on the following observations:

General Observations:

Plant is not groomed for a cultural award and flowers per inflorescence is less (3.6 to about 5 average) so considerations would be for a quality flower award here.

Considerations (considering parents and other awards for this cross):

- candidate has general form/color of alexandrae parent but both lip and petals are fuller from the eximium parent

- 8.0cm NS is slightly than the awarded at 7.7cm average

- overall appearance is fuller and rounder and less rumpled (term borrowed from another description) in form because you can see all the segments when looking at flower head on; this is nice

- color and markings are very pleasing; since photos are natural light I think its representative of actual

- lip is more open than some of the others awarded and presents the pleasing markings well

- I see less symmetry around the dorsal than some of the others awarded; would have liked to see if that was consistent across the blooms

- uniqueness is the stance of the petals which give a wide and pleasing appearance even though they are downward turned at the apices as a result

- I am having a hard time getting over the limpness of the majority of the blooms and the fact that a majority the flowers do not seem to presenting like the one in the closeup; they do not 'stand up' on their own like many other latouria crosses do and the other awarded plants

Recommendations for nomination:

I struggled with making a decision based on the closeup of the one flower. I downloaded the photo of the entire plant and by zooming noticed that most of the flowers were 'floppy' and did not stand up on their own so you could see the bloom which is the attribute I liked most. Even though I liked the fullness of the flower due to petal stance in the closeup, I have to pass on the plant for my recommendation since the photo tells me only a few blooms actually present this way on their own.

Thank you,


Catherine Higgins

It's interesting that the grex has five flower awards and no culture awards. The grower is demonstrating that the grex has the potential for a culture award. Of course the Latouria group of dendrobiums are famous for their "flower power." In my opinion, the plant has the potential for a culture award but isn't there yet. My advice to the grower is to keep it going and bring it back next year.


Paul Sheetz

Latouria dendrobiums by their very nature are difficult to judge. They are never going to be consistent flower to flower.

If we look at the previously awarded statistics, one award had 13 flowers on a single inflorescence. The lowest average per spike was 5 but it had a total of 74 flowers. This example has 2 to 6 flowers per with an average of 3 and a half. It has a long way to go for a cultural award.

Flower color is the main attraction of this entry as well as size.

Presentation of many latouria dendrobiums is critical for a flower award. Staking or supporting each inflorescence may mean the difference between a nomination or no nomination. I think this is an example of bring it back next year with an emphasis on presentation.

I could sell this at the Philadelphia Flower Show because it is colorful, floriferous and long lasting.

Sergey Skoropad

Here is my opinion:

Based on pictures, measurements and previous awards I believe that flowers are awardable and could’ve in low AM (flowers are large). However, until I can see flowers in person it’s difficult to say if they consistent in size and shape. Also presentation of the flowers on Latouria dendrobiums could play a major role.

I’m considering previous awards because it’s not only one award - we have 5 awards in OrchidPro, all AM and they are all recent!

For cultural award plant is missing good presentation and has low flower count per inflorescence (candidate have 3.6 but other awarded plants had 5-6 flowers per inflorescence).

Will be great to see the next bloom!


Exhibitor - Mark Werther, PA (Accredited Judge, Mid-Atlantic Judging Center)